Simple Steps (Sharing Our Faith) Part 4 of 4

This blog series (parts 1-4) is the sermon teaching how to share our faith in Jesus Christ easily and naturally. Sermon given by Ryan Stratton on Sunday, September 21, 2014.

The Scripture reference for this sermon is Luke 15:1-7.

I have heard it said it takes a people an average of 10 times to hear the gospel (good news) message of Jesus Christ before they decide to make any life change. Our job is just to be faithful to the Spirit’s leading and go when he says “go.”

So let’s look at the parable again with the lense of learning how to witness and share our faith:

  1. The shepherd know there is part of the flock that is missing.
    1. This means we should be open to hearing from God to see what the situation is (this applies to unbelievers as well as those who have strayed away for whatever reason)
    2. All this means is that we simply leave our place of comfort (being with those like us) and moving toward those God is leading us to.
  2. The Shepherd “goes for a walk.”
    1. We see the shepherd meets the sheep exactly where it is.
    2. For us, it is simply listening to the other person so they feel valued (people will not come to love and follow Jesus if we do not show compassion and love toward them)
  3. The shepherd does not judge or condemn.
    1. He just carefully pick up the sheep (our case: speaking God’s love to the person) and guides it back to the flock.
    2. The shepherd is constantly guiding and being the right example to point the sheep to the life that God can and does offer for ALL.

That is really how simple it is. In the midst of the conversations we have, at some point it may become spiritual. So I invite you to think about how you came to faith (your personal faith story). This is basically 3 things: How you came to faith, how you are different because of your faith, and why your faith continues to be important for you. The best part is, this can be done in 100 words or less (45 seconds to 1 minute). I would be happy to sit down and work with you on this.

An example testimony:

I was raised to think of and believe in God and Jesus Christ. In my teenage years, I drifted from the church but always felt a hole and a longing to return. My friends helped me see and experience God in studies, prayer, etc. When I look back, I see that God has pursued me and that I have sensed his presence throughout my life. Jesus Christ broke me out of the prisons of selfishness and pride so that I could experience this new life that only he can give.

After this we can share the good news (the gospel message).

Examples of what you might say:

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound

that saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now I’m found;

was blind, but now I see.

John 3:16-17

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. God didn’t send the Son in the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

The important thing is that we speak of the Gospel in personal terms, however you might say it: God created everything. People strayed. Jesus Christ came, showed us how to live and rose from the dead so we would have eternal life and know God personally. It is by God’s grace we are saved.

God is actively seeking out those people who are far away from him. We have the opportunity to join with God in this endeavor.

There may be people thinking, “my faith story is not important enough or valid enough to share.”

Every story and person matters. I invite you to take a name tag. On it, I would like you to write your first name. Below your name write:

“I can share my faith story, it matters!”

Now, wear your name tag throughout worship and at least on your way home.

No one is too far from God. No story is invalid. Here is our challenge: this week, if we are open to is, God will place in our path someone we should talk to. I hope and pray we all take the time to see God working in us so that we can reach out to those people in need so they can enter the joy, rest and real life God through Jesus Christ offers to all people.

Published by Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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