From time to time Sally Golding has opportunity to talk to unchurched people about Jesus & the gospel and whenever I hear her stories I always find it very encouraging and faith stirring. Below Sally shares some of the ways that she’s trying to live as a missionary in Seaford. I found it a very encouraging read, I hope you do too:
Firstly, I wouldn’t consider myself as a gifted evangelist, but I do believe that the King lives in me therefore there is a divine opportunity for anyone who comes in contact with me. This is true for anyone who is a Christian. Where the King is there is the kingdom of God which is righteousness, peace and joy (Romans14:17); I aim to demonstrate these as I live my life.
I consider the fact that Jesus looked on people and had compassion for them and loved them. I do not believe that I can ‘cold-bloodedly’ evangelise and win people into God’s kingdom without first loving them (1Corinthians13:1).
How do you know when to share the gospel with people?
Sometimes I am actively praying and am therefore expectant to share, but at other times I am presented with an opportunity which I choose (or not!) to take. There have definitely been times when I have had an opportunity to share when I really didn’t feel like it because I was tired or feeling weak, but decide to say something relying on God’s strength and have had some great conversations as well as being refreshed myself (Proverbs11:25).
How do you work out ‘how’ to share with people?
I seek to use my strengths. I know that I have the gift of encouragement, but that can mean just smiling or saying hello to someone (being noticeably different in this negative world) or engaging in a short conversation with someone who is lonely. Colin pointed out to me years ago, that I was particularly good at opening people up and drawing them out. With this in mind, I have combined forces with a friend who is gifted at gathering people together but not so strong at the talking.
I try to just be myself, people see through unreality and would dismiss what I have to say if they thought I was a fake. I use what I have in my hand as it were, like Moses using his staff, and David using his sling and stones rather than Saul’s armour. One of the tools I use is offering to pray for the sick. I say something like ‘I’m a Christian and believe God heals today, would you like me to pray for you.’ People are often pleased that I have offered and even if they’ve refused the offer they are appreciative that I have shown concern for them. I have had many positive responses to the offer as well – but be warned, praying with non-believers I tend to get stared at, so I keep my eyes open as I pray! My prayer would go something like ‘Lord thank you for….I know that you love them. Please come and touch their body. I speak to…(the area of infirmity) and command it to be well in Jesus’ name.’ I generally feel comfortable with that approach but realise that could be extremely daunting to others.
I have used different tools such as helping people e.g. with trolleys at the supermarket, etc. I try to notice ways to touch people’s lives positively and ask the Lord for His creative ideas. I believe our actions speak louder than words and our words must match our actions. (I’m not keen on having a fish on my car because I know I make mistakes and know there are enough people around who are quick to pick up on me, a Christian, and judge – I was one of them!)
I seek to never do something that could disrepute the Lord. However, as I am still a work in progress, I have been rude and disrespectful at times or just said something in an abrupt or inappropriate manner and have found that acknowledging my failure and apologising has opened up opportunities to share. Being humble definitely can be used to soften hearts.
How do you cope with the disappointments of not seeing the sort of ‘fruit’ you’d like to with gospel-sharing?
I believe that God wants all men to come to the knowledge of the truth (1Timothy2:4), therefore my responsibility is to share the truth through words and/or actions (the Great Commission) and then let Him do the rest – very releasing! I don’t generally worry about what I would say in a situation because I believe that the Holy Spirit will give me the words to say and even use my faltering words. I do dream big though, imagining myself speaking in a much bigger situation than I’m actually capable of, that stirs my faith and pushes me to step outside my comfort zone. I share testimony because no one can take that away from me since it really happened. The response is often ‘Really?’ for which I reply ‘Yes, really!’
Years ago I was frustrated that in spite of sharing on several occasions, I had not led anyone to the Lord, but I had a revelation that I was a sower and so that is what I do, ‘sow seed’ in any little way I can. Somebody else may be a reaper (although I’m open to that also!). This was very releasing and so I just give away my little oil and trust that the Lord will do something with it! He’s on my side. After all, He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but wants everyone to come to repentance (2Peter3:9).
For more encouragement on, and help with, sharing your faith with others listen to some of the ‘Missionary Jesus’ messages from Spring 2013 http//www.kingschurch.eu/media