How your church can share faith
As Christians the idea of sharing our faith with those who don’t believe is baked into our beliefs. It’s right there in Scripture, in a passage known as the Great Commission in Matthew 26:
‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.’
This is Jesus speaking to His disciples just before He leaves them for the final time. And they did, after some help from the Holy Spirit, share their faith with many people. The church grew and grew, drawing to it all sorts of people from many different parts of society to form new communities. These new communities offered a different way of living, which valued and cared for those that others didn’t care about. Women and slaves were particularly numerous among the early church, because they found there a group who valued them in their own right, instead of seeing them for what they provided. This sharing of God’s love is how the church grew, slowly and surely, through its early life, and why we are here 20 centuries later.
The church today has the same calling- to reach out to those without faith and introduce them to the Good News of Jesus. But how do we go about it? When we think about this, we can find ourselves paralysed by indecision, or by the enormity of what we are trying to do. We can get lost thinking about how we go about this, whether it’ll be successful, how much it will cost financially and in time. At Church Army reaching out is a core part of our history. Wilson Carlile, our founder, believed that the Good News was for all and put this into action. He preached in tough places, to those who others wouldn’t go to. He recruited and trained local people to reach out more effectively than he could to their peers. He wanted to see churches filled with the people who lived around them.
Like the early church, Wilson was driven by the Great Commission, and drew others to him who shared that drive and passion. This motivation is at the heart of Church Army today, though we recognise that the time we live in is very different to that of Wilson Carlile, and even more so than the world of the early church.
However, we want to see the same things happen as they did, and have spent time thinking and praying about how to help others do this well. Part of the result of this has been the development of Faith Shared, a resource for local churches, which helps members to see how they have been brought to faith, helps us to see where God is active in the world around us and we can join in, and which helps build a sustainable plan for outreach for churches which can be repeated year after year. It does this through six sessions entitled:
- What is Evangelism? Taking apart our assumptions about evangelism so we can see what was originally meant by it.
- What is your story? Taking time to reflect on our journey of faith so we can put the experience into words.
- Where and how can you share your story? Thinking about those times and places where you are already present in the everyday that you can share your faith.
- Jesus’s Story? Reflecting on the central place of Jesus in our faith, how others perceive Him, and how we can introduce others to Him in a new way.
- How does your church invite people to be part of its story? How does your church currently reach out and invite others to be part of it?
- Ideas for outreach. Planning ahead to think about a year in your churches life and points that you can invite others to join you.
We want to see more and more people experience the love of God. We want to see more Christians and churches feel confident in sharing their faith, and we want to support as many as we can through our resources.
Faith Shared is entirely free and can be downloaded ready to use by clicking here.
We’d love to hear about your experiences of running Faith Pictures with your church, so connect with us here. If you have questions about Faith Shared, I’d love to hear from you and you can get in touch with me via email here. Still not sure? Watch this short video about Faith Shared.