The story is told of a man who desperately wanted to share his faith but he was afraid. So he began praying a special prayer to God. "Lord, I'm too scared to tell people about Jesus but if you give me a clear sign that you want me to witness for you, I will! So give me a sign Lord. Amen."
The man felt really good after this prayer. He had just thrown the ball in God's court so from here on out it was up to God to make things happen. So he grabbed his things and jumped on the bus to head to work. That morning the bus was surprisingly empty. At about the third stop a woman dressed in a suit walked in. There were many seats empty, but for some weird reason she sat down right next to where the man of our story was sitting. There was a troubled look on her face, but the man just ignored her. Then suddenly the woman pulled out a Bible and began to read frantically from one side to another as if she had no idea where to even begin. Then, to top it all off she slammed the book shut and yelled at the top of her lungs, "Oh, what must I do to be saved?"
At this the man of our story timidly looked up to heaven and prayed, "Lord, is this a sign that you want me to witness?"
I'm not sure how much more evidence this wise-guy was waiting for, but one thing is clear - witnessing freaked him out to the point that he was still looking for a way out even when it was staring him in the face. And truth be told, this is the primary reason why many Christians never share their faith - or at least struggle to do so. It's awkward, scary, and a bit confronting. And for those who are introverts the struggle can be even worse! But have no fear, below I share with you what I have found to be the introverts awesome guide to sharing your faith. (note: the guide is not just for introverts. Works for everyone.)
1. Pray for the person you want to share your faith with for a specified period of time. It can be for two weeks, a month, or even longer. Just don't drag it out for too long.
2. Mingle with the person during that time in non-religious ways. Use this time to either strengthen or to build a trusting relationship. The best way to often do this is to find innocent activities they enjoy and ask them to teach you (note: innocent. Don't ask them to teach you how to puff-puff-pass if that's what they are into).
3. Serve the person during that time by finding small or perhaps large ways in which you can meet a need of theirs. It could be something as simple as helping them with an assignment or something as big as walking them through relationship drama. And remember, you are simply there to "serve" not "resolve". Stick to the former. The latter could land you in a mess you don't want to be in.
4. When your specified period of time is up, share your faith with the person by using the following approach:
i. Tell the person know you have been praying for them. That's it. Its that simple. And in my experience I have never had anyone, even the most non-religious, get angry or defensive about this. I'm not saying it can't happen, but it would be really rare. At this point all you are doing is saying something like "Hey, I just wanted you to know that I try to pray often and recently I have been praying for you." Once you have said this just gauge their reaction. If they are thankful or open then go on to the next step. If they seem weirded out or standoffish then back off and set a new time limit to pray for them. When the new time limit ends, remind them you have been praying for them and then go on to the next step.
ii. Ask them if there is anything specific they would like you to pray for. You can do this simply by saying, "I love praying for other people. Is there anything specific I could ask for when I pray for you?" Note: Don't say "Let me know if there is anything I can pray for..." Most people will take this as a rain check and never actually tell you anything.
iii. Follow Up on their requests. Sincerely pray for their request and follow up from time to time. Don't be annoying! Just be natural and sincere. Ask God to reveal himself to them via their request and then ask them how its going.
iv. Invite them to a non-churchy church event. Once you have been doing this for some time you will be able to gauge if the person is spiritually keen or not. Either way, plan a non-churchy event with friends from church and invite them. This could be a barbecue, a day at the beach, or a movie night. Whatever it is, make sure whoever attends this event know to avoid discussions and topics that could scare a visitor away from ever coming to church.
v. Ask them about their faith journey. This next step doesnt have to come before or after the previous one, but ask it when it seems natural to do so. Simply ask them about their faith journey. Don't ask them to debate or argue. Just ask them to trully hear and learn. Show sincere interest in them and be understanding.
vi. Share your own. Once they have shared their faith journey with you, kindly ask them if you could share your own. Then simply tell them your story and why Jesus means so much to you. Don't try and convert them, just share with them why Jesus means so much to you. Use this as an opportunity to gently challenge their worldview, but don't allow the discussion to turn into an argument or all is lost. Depending on their reaction you could even take a step forward and invite them to a visitor-friendly event at your church.
That's it guys! Pretty simple hey? Give it a shot and see how you go. Remember that you are praying through this entire process and never forget that its not your job to convert anyone. Just share your passion for Jesus and let the Holy Spirit worry about the rest.