Why in the World Would I Share my Faith?
“Why in the world would I want to talk to anyone about my faith?” In my line of work, believe it or not, I have heard that question many times. It is usually followed up with, “I would have no idea what to say” or “I don’t have the Bible memorized” or “I don’t know the Scriptures that well.” Many excuses are used. And yes, they are excuses. Hi, I’m Bob Hickling and I’m blunt. But please read on.
For those of you who don’t know, I work for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, specifically in the Crusade Ministries department. I have been involved in BGEA crusades since 1997. One component of crusade work is what we call the Christian Life & Witness Course, or “CLWC.” This course was written in the mid 1950’s when Mr. Graham was holding a crusade in England. It has been revised over the years, but the main precepts have not changed. This course is the training for those who volunteer to be counselors at a crusade service. At a crusade an invitation to come forward and accept Christ as Lord and Savior is given after the sermon. Our trained counselors meet one-on-one with those who come forward, we call them “inquirers,” to solidify the decision that is being made and to pray for the inquirer.
The course has made such a huge impact in churches around the world that we always encourage every church member to take the training even if they don’t want to be a counselor. So we will often have people comment, “I do NOT want to be a counselor but I will take the training.” Funny thing is, those are the very people who are at the front of the line to turn in an application to be a counselor!
The CLWC has four parts:
Session 1 – The Effective Christian Life
Explores biblical principles for living a life that pleases God, the preeminence of the Bible, and reliance on God’s power for effective service.
Session 2 – The Victorious Christian Life
Examines the reality of our daily walk with God and presents His provision for it. The result is an abundant life walking with Him, victorious over both temptation and adversity.
Session 3 – The Christian’s Witness
Shows how our lives, yielded to God, can be a powerful witness to others. Practical tips for an effective witness are presented.
Session 4 – Follow-Up and Care of New Christians
Presents the concepts of friendship evangelism and shares practical ways we can follow up with those we lead to Christ.
After the second session, we give an invitation in the classes. 99.9% of the attendees are church members. But we often see 3% to 7% of the church members present realize they have never accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. Another 10% to 20% seek assurance of their salvation and a whopping 10% to 33% rededicate their lives to Christ. Church members who had been attending church for years realized they never accepted Jesus as Lord or needed assurance of that commitment or rededicated themselves to living an effective and victorious Christian life!!
So what does that have to do with why we should share our faith? I’m glad you asked! If we share our faith with someone, God could be working on their heart, drawing them to Himself, and we could be the earthly vessel God uses to speak to that person in a way that makes them realize they need Jesus in their life. You don’t have to know the Bible inside and out. You don’t have to have Scripture memorized. You just need to make yourself available to God and allow Him to work through you. It really is easy! You can do it!!
For My Hope America with Billy Graham, the Matthew Training is a trimmed down version of the CLWC. It’s the same first three sessions’ information without the training to be a counselor. You have one more opportunity to take this training. DO IT! To really answer the “WHY” question do some simple math…if we have 50 Matthew homes from within UCUMC and the average My Hope response rate is 2.2 salvations per home, then that means a potential of 110 new Christians at UCUMC!! Why not be a part of that??
If you’re still struggling with doubts, fears or questions, please see me at church or contact my wife, Kristen, or Tammy Cline. We would be glad to answer any questions you have.