Witnessing, or sharing your faith in Christ with others, can seem really hard. You might feel shy about having such a personal conversation with someone else, or you might be afraid that the person will judge you for your beliefs. However, the Bible says that Jesus told his followers: “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.” That means if you're a follower of Jesus, sharing his message is an important part of your relationship with him.
Method 1 of 2:Witnessing in PersonDownload Article
1Talk to the person about surface-level subjects first. If you sit down next to a stranger and start talking to them about their soul, there's a chance they'll be alarmed enough to move away from you. Similarly, if you approach a family member or a close friend and start talking about your faith without any lead-in, they might be somewhat put off. Instead, spend some time having a normal conversation with the person.
If you're talking to someone you don't know well, make normal small talk about subjects like their family, hobbies, or career.
If you're spending time with someone you're already close to, try asking them about things that you know have been going on in their life, or touch base on something you talked about the last time you saw them.
Some conversations might never go farther than this, and that's fine. However, continue to pray that God will help you look for signs that a person would be open to a spiritual conversation, and that He'll give you the courage to be a witness for Him.
2Watch for clues that show the person may be looking for direction in their life. Jesus' message of hope, love, and forgiveness are extremely powerful, especially to someone who's struggling to find their place in life. If you're talking to someone who seems to be deeply sad, anxious, or fearful, even if they're cheerful on the surface, they might be open to hearing God's word.
For instance, you might hear a friend say something like, “I just don't know what I'm going to do with my life. My career didn't work out like I thought it would, and my relationships have all been disasters.” The message that God has a plan for their life might give them hope.
You might also hear someone say, “I feel worried all the time and I don't know why.” In that case, the person might be open to God's message of hope and peace.
Other conversations that might lead to a discussion of God could include comments about what happens after people die, feeling a lack of connection to the world around them, or even who created nature or mankind.
3Be sensitive to the person's needs. Sometimes, it can seem insensitive if you quote Scripture as a blanket answer to someone's struggles, especially if they're opening up to you in a vulnerable and candid way. Try to talk to the individual in a way that's personal and sympathetic, allowing them to feel God's love through you. That will be much more effective than saying,"The Bible says that God loves you."
If a friend or loved one is severely depressed and you're concerned they might hurt themselves, call for emergency help. Once they're out of danger, you may be able to share your faith as a way to help them heal their inner pain, but it's important to have professionals help someone who's in crisis. If you live in the US, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also see a list of international hotlines by visiting https://ibpf.org/resource/list-of-international-suicide-hotlines/.
4Use your conversation as an opening to introduce the subject of your faith. As with any type of conversation, the exact way you'll do this will depend on what you and the other person are talking about. Try to let the conversation develop organically, and pray for guidance, wisdom, and sensitivity as you move forward.
In the case of the friend who's concerned about their career and failed dating attempts, you might say something like, “I really believe that God has a plan for your life. It might not seem like it now, but He can do great things in your life if you trust Him.”
If you're talking to your friend who's always worried, you might say, “My relationship with God has really helped me handle all the stress in my life. I still get overwhelmed sometimes, but praying gives me a lot of peace. Is it okay if I share my story with you?”
5Remain respectful of the other person. While you're sharing Jesus' story of resurrection and redemption, remember to treat the other person with respect. Don't talk down to them, belittle their beliefs, or discount their opinions, whether you agree with what they're saying or not. Instead, open yourself to learning from their struggles and experience, while remaining firm in your own faith.
Leave it up to God to show the person which of their specific behaviors are sinful. Avoid judging the person or criticizing the way that they live, although you can point out that they—like everyone else—have likely committed a sin or two throughout their lives.
6Stop if the person seems very uncomfortable or aggressive. Unfortunately, some people are predisposed to be closed off to God's message. They may have had hurtful encounters with religious people in the past, or they may simply have a negative view of the church. If you sense that the person is hostile towards your message, gently change the subject.
You're more likely to leave the person with a good impression by handling the situation with grace and kindness, rather than by trying to force them to listen to what you have to say.
If the person seems receptive to your message, or if they have a neutral response, you can move forward with sharing your witness.
7Share your faith in an authentic, warm way. God's message of forgiveness is a beautiful story, although a frank discussion of sin can be very uncomfortable. Try to channel God's love for the person as you're talking to them, keeping the focus on the story of redemption and sacrifice.
You might say something like, “I believe that God sent His son Jesus to earth, and Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. I get a lot of peace from my relationship with God, and I'd love to share that with you.” Then, tell them more about Jesus' life and death, based on your studying of the Scripture.
It can often be very effective to share your own story of how you were saved, rather than just explaining the message in an abstract way.
Avoid using in-depth theological terms the person might be unfamiliar with. Instead, stick to simple, everyday language.
Try to approach every opportunity to witness with humility, patience, and kindness.
Tip: If you're shy, having tracts or other reading material can be a good way to help break the ice and keep the conversation moving. Just be sure whatever you choose is Biblically sound.
8Offer to pray with the person if they'd like to accept Jesus as their savior. Once you've presented the story of Jesus to the other person, it's up to the Holy Spirit and that person whether they're going to accept. If they do want to repent of their sins and follow Jesus, you can lead them in a simple prayer. However, keep in mind that your intention is just to be a vessel for God to work through, so don't take it personally if they say no.
If they do want to pray, ask them to say something like, “Dear Lord, I know I am not perfect. I want to turn my life over to Jesus and have a personal relationship with God. Thank you for loving me, and please forgive me for my sins. Amen.”
After the person prays, encourage them to get baptized and start attending a church where they feel comfortable.
Method 2 of 2:Witnessing Through Your LifeDownload Article
1Try to live in a Christ-like way. While no one can be perfect all the time, if you want to be a good witness for Christ, you should try to embody his teachings as much as you can.
Avoid sinful behavior like lying, cheating, or jealousy. That way, when you do get a chance to witness to someone else, your behavior won't contradict your message. However, some of the most obvious qualities of a relationship with God show from deep within, not just in your actions.
In Galatians 5:22-23, the Bible says: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” By embodying these qualities, you'll be a living witness of your relationship with God and the power He has to influence your life.
Forgiveness is another trait that Christ taught, so do your best to forgive those who have wronged you.
2Study your scriptures and pray each day. The best way to have a strong relationship with God is to read your Bible every day, and to pray to Him constantly. When you're reading the Bible, you can read it from start to finish, you can read guided devotionals to read a short lesson along with your Scripture, or you can even just open it to a random page and start reading. No matter what approach you choose, pray that God will give you the words you need to hear that day, and ask Him to guide you as you seek to share His message that day. Read the Bible, memorize scripture, pray for opportunities to share God's word with receptive hearts.
In addition to helping you feel close to God, reading and memorizing the Bible can help you have more confidence when you're witnessing to others because you'll be able to answer their questions from a Biblical perspective. 1 Peter 3:15 says:"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."
3Understand that the Bible calls you to share your faith. It can sometimes seem awkward or uncomfortable to talk to other people about their spiritual beliefs. You might not feel confident enough to be a good witness, or you might be afraid of pushing them away from God, being criticized, or losing a friend. In some places, you might even be afraid that you might be persecuted for your faith. However, try to remember that your goal is ultimately to invite this person to a relationship with Jesus so they can go to Heaven.
The Bible says that a relationship with Jesus is the only way to have life in heaven. In John 14:6, Jesus said:"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Jesus also commanded his followers to tell others about him. According to the Bible, the last words Jesus said before he ascended were:"You shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."(Acts 1:8)
In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus also said: “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 all that I have commanded you."