Discovering the joy in sharing your faith

“I’ll tell the world how great and good you are, I’ll shout Hallelujah all day, every day.” Psalm 35:28 [The Message]

One of my favourite elements of the Methodist ethos is that we have a passion for evangelism. John Wesley exemplified what it meant to possess a zeal for saving the lost. He boldly preached “The Good News” unashamedly wherever he went. Sharing our faith is essential.

Charles Spurgeon in answering a student’s question, ‘Will the heathen who have not heard the Gospel be saved?’ remarked ” It is more a question with me whether we, who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not, can be saved.” This is true and yet evangelism shouldn’t be something that we do begrudgingly out of divine obligation. Instead it should flow from our experience of having met Jesus.

One of my best-loved biblical pictures is that of the formerly demon-possessed man turned evangelist. Following his encounter with Jesus he is charged with the following task: “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” And so we are told, that this is what he did.

“The man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” Luke 8:39 (NIV) Scripture doesn’t tell us how much God accomplished through the testimony of this man, but I can imagine that it was significant.

May we likewise be prepared to joyfully tell how much God has done for us.

Andrew Brown, Student Ministries Director [email protected] www.fmdog.ca

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In my Christian life, I have always felt a bit different. Ever since I first became a follower of Christ at the age of 12, I had this huge passion to share Jesus with everyone I met so that they could experience the fullness of knowing Him too. It did not matter where I was or even if I knew the person or not. It was effortless and easy to talk to people about Jesus. For years I never fully understood the depth of my passion and the intensity that drove my desires to share the Gospel. About fourteen years ago I completed a spiritual gift assessment offered through my church. Through this assessment, I discovered that one of my strongest spiritual gifts was evangelism. This totally put things into perspective for me. I now understood that this was a gift from God and He wired me up to share Jesus with everyone. It was in His plan all along and I played one small part in this master plan. This plan included the body of believers as a whole; a team united together, each using their individual spiritual gifts to complement each other to bring glory to God and further His kingdom.

A few years ago, I remember sitting in a hospital waiting room — my husband’s grandmother was passing away after devoting a long and faithful life to our Father. While I was in the waiting room, I noticed this woman sitting alone and quite distressed. I remember praying to God asking Him to use me in any way to help her. Before I knew it, I was sitting beside her; praying with her and seeing her accept Jesus back into her life. Over the next few months that followed, I thought about her and prayed for her many times, really wishing I would have gotten her telephone number so I could follow up with her to see how she was doing. As time went on, a close friend of mine was shopping at a grocery store and was waiting in line to pay for her purchases. A woman standing in line behind started a conversation with her. She commented on the unique cross necklace my friend was wearing. She then asked my friend if she knew of a church called Northview and if she knew a woman named Belinda. My friend said that she attended Northview and that Belinda was a friend of hers. It turns out that this woman was the person I had a conversation with many months ago in that hospital waiting room. As a result of that conversation, she became on fire again for God, went back to her home church and was living a life that glorified God. I was blessed to get a glimpse of how God used me in His overall plan. One of my favorite verses I love is from Matthew 7:7-8 “ASK and it will be given to you; SEEK and you will find; KNOCK and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, The Door Will Be Opened” Matthew 7:7-8

My journey today has taken me into the role of Pastor of Young People at our church. For quite a few years, we have hosted annual ‘all-nighter’ events at our church that are an outreach to the youth of our church and surrounding neighborhoods This year’s event theme was called ‘MySpace’ which by the end of the night turned into ‘GodSpace’. There were approximately 68 teens attending and by the next morning, eight teens gave their lives to Christ (one of them being a former Jehovah’s Witness). One boy, who is in my son’s grade eight class at school, attended this event. He comes from a dysfunctional home life which lacks direction. That night, he gave his life to Christ while talking and praying with one of the youth leaders. He later asked if I could pray with him in the Prayer Room, which I did. When I finished praying, he immediately prayed for me. The following week, we presented him with a Bible.

God is at work in my life daily. Understanding how He has wired me up has changed me. My desire is not only to see people come to Christ, but I want them to get hooked up with Him for the rest of their lives.

Belinda Leibel, Pastor of Young People
Northview Community Church, Regina, SK

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