I had a boldness breakthrough in my last year of high school. I had realized that it was time to show the world I didn’t care what they thought about me. I was determined to make a statement. So I prepared in all secrecy the boldest, most radical plan I had ever devised. The following day I came to school a bit shaky as you could clearly see on me the daring statement:
I was not wearing hair-wax.
We all struggle at times with different types of fear, some more rational than others. I don’t know for you, but I have missed many opportunities to tell others about Jesus. I have listened to stupid, discouraging thoughts. I may still not be the boldest person in the world, but have traveled a long journey since high school. I can engage different people I meet, and share my faith in a simple way. Here are some simple things that have helped me overcome my fears:
“Well-formed love banishes fear. 1 John 4:18”
This is the first and most obvious step. If you do not care about something, you will do nothing about. If you truly love people, and understand they are going towards an eternity without Him, you will want to win them for Christ. In my own life, if I stop caring that people are going to an eternity apart from Christ, I know something is wrong. I need to come to God again, and ask Him to fill me with His love.
Think right now: What is realistically the worst thing that could happen if you told someone about Jesus? For me, that’s probably the person I speak to getting out a gun, putting it to my forehead and saying they will kill me. Okay, just kidding. I said realistically. It could be they don’t want to speak about it and walk away, it could be they laugh a little, it could be they think I’m strange. But it could also be they get to experience God, to feel His love, to encounter His grace, and to change their eternal destiny. That is enough to make it worth the risk.
There is a sign on a Floridian beach for the lifeguards that says:
“If in doubt, go”
A lifeguard knows that if he sees someone in the distance that could be drowning, he should not stay on his chair. He should not debate with himself whether he should go and check it out or not.
The principle is the same for me. When I sense a nudge from God to go and speak to someone, the more I wait, the more I wrestle with myself, the more I diminish my chances of speaking to the person. But if I act immediately on the impulse without taking time to think of all the reasons why this person will not be interested, I often have good conversations, and people experience God. So if you are in doubt whether God is asking you to speak to a person, go anyway!
This is what stops most people from taking the first step: “What am I going to say?” I shared my most common opening line in an earlier post:
“Hello, do you speak English? (I live in Norway) My name is Paul, I come from France and I am a Christian. I love to speak with people about God and to hear what they believe, or if you don’t believe at all, or hate Christians (in a joking way). So, do you believe in God?”
Around 80-85 % of the people I speak to start saying why they do or don’t believe in God. The hardest part is through, they are now doing the speaking.
“Are there any special reasons why you don’t believe in Him?”
This allows me to immediately know where they are in their journey towards God. Sometimes they believe science has disproved God, or have had a bad experience with Christians, the answers are many. But again, they are the ones doing the talking.
“Have you ever experienced Him personally?”
That is another question for me to decide how to approach the next phase of the conversation.
A friend of mine once said this:
The place in the world where people are the most closed to the gospel is in the minds of the Christians.
He has a point! If I approach people in a humble way, being willing to listen to them first, then most people that I speak to are at open to share their experiences, and to hear what I have experienced with God. Jesus said that the harvest is plentiful, and that applies all over the world. I often need to remind myself of this!
Do you have any good tips about overcoming fear to speak about Jesus that you would like to share? Or any questions? Then I’d love to hear your comments!
by Paul Hockley
A new field of study is emerging in Christian circles. It is the study of “loser-ship”. In other words, how can you be the best — or is it worst? — Christian loser possible. OK, maybe not. But concerning leadership, I find it helpful to know what I don’t want my life to look like. By identifying the wrong track, I can easily recognize if I am there and change my course. So here is what life in “losership” looks like:
I think only about the present, and am just discontent enough to not enjoy it. If I do think about the future, I only worry, and do not plan how I am going to change it. I do not dream, my feet stay firmly planted on the ground. I also live as if the future will never happen. My inner order of importance is defective. I waste vast amounts of time on entertainment and trivial matters, forgetting my time will be counted.
I don’t want to lose anything. Neither my reputation, nor my dignity or my image. I play safe and run as far as I can from anything risky.
I neither plan nor practice the daily disciplines that make me grow in love to God and others.
I often compete, and might win sometimes, but on the inside, I always lose. I always find someone better to compete with. I notice all the other people struggling with pride, not seeing that it points even further to my own.
I’m trapped. I’m not able to take a good hard look at my life, as if through the eyes of someone else. I’m not able to reflect on the lessons taught through everyday events. I don’t allow time for thoughts to linger through several days, and never take time to analyze issues in depth.
What are some of the ways you do not want your life to look like? Leave a comment and join the discussion.
