Jesus's message changes our ordinary lives.
Ordinary days turn into ordinary years—Have you ever felt that your life is just ordinary? Day by day, you work through the same tasks, the same existence, only to get up and do it all over again.
We tend to think everyone in the Bible lived an extraordinary life—Moses parting the sea, Esther rescuing the Jews, and Lazarus rising from the dead. But daily life in Bible times is no exception.
Throughout the Scriptures, we see evidence that God often calls the ordinary. The people who least expected to be chosen.
When Jesus approached the disciples, He walked right up to them and said two words changed their lives forever, “Follow me” (Matt. 4:19)
Something powerful happened when Jesus said those two words—it was an invitation. They were seen. They were wanted. They were chosen.
Jesus’s invitation was not the cultural norm at that time. In the first-century Jewish culture, only the most gifted male students dared ask to follow a rabbi. Jewish boys studied the Torah, with hopes to attend secondary school to continue learning. Only the brightest students were selected, and then only a few were allowed to be a talmid (disciple) of a rabbi (teacher).
The student with the highest honors would courageously ask their favorite rabbi, “May I follow you?” Which we could interpret, “Do I have what it takes to be a rabbi like you?” Then the talmid would hope for the best as the rabbi decided if he was worthy.
A bold ask, but with a considerable return. If they made the cut, the talmid would follow, study and hope to one day be a respected rabbi too.
Jesus’s message was different. It defied cultural norms.
The people Jesus chose were ordinary. They never made it to secondary school and never got the chance to follow anyone until Rabbi Jesus asked them.
Aren’t you glad to know Jesus chooses people the world would say are inadequate or not qualified?
After all, no one is worthy or sufficient for Jesus’s invitation.
Jesus’s qualifiers are “heart” qualifiers, not a checklist of accomplishments on a resume. He looks for our motives, our dependence on Him, and our willingness to follow Him.
Think of the twelve disciples and how they responded to Jesus’s invitation: “Follow me.”
They left everything they knew behind. For three years, they followed Him. They hoped to one day be just like their Rabbi Jesus.
Jesus invested in “ordinary” men and women. He shared faith essentials with them daily as they walked through life together. As the disciples learned each day about the Kingdom of God and their part in God’s story, Jesus led them in the ultimate discipleship experience.
In turn, these disciples changed the world. These “ordinary” men and women did extraordinary things. Their experience with Jesus transformed them, and their approach to sharing Jesus’s message was the same: Invest in others—sharing the love of Jesus, modeling the life of Jesus, and teaching obedience to the commands of Jesus.
Part of Jesus’s message for us is to “go and make disciples of every nation.” (Matt. 28:18-20) What does this mean?
We tell the world until no place is left that has not heard (Matt 24:14). “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (John 3:16, emphasis added). Jesus came for the whole world.
Yes, Jesus came to rescue all people, so we all—both men and women—go to all people regardless of nationality, race, gender, or social status.
We are all God’s image-bearers, all sinners in need of grace, all dearly loved by God.
Jesus already did the hardest part—we simply need to tell His story.
But how? We listen, learn, love, as we follow our Lord Jesus.
Listen for the Holy Spirit to lead you. You can pray:
Lord, give me an opportunity to share Your love with _____________. Open their heart. Give me Your words (Luke 12:12).
Lord, is there anyone searching for You near me? Help us connect.
Listen for needs.
- Life transitions are often moments in people’s lives when they are searching for guidance and are ready to hear Jesus’s message.
- During trials, people are often more aware of their need for God. Listen for hardship, hurt, stress, worry, big decisions, or anxiety.
1. Learn their story, including what they believe.
The most effective way to understand someone, or to start spiritual conversations, is to ask questions. Take time to listen to the responses you receive. Don’t correct what they say when they respond.
Listening well is a form of loving well. Ask one or more of the following questions:
- Do you have any spiritual beliefs?
- Do you believe in God?
- If yes, ask, “Who is God to you?”
- If no, ask, “Has there ever been a time when you thought there might be a God?” (Even if they say no, you can ask the next question to continue the conversation in a spiritual direction.)
- Who do you think Jesus is? Factual versus relational answers can give insight into a person’s spiritual condition (“Jesus is God’s Son” is different from “Jesus is my God”).
- Has anyone shared the good news of Jesus with you before?
- Have you had a desire to go to heaven? Do you know how to get there?
For more, watch our video How to Start Spiritual Conversations.
2. Listen for a connection and ask to share your story.
Listen for a way you can connect your story to their story. Your purpose is not to talk about yourself or make the conversation about you. Your purpose is to find a way to say, “I understand” or “I thought that way, too.”
Then, share how your life changed when someone shared God’s Story with you.
You can ask one of the following permission questions to determine whether to continue:
- May I share some good news that changed my life?
- Can I share how I found a personal relationship with God?
