Posted by: Rolf | March 10, 2008

Sharing your faith…

Many Christians struggle with telling others about Christ because they are afraid of what other people will say. I remember early on in my walk with the Lord trying to witness to a golfing buddy of mine, only to find that he was not interested in God. I began to pray for Carl on a regular basis, but I struggled with how to share with someone who would not let me.

Then I read a book that presented an alternative style of evangelism: “The Artful Dodger” by Alan Kent Scholes, a friend of mine, which described a relational approach to witnessing—living a life that reflects Jesus Christ, cultivating relationships and planting seeds of the Gospel. I began the process of going out of my way to invite Carl to go golfing, something we both enjoyed and had a common interest in.

One day Carl asked if I would play golf with him at his country club. We had fun together. The more I listened to him, I sensed that he was an over-achiever like I was many years ago, who came from a home where his father never expressed love or approval unless he accomplished something great. Carl confided in me that he had the same problem expressing love and approval to his own wife and children. The Lord opened a door for me to talk about how we can all experience God’s love and share that love and acceptance with those close to us. As my friendship with Carl grew, I shared with him my spiritual journey and how I came to know Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.

Carl started attending church with his wife and asked me for spiritual reading material. Still, he was not a believer. One day as we finished another round of golf, Carl said, “I have been attending church now for a while, but I really don’t understand what they are talking about. Can you help me to make some sense of it?” We sat down and I explained how to have a personal relationship with God by receiving Christ. I asked him if he would like to accept Jesus. Carl wasn’t ready, but he said, “For the first time I understand how I can know God.” Then he said with a big grin on his face, “I’ll make a deal with you: I will help you with your golf game (and you need a lot of help!) if you will help me get to know Jesus in a more personal way.”

Eventually Carl did pray to accept Christ, and he is now walking with God and is active in his church. Through my experience with Carl, I learned that even if a person initially rejects Christ, we should be faithful to pray for that person. Building a relationship may lead to fruitful conversations in time. Many people will be reached only through a relationship, which must be cultivated. In the context of a friendship God may open a door for us to share His message.

In His Grip and Serving Grace…

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