A Methodist Way of Life - Commitment 12: We will share our faith with others
by Rev Jacky Quarmby 22 July 2022
Reading: 1 Peter 3: 8 – 17
This commitment may seem difficult, but the commitment to share is not primarily about standing up in front of a crowd or knocking on peoples’ doors, it is about sharing our faith with other people, where we find ourselves, when it seems appropriate. It is not about preaching at, but sharing with. It is about sharing our story, honestly, as someone who has discovered that Christian faith makes a difference to life. It is, as Peter says in this reading, “giving an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” So it may mean simply answering questions like, “Why do you go to church?” or “What made you become a Christian?” or “What difference does believing in God make to you?”
Sharing our faith does not have to happen at a big evangelical event. It will more often happen in the context of a conversation with a friend or neighbour or work colleague. And the word sharing implies that the other person is given the opportunity to participate, and to share their own story of life and faith with us. Sharing faith can be a little like sharing food. When we share food with others we are respectful and mindful of their needs and preferences and would never insist that food is eaten, if it is not wanted. In the same way, as Peter advises in his letter, we share our faith with others who are willing to engage, who are curious to hear the reason for the hope that we have. And we share our faith with gentleness and respect - we do not force it on someone who is clearly not interested.
So, if we are given an opportunity to share our faith, we might choose to tell a story of how God makes a difference to us. We may share honestly how our faith helps us in the ups and downs of life, and we may say something as simple as ‘I felt that God was with me when…’ and give an example of something we have experienced. We can build confidence in sharing our faith, by chatting regularly with other Christians about where we sense the presence of God in our lives.
It is claimed that the Methodist minister, D T Niles, once said that evangelism is “just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread”. Sharing our faith is simply sharing where we have found ‘food’; where we have found a hope that sustains us.
Next week, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, it is Holiday Club with the theme “Who is Jesus?” and we will be sharing our faith with children who live in the area, through bible stories, activities and songs. Every morning, before the children arrive, I will be sharing a thought with the leaders on the bible stories for that day. The “thoughts” will be posted up on “Thought for the Day” along with one of the songs we will sing on that day and a prayer for the Club. Please share with us in thinking about the children who attend the Holiday Club, by reading the “Thoughts” each morning, enjoying the song, and praying for us.
Song: We want to see Jesus lifted high
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Too often my feet
Are slow to move,
Hesitant to step out,
And back away from faith conversations
Rather than walking into them confidently.
Today would you
Clothe my feet with readiness,
Keep them from stumbling,
Direct them where to walk,
And quicken them to move.
Feet are rarely admired,
But you call them beautiful
When they carry your gospel.
As I step out in faith and obedience,
I pray that people consider my words,
My manner and my message,
To be hopeful, truthful,
And beautiful. Amen.