In the era of accountability, the church has been criticized for its role in oppressing marginalized groups, and rightfully so. However, the criticism of what the church has or has not done has also been unfair. As a Christian, especially a black Christian, sharing your faith feels harder today than maybe 20 years or even 10 years ago. Here are some tips to help you share your faith in a culture that hates the church.
What does it mean to share your faith? What is the gospel?
“By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Cor 15:2-4 (NIV)
The gospel is that Christ died for our sins! It’s really that simple, but what is sin? Sin is when we disobey God’s commandments. This is important because God is holy (without sin) so when we sin, we create a barrier between us and God. It’s in our nature to sin, old and young, smart and dumb! (Genesis 3). The Ten Commandments are a good checklist on sin, everyone has broken at least one commandment.
But all hope is not lost, Christ died for our sins – breaking the barrier between humanity and God. When we accept Christ into our hearts, our relationship with God is restored.
Why should I share my faith?
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19 (HCSB)
Coined as the Great Commission, Jesus after his resurrection tells his disciples it’s your time to share the story. We share the gospel because Christ has called us to.
“It’s just a commandment, I break tons of commandments, why do I have to do it?”
It comes down to whether we truly believe that salvation alone is through Jesus. If yes, then everyone is in danger of living the rest of their lives without the truth. If you take the perspective that the gospel is good news, then just like if you were to get a new job or buy a car, you will share this good news with all the people that you love!
How do we share my faith?
This is the part that people make difficult! From soapbox sermons to elaborate presentations, our efforts can be over the top. The reality is that sharing the gospel is a conversation. The Bible gives plenty of guidance on how we should talk to one another (Matthew 15:10, Colossians4:6, James 3:12). Here are some ways that you can share the gospel:
- Invite a friend to lunch or dinner and tell them that you want to share your faith.
- Go see a movie or watch a series about different faiths and start a conversation about your beliefs.
- Allow someone to share their faith with you, which can become an opening for you to share your faith.
- Answer questions! Sometimes people initiate the conversation even when we are not thinking about it.
- Talk about the benefits of being a church girl (or a church boy).
- Invite a friend to service or events hosted by your church.
- Be open to talking about current events, even the ones that paint the church in a bad light.
Remember that your job is just to share your faith, not convert anyone! It’s God’s job to change hearts. So, take the weight off, and just have a conversation.