Volumes are written and libraries could be filled with literature, on how to be refreshed in your spiritual life, and how to keep your relationship with Jesus alive and vibrant. Many times though, feeling that I am in the midst of a dry season in my life, trying to figure out why, praying and even reading books about it, I realize that just one conversation where I get to share the gospel with a non-believer gets it all back on track! All the joy is back all the abundance and overflow of life is back and even the prayer life is refreshed!
What about just trying to tell someone who doesn’t believe in Jesus, about Jesus!?
I mean … how hard can it be?
And as a bonus, all of a sudden hundreds of Gods promises are being put into action. Who knows … you just might experience a miracle, as God’s power for salvation is in the gospel!
I, encourage you as a believer to share the gospel! Simply tell people who doesn’t believe in Jesus yet, about Jesus, and then see what happens! Even though the main purpose, of course, is that they will hear and believe, you will also experience yourself to be refreshed in your walk with Jesus!
Don`t fossilize, but evangelize…
An encouragement from Oddleiv Sandtorv for the Jesus Revolution groups.
We stepped off the bus- almost midnight, still humid, and a salty-sweet mist surrounding us. Finally in Bari. The whole year had culminated up to this trip, Summer Team 2012!
by Timothy Meadors
⁃ Hello! Have you heard about Jesus before?
⁃ What? Jesus Christ, the saviour of the world? Have you not heard about him?
⁃ Ehh…is that some kind of religious stuff?
Maybe your first thought is that this dialogue is taken from a remote place, somewhere in a jungle deep into Africa or something. Well, it was actually from Holland, as one of our teams had a School visit there. The youngsters were not kids, but teenagers. Sadly this is something we meet more and more in Europe. Because of secularism, Jesus is forced so much out of schools and society, that we have a new generation growing up with little or no knowledge about Jesus!
But the good news is that the gospel is just as powerful in Europe, as it is in any other part of the world!
At a computer party with almost 100 young people, most non-christians, we met a young man named John Martin. He told us that he was not interested in Jesus and Christianity at all, but when he heard a young girl from one of our teams tell her testimony, he recougnized himself very much, and when she shared the gospel with him, he understood, and wanted to give his life to Jesus! John Martin is now actually serving as a full time missionary in Jesus Revolution! Glory to God!
How many more young people are out there just waiting to hear us share our testimony with them, communicating the gospel to them in a clear way, and leading them to Jesus?
How many young people are simply walking aimlessly around, with no purpose in life?
In Europe there are around 120 mill youth. In India around 600mill.
We need to tell them about Jesus!
I believe all of us as Christians have a goal given by Jesus. Go, proclaim, make disciples, baptize, teach. Basically, make Jesus’ name known to those for whom it is currently unknown. However, in addition to this similar goal, it’s not difficult to see that those within the Body of Christ are so different. For example, what I am doing on the streets of Europe may be the furthest thing from you in a rural church or in the corporate world, but I found this is good. Each different genre of Christian acts as a layer or sieve. Everyone I talk to on the streets does not come to accept Christ of course, but some do. It is no surprise that a sieve has holes, although, this is where our differences come into play. Say you were to place many sieves on top of one another. Soon, you will see that these layers upon layers become impenetrable. By the time you reach the last layer, I believe that everyone could be touched by God’s love personally. Together, our different lifestyles and ways of preaching the gospel work together perfectly.
Recently, I found how these layers are working in unison. Last Friday, I was doing some outreach at the Oslo harbor. We had balloons and asked people to pop them to see what was inside… there you found verses or words of things Jesus gives. Anyway, I went to one couple. The conversation got around to what they thought about Jesus. The guy was a believer, the girl was not. Very briefly, he said he was in the process of trying to tell her, and jokingly, she said it would take a little more time. Even though we lingered on the subject only briefly and laughed it away, I could catch a glimpse of how the Body of Christ was working together. Even though I had never met this brother in my life, we were working together to display God’s love to his girl-friend who was a perfect stranger to me. As we parted, he said that I was placed here today to encourage him to keep ministering to her about Jesus. It was so cool to think, we both received the same “mission” from the same authority, and even though we were co-workers aiming to reach this woman, we didn’t know each other.
This Sunday, when I went to church, I met a newcomer. It was his first time to Jesus Church, and he hadn’t much of a history in Christian fellowship. I asked what had directed him to our church, and he said he had met some people on the streets recently who pointed him in this direction. Come to find out, it was another of the Jesus Revolution teams who was doing an outreach. They sent him to the local church, and there I was talking to him and fellowshipping. So amazing!
