by Jim Wall
It is no coincidence that the most joyous thing a Christian ever does is also the most intimidating thing! The joy of sharing your faith with someone you care about and then praying with them to begin a life-changing relationship with Jesus is beyond words! For many, the fear of doing that is also beyond words!
So how is it that 60% of the more than 2,500 attenders of Western Branch Community Church have made their adult commitment to Jesus here? The answer is, we invest a lot of time and resources to help our people have the skills and the confidence to share their faith. We use every forum available to provide that training and experience.
We start with sermons that include inspiring stories from our members who successfully share their faith. We preach sermons on the effectiveness of “fishing with a net” over that of “fishing with a hook”; i.e. developing cell-level activities designed to build bridges to unsaved people.
We encourage all of our members to work through Joel Comiskey’s study guide called, Share. We do that in formal training sessions and by empowering our members to mentor others through Share. We also provide cell lessons that mobilize the cell groups on prayer walks through neighborhoods and to pray for their unsaved friends. We even provide courses through our Community Bible Institute such as “How to Live a Contagious Christian Life” and “How to Share your Faith in the Work Place.”
Perhaps the most important part of the training is practice. After all more is caught than taught!
We do that by resourcing and encouraging all of our cell groups to do one service evangelism project per quarter. Service evangelism is defined for us as a good deed that establishes good will that opens the door to share Good News. Each of our cells has the liberty to decide their own “mission field.” Some go to nursing homes. Some visit fire stations. Others feed the homeless. Still others do home repairs for senior citizens, single moms and families of the incarcerated. Our seasoned cell members lead the way. New cell members watch how simple and natural it is to do an act of kindness and segue into the simple question, “Is there something I pray with you about?” They see that simple question lead into spiritual conversations. They see the joy of people coming to Christ right there where they live!
In time, cell members who once watched it being modeled, become the role models. They become the ones asking the questions, praying the prayers, and leading people to Jesus. They show others how simple it can be to share their faith as a team and watch the Holy Spirit empower a simple act of kindness to become a life-changing moment in a person’s life.
Perhaps you would be willing to share some of the ways your church trains and mobilizes it’s members to share their faith?