Sometimes we forget Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen. They didn’t have university degrees, nor did most of the people they taught. We don’t know how long the sermon lasted on the Day of Pentecost, but what is recorded is not very long or very complex. Yet, many of us are terrified to share our faith because we don’t think we know enough.
I understand there are some people who may want to get into deep philosophical discussions about religion. The funny thing is, God only cares about the heart. The heart that really wants to follow God and obey Him will be drawn to the simplicity of the message. In fact, God’s message is so simple you can easily teach your children how to share their faith.
Here are five basic ways to share your faith. Almost as soon as your children can speak in complete sentences, they should be able to use all of them to start sharing their faith. (If you have been reluctant to share your faith in the past, these ways work for adults, too.)
- Train your children to invite people to attend Church with them. This is probably the easiest way to introduce the subject if you are just beginning to share your faith. If the person does attend, make sure you sit with them and take them to Bible class. Introduce them to others in your congregation. Invite them to lunch with your family and another family after services. Even the smallest child can ask a friend to come to church with them. Focus especially on people who don’t attend church anywhere. If your child asks a friend, you may want to ask the parents to come as your guest, too. Have cards printed with service times and the address of your congregation. If you have an opportunity to invite a new acquaintance, these cards are really helpful.
- Teach your children to share with their friends how God helps them. If a friend is worried, your children should be able to automatically share how praying to God always helps them when they are worried or scared. If your children have friends who are struggling with moral dilemmas, your children should be able (in a non-judgmental way) to share God’s principles in that area and how they have found them to be true. (“It may sound crazy, but God is right. I have found when I tell the truth, things seem to go better in the long run.”)
- Begin teaching your child the basics of sharing their faith. “God created man. Man sinned. It broke God’s heart, but He sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus rose from the dead. Now if we repent and are baptized, our sins are forgiven and we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. We can spend eternity with God in Heaven.” Yes, an older child could go into how our sins bring death and other deeper concepts. This paragraph though, covers the basics. Since the age of accountability varies from child to child, your child should not be discouraged if sharing their faith does not end in an immediate baptism. We should all consider ourselves seed planters. We are to plant the seeds of God’s Plan in everyone we possibly can. God will bring the increase when the person’s heart is ready.
- Teach your children to make their lives a living testimony to their faith. Can they be counted on to always tell the truth? Do they always show God’s love to those around them? Do their lives reflect the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control? Do they respect their parents? Are they a good friend to everyone? Their friends and schoolmates will begin to notice the difference. Some may even ask why they act the way they do. Then your children will have an opportunity to share their faith in one or more of the ways above.
- Teach your children to serve others felt needs and then share God’s love with them. Hurting people need our help in real physical ways. We should never stop there, though. We need to teach our children that service and sharing our faith are inseparable. Jesus put the two together in His ministry on earth and we need to as well.
Five basic things you and your children can do to spread the Gospel. Challenge your family to try at least one of these every day for one month. You may just find sharing your faith becomes as natural to you as it seems to have been to the members of the Church in the first century. I would love for you to share in a comment below some of the experiences you and your children have as you begin sharing your faith. Have you found something to be particularly effective in introducing others to God?