Our church's vision is to impact our world for Christ, and one of the four ways we do that is to SHARE.
Sharing Jesus is a core aspect of the Christian faith, repeatedly demonstrated in the New Testament, including the commandment by Jesus to go make disciples of all nations. Our culture sometimes says: "Your faith is a private matter." But the Bible says there's not only a responsibility but a joy in Sharing Jesus with others!
Share Jesus Through BLESS
BLESS is a set of five simple practices each one of us can adopt that will help us impact our neighbors for Christ.
Most of the prayers by Jesus recorded in Scripture were prayers for people.Before He chose his disciples, He prayed for them (Luke 6:12). Before He sent them out in ministry, He prayed for them (Matthew 9:37). How much do you pray for your friends who don’t yet follow Jesus?
Easy Ways to Begin with Prayer
» Set a reminder on your phone to pray for the person you’re committing to BLESS this year. » Walk in your neighborhood and pray for your neighbors. » Become a prayer partner with someone else and keep each other praying. » Pray for your BLESS commitment friend with your spouse or small group. » Ask God to make clear an opportunity to BLESS someone in your neighborhood.
Books to Help You Pray
"How to Pray: Reflections and Essays" by C.S. Lewis. This short collection pulls together excerpts from C.S. Lewis’ writings on prayer. Click here for Amazon link.
"Praying for Unsaved Loved Ones" by Lee Strobel. Encouragement for persistent prayer for family and friends who don’t yet know Jesus (33 minutes). Click here to access on YouTube.
"Your Kingdom Come" by Pete Grieg. Part of "The Prayer Course," discover how God uses our prayer to make a difference in the lives of others (22 minutes). Click to access on RightNow Media. (Don't have free RightNow Media access? Click here first.)
L: Listen with Care
Jesus is known for his talking and teaching, but He also did a lot of listening. In fact, much of His teaching was in response to questions. Sometimes we think that being a witness means talking, but most of the time we need to listen before we speak.
A practical way to BLESS someone is to avoid the “casual conversation” by asking questions and truly listening to their answers. Then we can share how the Gospel is good news for their situation.
Questions to Prompt "Listen" Opportunities
» Tell me your story. » What’s your favorite ... (sports team, restaurant, etc.) » What do you like to do with yourfree time? » Who are the important people inyour life? » What do you think about … » Why do you feel that way? » What do you think aboutspiritual things? » How can I pray for you?
"What Are the Best Questions for Spiritual Conversation?" by Sean McDowell. Sean gives us some great ideas to start genuine conversations(3 minutes). Click here to access on YouTube.
"The Art of Spiritual Conversations" by ExploreGod.com. Reflections from multiple people about how to be genuine and caring in having conversations about faith (2 minutes). Click here to access on YouTube.
Books to Help You Listen with Care
"Gospel Fluency" by Jeff Vanderstelt. Understanding people’s real needs and communicating “good news” to them. Click here for Amazon link.
"Please Listen to Me! A Christian’s Guide to Reflective Listening" by Dick Fetzer. If you want to learn how to become a compassionate and helpful listener, this book teaches you the practical skills you need. Click here for Amazon link.
"Walking with God: How to Hear His Voice" by John Eldredge. Listening to God and learning to hear his voice. Click here for Amazon link.
Article to Help You Listen with Care
"Why Listening Is a Key Practice for Evangelism" by Gino Curcuruto. This brief article describes why it is so important to listen first before trying to explain the Gospel to others. Click here to read.
E: Eat Together
If we eat three times a day, we have 21 meals each week. When we invite someone to share one of those mealtimes with us, we are opening a door to relationship and friendship.
Jesus ate with people so often, he was even accused of being a glutton! Jesus practiced and taught holy hospitality. He demonstrated the fellowship that can occur over a meal together. He was taking care of people’s physical and spiritual needs simultaneously. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Matthew 25:35)
Ideas For Eating Together
» Invite someone out for coffee » Invite others to a meal at home or at a restaurant » Bring some snacks while engaging in a common-interest activity (hobby, bowling, game night, etc.) » Host a BBQ and/or firepit time (add some yard games) » Order takeout and have a picnic » Make a meal for someone who is shut in, then eat with them
Two Things to Remember
Whatever the activity, make sure you can share conversation and break bread together.
