I pulled up behind a line of cars at the stop sign and casually looked out the passenger window. She caught my eye immediately. She sat on the bus stop bench, tears streaming down her face, sobs wracking her body.
I wondered what was wrong and felt the sudden urge to pull over the car. Well it was more than an urge really, it was a voice. The Holy Spirit whispered to me “pull over and go talk to her”.
My first reaction was a firm “No way Lord! Are you crazy?” But something about the hopelessness in her face moved me and when it was my turn to go, I turned to the right instead of going straight home, and pulled over. As I got out of the car doubts raced through my mind. But my feet led me on and eventually I was at her side.
Sitting down she turned to me and I asked “Are you okay?”. She began to pour out her story without hesitation – as though I was an old friend. She told me how she’d just been fired from her job and didn’t even have bus fare to get home. I handed her a bus ticket and asked if I could pray for her. She shook her head and so I hugged her and told her I would pray once back in my car. She nodded and I left.
What does it mean to share Christ with the world? How can we truly be “witnesses” to those around us? Does it mean handing out tracts on a street corner? Approaching strangers in the mall and asking them if they know Christ? Or could it be as simple as pulling over your car at a stop sign to ask a crying girl if she’s okay?
I heard an amazing sermon a couple of weeks ago and in it the pastor gave a simple 3 step model for being a witness. Not only is it easy to remember, but it’s easy to live out as well.
The first step he shared is to simply choose 3 people in your life whom you know need Jesus and begin to pray for them. Ask God to help you think of these three. Maybe its your neighbor, a friend from school or work, or a family member. Begin to pray for these people each day, asking God to provide opportunities for you to share his love with them. One thing I like to do when praying for others is imagine I’m bringing that person to Jesus and then ask him what he wants to do for that person. And when you don’t know what to pray, trust that the Spirit will intercede on your behalf as he promises in his word.
This step is all about finding a way to practically show care to the three people you’ve been praying for. Maybe this means giving the person a card, preparing them a meal, or offering to watch their kids. It’s about showing God’s love in a practical way, which meets a felt need of the individual. This is what Jesus did when he healed the sick, or cast out a demon. He cared for the person by dealing with the immediate, physical need they had. This step also builds a relationship of trust between you and the person you are caring for.
Now its time to pray for an opportunity to share specifically about the love of God and what he’s done in your life. It’s not about shoving the bibe down someone’s throat or asking them if they’re going to heaven or hell. Its about being ready to give the reason for the hope that you have. It means speaking about God to those who don’t know Christ in the same way you’d speak about him to your Christian friends. And it’s likely that as you develop these relationships further, you won’t even be the one to bring the topic up! At some point this person will begin to wonder why you have such light and love and hope and may ask you why. This is when you can share what Christ has done in your life and how he can do the same in theirs.
Sharing Christ with others doesn’t have to be a scary or intimidating thing. It can be as simple as prayer – care – share. And when you listen to the still small voice and are obedient to it, you show God he can trust you with more.