We’ve recently shared a few articles encouraging us all that now is a brilliant time to share our faith. I wonder if you read those articles and reacted a bit like me. Theoretically you agree but in practice your reality is very different.

Evangelism is something that I think is important but in practice I find it very hard to do.”

I struggle with imposter syndrome. My job title at the Evangelical Alliance is evangelism and theology officer’. Now besides the fact that my job title makes me sound like a law enforcement officer, the title might lead people to think I find it easy to tell people about Jesus. However, that is not the case. Evangelism is something that I think is important but in practice I find it very hard to do. There are a whole host of reasons why this is the case. Here are a few to get us started. I’m an introvert – that doesn’t mean I don’t like people; it’s just that I like them in manageable doses, and it often takes me a while to develop deep friendships. Because it takes a long time to develop friendships, I fear losing them and therefore struggle with worrying about saying something that might upset or offend people. When I am in group situations, I like to blend into the crowd and am very unlikely to say something that will draw attention to me. This mix has the potential to make it very easy for me not to share my faith, especially during this time of lockdown. I wonder if any of this resonates with you?

I recently watched a talk by the evangelist J John. Encouraging us to share our faith during this time, he said that we could do this by praying, caring and sharing. Whilst I’m not a prayer warrior’, I’ve been known to pray for friends and family to come to faith in Jesus Christ. Similarly, I’m no Mother Theresa, but I do really enjoy helping people in practical ways. Out of J John’s the suggestions, it’s the one that comes most naturally to me. There’s no surprise there because that fits with my strong desire to be liked!

However, what’s been funny during lockdown is that our neighbours are out-caring’ us at every turn. No sooner has someone shared a need in our street WhatsApp group then someone has responded before I’ve even seen the message. There are good Samaritans everywhere. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, it’s not, it’s good – a sign that we are all made in the image of God. Yet, in terms of trying to witness through my caring actions, I keep getting there just too late.

What I find difficult is bringing faith into my everyday conversations with people.

That leaves me with sharing. I would agree with Phil Knox’s article on the Great Commission site, stating that we are developing deeper friendships with our neighbours during this time, and I’m really enjoying that growing sense of community spirit. Yet, what I find difficult is bringing faith into my everyday conversations with people. An analogy that might be helpful to you is that of the Couch to 5k app which helps people get into running. I would say I’m not on the couch, our neighbours and friends do know we’re Christians. However, I don’t think I’m running yet, more like a brisk walk. I wonder where you would put yourself in that analogy.

The great thing about the couch to 5k is you learn to celebrate every small step. That is something I’m having to learn with sharing my faith. I came across a very encouraging quote from the book The Word’s Out:

God wants to use us as we are and not as we think we should be. God wants to work through our character, background, personality and interests… We don’t have to become someone else or a caricature of ourselves before we can be involved in God’s adventure of evangelism.”

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You learn to celebrate every small step.

Maybe you, like me, have often thought you have to become like someone else to share your faith, maybe someone like my good friend and colleague Phil. Yet, we’ve all been made uniquely for a reason. My life has been transformed by becoming a disciple of Jesus and I do want those around me to have that same life-transforming experience. God does want to work through my character, background, personality and interests, but I also need some training. That’s why I’m very excited to journey with you through the Story Bearer sessions: How to share your faith during coronavirus. My hope is that by the end I’ll have moved from brisk walking, to a few minutes running and then will have gained the confidence to believe that I’m on the trajectory to regularly running 5ks.

We’d love you to join us.