The meal does not need to be homemade; what matters is that you are sharing a meal.
"The Simplest Way to Change the World: Biblical Hospitality as a Way of Life" by Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements. How to balance daily responsibilities and your desire to BLESS others . Click here for Christianbook.com link.
"Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation" by Jen Schmidt. Personal stories and practical insights on opening up your home to others. Click here for Christianbook.com link.
S: Serve with Love
Although BLESS doesn’t have to be a step-by-step method, by “Beginning with Prayer,” and then “Listening with Care,” you will discover how you can “Serve” someone as well. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve …” (Mark 10:45).
Ideas For Serving with Love
» Grab a rake and offer to get those leaves off your neighbor’s lawn. » Got a vegetable garden or flower bed? Share a bit of your harvest or foliage with someone at work. » Offer to babysit (for free!) so a friend or couple can enjoy a night out. » If a co-worker has just come back from a couple of sick days, ask what you can do to help them catch up on the workload. » Leave a positive online review for your favorite business or restaurant » Offer to walk an elderly neighbor’s dog when the streets are icy » Help someone with a resume or learn a needed job skill
"Serving as Foster Parents." A young couple with two foster daughters shares the pain and blessing of serving and loving children, knowing that they may have to give them up some day. (3 minutes) Click here to access on RightNow Media. (Don't have free RightNow Media access? Click here first.)
"Serving the Mentally Disabled." A young couple shares how their lives and their marriage were enriched when three young men with developmental disabilities moved into their home. (3 minutes) Click here to access on RightNow Media. (Don't have free RightNow Media access? Click here first.)
"Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World" by Bob Goff. Bob’s life is a series of interactions that leave you wondering how he possibly could have done that, but he has blessed people all over the world. Click here for the ChristianBook.com link.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! (Psalm 96:3)
After the resurrection, the disciples shared the good news of Jesus and impacted the world. One historian said they “turned the world upside down.” As followers of Jesus, we have a wonderful story to share. When we share how God has made a difference in our lives, it helps others to see how God could work in their life.
A Simple Approach to Share Your Story
A lot of people struggle with this one! But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are three simple talking points:
Part 1: My Life Before Jesus. Who were you? What was your life like?
Part 2: How I Met Jesus. What did you learn or experience that led you to invite Jesus into your life? How did you invite Jesus into your life?
Part 3: My Life Since I Met Jesus. How has following Jesus changed your life?
Share your answers with a friend. It will help you remember the main points when you have future opportunities.
"Steps to Peace" by Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. (3 minsutes) Help answering the question, “How do I become a Christian?” A simple presentation of the gospel by Billy Graham, with a simple sharing tool “Steps to Peace with God.” Steps To Peace - Steps to Peace
"Witness at Work" by Right Now Media. An air traffic controller at a major airport shares how perseverance in sharing the Gospel and building friendships at work led to the conversion of a co-worker who was against religion. Click here to access on RightNow Media. (Don't have free RightNow Media access? Click here first.)
Share the Gospel by Cru. A collection of helpful resources for sharing your faith with others. Share the Gospel | Cru
Share Jesus Through a Drawing
"Creation to Conclusion" is a way to share Jesus through a five-step drawing that's easy to learn ... and easy to draw for someone else! It tells the entire arc of the Bible -- God's big story -- in just minutes. Below, Senior Pastor Rob O'Neal shares what each part of the drawing represents.
Share Jesus Through World Outreach
Participating in Valley's World Outreach ministry is a great way to share Jesus throughout the world. Whether you're praying for a missionary partner, giving to support our world and regional outreach partners, or taking a trip yourself, the goal is the same: help fulfill the Great Commission as Jesus commanded! To learn more about World Outreach and how you can pray/give/go, simply go to our World Outreach page linked below.