Lastly, yesterday I was standing in front of the train station waiting on a friend to arrive. There, I was approached by a guy who asked me if I knew what “transcendental knowledge” was. I said no, and he talked about it, spirituality, and Hari Krishna. He had been following a monk who told him about the religion only three weeks ago. Now, he has already planned on moving to India to better follow his leader. I felt so sad for him. He perceived my listening ear as interest into joining his way. I instead was able to garner his respect which allowed me to tell him that I too thought our bodies “housed” a spirit, but that it was God’s spirit, and the only way to this “God” was Jesus. I continued to talk to him. Never have I been so free to share the depth of the gospel story with someone on the street.
Our conversation took an interesting turn when he told me he had met some people out on the street who gave him some good insight. They were apart of Jesus Revolution, he said. I smiled. He continued saying that they were recently out at this very spot with a question/answer station. He asked them how to receive peace. The resulting answer was that peace can come through forgiveness through Jesus. I had yet another opportunity to tell him more about Jesus. It was so amazing to see that this man has been and is continuing to have Jesus-loving people placed in his path… layer after layer. This time, I knew who the others were, but still, the happenstance of him coming to me seemed all too perfect. He was obviously a man who is still searching for truth and grasping wherever he can. I hope another “layer” will be able to share with him more of God’s love to continue nurturing the seeds that have been planted.
All of these examples occurred in only four days and showed me how we as unified Christians are working as different layers in this “pile of sieves” (new term). Each of these people I had the opportunity to share Jesus with; however, I wasn’t the first to do so… I was just the next one in the many layers. Though most of them didn’t take a decision, I am confident that I am just a “waterer” (or something) and there will be another person a few layers down who can then fully reveal God’s love for them.
If your answer is yes to one or more of these questions you should check out the web site for
Jesus Revolution Summer Team!
Young people from different nations of Europe and outside Europe will this summer gather together to give Jesus to Bari, Italy!
Be challenged, trained, and equipped! See God at work through you! Jesus Revolution Summer Team – One Life is Worth It!
Read the testimony from a 15 year old girl from Poland who joined last year’s Summer Team:
This Summer Team has given me new ideas and ways to help share Christ on the streets with the youth from my city. I learned a lot about God, especially on just taking the leap of faith and watching God do the impossible. I loved the accountability, PT (Personal Time with God), and how we all were like family. I loved seeing God move through many people, and just being around people who love God as much as I do.
It didn’t take me long to thank God for raising up Manna Ministry in a time like this in India. Ernest and Rachel Komanapalli (the founders) and their team do not only believe in the fullness of the Gospel, but they live it. Indeed, the church is not only shining in the darkness of India, but it impacts the society, gives a voice to the voiceless, and a future to the hopeless. Through churches, orphanages, educational institutes, hospitals etc, they are clearly manifesting the arm of God, that is stretching out with love to a poor and needy nation.
This is only by God’s grace, the obedience and the sacrifices of many that they can make such an impact into people’s lives. I am sure that there will be many people in Heaven that will thank them for having put their lives on the altar and were willing to be a living sacrifice into the hands of the Living God.
It was a rich lesson for me to see their commitment to the Gospel, their love for God and servant heart.
I leave you with a challenge that is for all of us:
“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” (Isa 1:17)
I haven’t seen her for two weeks now. Sitting on the edge of my bed in Zaheerabad, East-India, I am looking at a picture of my daughter and getting a lump my throat. Suddenly it dawns upon me…
Rewind a couple of days. We are participating in a campaign of “Evidence of Faith” (Troens Bevis), and for the first time in my life, I am seeing crowds of tens of thousands coming to hear the message of the Gospel. Upon getting up on stage and seeing the crowd, a similar kind of emotion as the one in the hotel room hits me, tears swelling up. I can now relate to how Jesus was moved with compassion when he saw the multitudes. In the West, we feel the need to emphasize that God sees the individuals. But he also saw the multitudes, and the multitudes followed him.
To try and grasp the love of God for the 1.3 billion people living in India has been a struggle, but there in the hotel room, looking at the picture of my 17 month old daughter, I got the revelation I needed, the connection between head and heart. I realized that when I got married, my love for my wife was so intense (and still is). But when our first child was born, my love was not divided between the two of them; it was multiplied. The same intensity and quality of love appeared in my heart for a new being. In three months, another little baby will make its appearance in our family. Once again, my love shall be multiplied, and not divided.
Every time a new Indian comes into the world, God’s love is multiplied. The same intensity of love appears in his heart for this new wonderful being. His love is multiplied in 1.3 billion Indians. Like a father sitting in his hotel room and missing his wife and daughter after two weeks apart, He is sitting in heaven and missing his sons and daughters that have yet to meet him. Pray for India.