If anyone had ever told me that I would be willing to tell others about Christ like I'm doing now, I would have said, "You're crazy." I had always thought that evangelism is a gift that God gives you, and I sure didn't think He had given that gift to me.
Although I became a Christian when I was a child, and have served on the staff of a church for more than two decades, I just didn't feel confident sharing my faith. Actually, petrified would be a more accurate description. My evangelism philosophy was, "Watch my life, and maybe you'll learn something about my Savior."
That started to change about a year ago when my church in Little Rock, Ark., invited members to be part of a pilot group for some new material that Robert Lewis (author of the Men's Fraternity™ curriculum) had written about exploring Christianity. I joined that group and went through the Explore training that equipped me to take a non-believer through a three-session workbook.
Explore has transformed my life. I don't know how to explain it except that the curriculum along with the work of the Holy Spirit met at the right moment. After I went through the training series, I finally had the confidence to explain the gospel to others, and I knew why I believed what I believed. I know that I don't have all of the answers—and that's okay. God has replaced my fear with a genuine love for others and a desire to tell them about Him.
Sharing Christ with others
For a couple of years, I have been discipling a small group of women, and we were all at different places in our spiritual growth. I have now taken the women individually through the three sessions of Explore. These sessions discuss how God makes Himself known to us; the life of Jesus, and how to know Christ as your Savior. After doing this I knew beyond a doubt that each one of them is a believer and that there aren't any gaps in their foundation. Knowing this has allowed us to move forward as a group and complete other Bible studies.
A local Christian organization that has a home for abused and homeless women contacted my church after they heard about Explore. The women in the home come from all walks and experiences of life. Now a group of ladies from the church goes through Explore with these women as they enter the home.
These hurting women have been so excited about learning things. They were amazed to learn about scriptural prophesies and how many have been fulfilled. Explore has helped them, just like it helped me, become confident in why they believe what they believe. We know of one woman who has accepted Christ as her Savior, and all have been given hope.
And not too long ago I was on the church playground with my grandson, and I noticed a Chinese woman playing with her son. I introduced myself to her, and after visiting for awhile I discovered she had never heard of God and she has been in America for 10 years. She didn't know what a Bible was and had never heard the name of Jesus. I invited her to go on a three-week spiritual journey with me, and I'm now taking her through Explore. I would have never done this in a thousand years if I had not been confident in sharing my faith.
Love your neighbor
As I went through the pilot group for Explore, God kept bringing Matthew 22:36-39 to my mind: "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law? "And He said to him, " "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. "' This is the great and foremost commandment. "The second is like it, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' "
I now realize that loving your neighbor doesn't mean just your literal neighbor next door. To me, your neighbor is anyone God puts in your path. God tells us to go and share the gospel whether we think we have the gift of evangelism or not. Having a tool to do this makes it a lot easier, and Explore has been that tool for me.
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