Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Four Steps to a Better Witness

While in College, I led several High School and Junior High church youth groups, and they all wanted to get a lot better at one thing: telling others about Jesus, what we call Witnessing. While there are a lot of ways to do the actual telling (different Bible verses, visual aids, key questions, spiritual laws, etc.), methods are unimportant if you're not preparing yourself spiritually. Would you run a marathon without training, stretching, and improving your diet?

Here are four things you can do to improve your Christian Witness:

  1. Pray. I know this seems obvious, but prayer is a crucial component of Christian living, and a necessary part of our Sanctification. Are you praying every day? Are you keeping track of your requests and praises so that God's work strengthens your faith? And are you including a list of your non-Christian friends in these prayers? Start taking prayer more seriously, and you will see a difference in the way you live, the way you treat others, and the opportunities for Witness.
  2. Incorporate Scripture into Your Life. Reading daily is important, but it is more important to apply it to your day-to-day situations, to let Christ's teachings especially come to your mind when you are dealing with a person who frustrates you, or who even challenges your faith. Try one of these: keep a pad of post-its with your Bible and write down verses that challenge or bless you in some way. Stick that post-it in your car, in your textbook, on your laptop, on your phone. Draw or paint a picture representing the scripture to you personally, talk with your Christian friends about the scripture, write a poem about it. Let its truth wash over you and come into your mind when it is needed.
  3. Don't Go Alone. Jesus once sent out 72 of his followers in pairs. They probably could have done the same work quicker and more efficiently alone, but Jesus knew their hearts and knew that witnessing can quickly become self-righteous and ineffective when we go it alone. When I think back on times when I most successfully defended the Gospel, every single one of them included another Christian. Encourage each other, hold each other accountable, and maybe even exchange some of the Bible post-its and pictures that you made in step 2.
  4. Don't Go Alone Together. The truly beautiful thing about Witnessing for Christ (and indeed, about the Christian life altogether) is that we are not expected to simply be amazing all on our own. Jesus promised us that where 2 or more of us are gathered, He is there with us through the Holy Spirit. All too often, I have seen fellow Christians doing their best, not realizing that God is right beside them offering guidance but they do not hear Him because they are too busy trying to work out someone's question or remark using their own Biblical knowledge and training. He not only wants to help us, He wants to do most of the work. The question is, will we be humble enough to let Him help? Will we admit that all of our training and knowledge is only valuable if we listen to Him even when what He is saying doesn't make any sense? Steps 1-3 are completely worthless if you're not following Step 4 - when you're Witnessing for Christ, bring Him along and heed His advice.

Follow these steps, and you'll find that Witnessing is not just that thing you do sometimes, but is a way of life. Let your life be a testament to what He has done for you, in deed and in truth.


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