The Quandaries of Sharing the Faith

Tonight was Axis, something the Rock does on a monthly basis to go over each of the Rock’s seven values. They are as follows:

  • Loving God
  • Honor God’s Word
  • Commitment/Participation in Fellowship
  • Humble Selflessness
  • Being Filled and Controlled by the Holy Spirit
  • Good Stewardship
  • Missionary Mindset

Now, I’ve only been to two or three Axis nights this year, but I’m pretty sure that out of these seven values, Missionary Mindset is probably my weakest, so I was excited but nervous about what John had to say.

I got a lot out of tonight’s talk. Evangelism is something that has always intimidated the crap out of me. I remember distinctly my youth minister in junior high telling me he really wanted me to go to a evangelism conference for junior highers called Equip and I wholeheartedly rejected that idea. The idea of telling others outright about my faith terrified me, and to be honest, still scares me a lot.

I guess I always had this mindset of “My actions will speak for me. They know I go to church, they see the way I act. That’s enough.” And while I still think that is super important in our lives as Christians, John helped me see beyond that a little tonight.

Here are some random tidbits I picked up…

“We are communicators, not convincers; Lovers, not recruiters.”
There is nothing we can do to “save” people or convince them to be Christians. That’s God’s job. It’s our job to love others, listen to them, and tell them about our experiences and lives. It’s God’s job to capture and save them. We just do the initial ground work. I’ve always loved the idea of just loving people for the sake of loving people. One awesome quite I came across whole reading Kristin Chenoweth’s biography was from her grandmother. Kristin asked her grandmother if she thought being gay was a sin, and her grandmother just replied, “I don’t know, but Jesus told us to love everybody without judging, so I try to do that.”
What an awesome concept.

“Don’t assume what people want until they tell you.”
I think this was the point that hit closest to home for me. The idea behind this is that we make excuses for not sharing our faith by saying, “My friends don’t want to hear me talk about God.” But have any of your friends ever told you they don’t want to? Mine haven’t. I had never thought of it like that, and it blew me away. I have made so many assumptions that my friends who aren’t as involved in a Christian community, or even downright don’t believe, don’t want to hear about my faith journey. I’ve been relatively reluctant to share what a difference The Rock has made in my life with some of my other friends, just because I assumed they didn’t want to hear about it. I’m going to stop these assumptions.

“Not sharing your faith because of a potential question that may not even come up is crazy.”
How many of us are afraid to talk about God because someone might ask us a hard question we don’t know the answer to? *raises hand* Yeah. As John told us tonight, it’s okay to say “I don’t know.” And to be honest, a lot of the time, these hard questions might not come up right away, so we shouldn’t be scared of them.

“The world hated me first.”
So many of us are scared that sharing our faith will cause people to pull away and dislike us. Yeah, this could happen, but remember John 15:18-19. The world hated Jesus first. What a sobering thought.

This semester I posted a giant list of my Spring 2010 goals outside my door, and I think I may need to amend mine and add one: Live out loud.

Yes, it’s a dated Stephen Curtis Chapman song with a reference to Who Wants to be a Millionaire from the show’s heyday, but it’s message is what I should be doing.

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