- For someone experiencing difficulties, ask, “Can I share with you something that got me through a difficult time in my life?”
If you do not receive permission to continue, do not push the discussion. Just encourage them and let them know you’re available should they want to talk in the future. You have not failed; you have done what God called you to do.
Pray silently for that person and wait for a time when your words might be welcome. Take a deep breath and remember it’s God’s responsibility to draw them to Him (John 6:44). Your responsibility is to be His witness.
Sharing your story leads to sharing God’s Story—the greatest love story. The most natural way of doing this is by sharing your story and God’s Story together. God gave you a unique story that can help others, so do not be afraid to tell it. Your story might include healing from abuse, joy in suffering, or awakening to God’s purposes for you.
As you share your story and Jesus’s story of salvation, remember to include four essential components. To remember them easily, let’s think of it as a recipe. Gospel Bread requires four ingredients for the full meaning of the message to come out just right.
Let’s take a closer look at each ingredient:
1. God loves us
Share how we were created by God to glorify Him and experience His perfect love. God desires that we know Him and have a close relationship with Him—now and forever. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 ESV).
2. Sin separates us
Share how sin broke our loving relationship with God. Sin means turning from God’s will in our attitude or actions. Living life our way, rather than God’s way, separates us from Him and results in death (Isa. 59:2; Rom. 6:23). No one is without sin. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23 ESV).
3. Jesus saves us
Share how God loves us so much that He did not want us to remain separated from His love. God sent His only Son, Jesus, to save us from the penalty of sin and give us new, eternal life. “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Rom. 5:8). Salvation is by God’s grace through Jesus Christ, not our efforts or good works (Eph. 2:8-9).
4. Repentance and faith change us
Share that when we turn from our sins and trust Jesus alone as the Forgiver and life Leader, He makes us new (2 Cor. 5:17). God restores our relationship with Him now, and one day we’ll be with Him in heaven—our perfect home. “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved” (Rom. 10:9-10). Faith and repentance go together.
Sharing Jesus's message takes commitment.
You said “yes” to Jesus’s invitation. Commit to being His ambassador, and follow Jesus as Lord. The Holy Spirit will help you. With many world religions being fear-driven, the love-driven message of Jesus is truly good news—the best news—you can share with a hurting world.
5 Steps to Sharing God's Story Using 3 Circles
This tool uses this easy way of sharing Jesus’s message. It provides a visual way to explain the gospel message in three main parts. Follow the instructions below and practice with a friend.
- Draw left circle with a heart—explain God’s love and design for our lives.
- Draw right circle and sin arrow-explain how we all choose to go our own way rather than trusting God. That’s called sin and creates brokenness in relationships, starting with our relationship with God.
- Draw three arrows from brokenness circle in direction away from God. Explain that each arrow represents ways people try to fix their brokenness-with accomplishments, possessions, religion, trying to be good, or addictions. Only a relationship with God can restore them.
- Draw bottom circle-explain how God sent His only Son, Jesus (draw downward arrow), to take our punishment for sin by dying on a cross (draw cross). Jesus rose from the dead (draw up arrow), defeating death and proving to the world He is God, our Savior.
- Draw arrow from brokenness to Jesus-explain how when we turn from our ways (repent) and follow Jesus as our Leader (draw crown above circle), our relationship with God is restored (draw arrow back to God).
Journal and commit to sharing Jesus's Message with others.
Download our FREE printable testimony tool to help you. (Tip—print double sided and fold to keep in your Bible, then refer to it each day as you do your quiet time with God.)
Listen, Learn, Love, Lord Testimony Tool
Sharing Jesus's message takes courage.
The Holy Spirit may lead you to share Jesus’s message with different people in different ways. But no matter how you share it, include all the Gospel Bread ingredients. (Remember the key words: love, sin, Jesus, repentance, and faith.)
The first few times you have a gospel conversation may seem a little uncomfortable, but it gets easier each time you introduce others to Jesus.
If sharing your faith scares you, think of the “ordinary” disciples stepping out on faith to follow Jesus. They stepped into the unknown before God met them in extraordinary ways throughout the journey.
He will do the same for you.
Practice sharing your testimony. Each time you share, your fears will fade. (We have another article for how to easily share your testiony in 15 seconds.)
If you would like to deepen your faith and learn a lifetime of faith essentials to prepare you to be a disciple maker for Jesus, learn about our newly-released 50-day faith journey Your True Story.
Remember, our sufficiency is from God (2 Cor. 3:5). Jesus’s disciples may not have felt worthy or sufficient either. God’s grace is all we need to share Jesus’s message. “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9, NLT).
Investing time in others to help them deepen their faith in Jesus will not only change their lives and future generations but also will change yours.
Jesus invited you to “follow Him.” Let’s listen, learn, and love to help others answer the invitation to follow Him as Lord.
Do you have a tip for starting spiritual conversations or sharing Jesus’s message with others?