Very few words strike fear in the hearts of Christians in churches across the nation as the word “Evangelism”. Merriam-Webster defines evangelism as 1) “the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ” or 2) “militant or crusading zeal.” Most Christians associate evangelism with the latter definition that is an aggressive and confrontational testimony of how one needs Christ in their life. Similar to one telling another “Turn or burn. God loves you.” This is not effective evangelism; it is not evangelism at all.
Evangelism is telling your faith story. It is telling how you became aware that there must be a God who created this world; that you cannot change on your own, that you need Christ to forgive you and to be your guide on this journey called life. How did you go through that process to become the Christian you are today? The question we have to ask is “How do we share our faith story, which is an ongoing story?”
I know that you are thinking “I am glad you ask that question Reverend, Brother, Pastor Dave.” I want you to think of a time when you experienced the power and love of God or a time you made a commitment to follow Jesus. If you just said to yourself “I don’t know”, that means that you just stopped thinking about the question. Take a breath and try again. Think of a time when you experienced the power and love of God or a time you made a commitment to follow Jesus. Think of a time when someone came by or called you at a time you needed to talk to someone – by the way, that was the work of the Holy Spirit. Think of a time when you felt God give you the power to move forward through hardship. Let me help you be having you answer the following questions:
Where were you?
How old were you?
What was going on around you?
What happened to you?
Who took or sent you there?
(Source: Get Their Name: Grow Your Church by Building New Relationships
Once you answer these questions, you have told a part of your faith story. Each person has a different story. Very few people have a story like the apostle Paul or Moses, who had a dramatic encounter with God or Christ. For many it was a gradual process of the increased awareness of the presence of God in an event in your life.
You have a story to tell. Your story may empower someone with a similar experience to name and claim their encounter with the living God.