"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." ~Jesus to His disciples, Matthew 28:19-20
In some ways we could say this is easier said than done and in other ways we have more opportunities than ever. Introvert that I am, I have to say that I love the internet. I love people, but approaching them in person (especially strangers) has never happened easily for me. I so admire people that seem to never meet a stranger and have many friends. I have fewer friends, but the ones I have are close and special. The Lord knew what He was doing when He made so many different kinds of people. Sharing faith can be intimidating , but with a little creativity and understanding of ones gifts, it is such a blessing to be a part of what God is doing. Here are a few pointers.
Learn, develop and use your gifts in the way God intended them to be used. Yes, you do have gifts. Spiritual gifts include teaching, evangelism, prophecy, healing, giving, etc. We will go into more depth in the future, but for now you can study them, (1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 7:7, Romans 12:3-8, Ephesians 4:11) and pray for the Lord to help you discover yours. Natural gifts are what you like to do including hobbies, sports, people skills, professional skills and personality traits.
Pray and listen to the Holy Spirit. Ask for help. "For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks, finds; and the one who knocks, the door will be opened." ~Matthew 7:7-8
Develop positive relationships. We all do this, but sometimes we need to seek out new ones, "Make new friends, and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold." (Yes, I was a Girl Scout) Find common interests and have conversations. Here is where natural gifts and interests come in. Pray for spiritually rich conversations that glorify the Lord. Eventually they will happen.
Be a good listener. Your friends will eventually have needs that you can offer prayer for such as illness, family and relationship issues, lonliness, depression, etc. If possible pray for them out loud after listening to them and allow the Holy Spirit to give you the proper words. It is unlikely that they will turn it down. From time to time, take opportunities to share a verse of scripture that applies to their situation and remind them that you are continuing to lift them up in prayer. Share what you know, especially something personal that they can relate to. Even if you are a new Christian, you have a growing testimony of how the Lord is working in your life.
Stay involved in church where you can study with other believers and be accountable to one another. "Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of His coming back again is drawing near." ~Hebrews 10:25
Adequacy Is From The Lord
The following is an excerpt from Voices of the Faithful: Inspiring Stories Of Courage From Christians Serving Around The World (Book 2) by Kim P. Davis, missionary testimonies, published 2009:
"Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God." ~2 Corinthians 3:5
"The only adequacy we have in ministry, comes from the Lord. My wife and I can barely keep up with nationals in everyday conversation, let alone understand the culture and be effective in making disciples. Still, God is faithful to open doors and use even us to get His Word to those who desperately need the truth.
Our Muslim neighbor, "Roger," brought our kids some ice cream, and I gave him a New Testament in the local language. Although I could barely explain this precious gift to him, he gladly received the book. What a great exchange! We got ice cream and he got the Word of God. The next day, I found out that he had read the first eight chapters of Matthew.
A couple of weeks later, when Roger was helping me fix a plumbing problem, he told me that he was still reading his New Testament. Not only that, but he wanted one for his Muslim friend who lives down the street. I gave it to him gladly. A few days later, he asked for another New Testament to give to another friend.
God is using Muslims to pass His Word around to one another! Am I adequate? Not now and not ever. My adequacy is from the Lord!" ~Nick, Central Asian Peoples
Lord, You Are the Word of Life. I pray for Roger and his friends that they will not only devour Your Word and find Salvation but also become leaders in your church. May we cling to You and Your all sufficient grace. Amen