How to Share the Gospel without Being a Mean Christian

Three months after moving into my apartment was a plastic package of a DVD and two thin books about salvation and what America is coming to. I don’t know how to tell you that you should care about other people, but this is not the way to share the world of God.

Following Jesus is not something we can create cheap, fear-mongering promotional tools and leave on people’s doorknobs without doing the complete opposite of what we are called to. Sharing the Word of God requires more than leaving unsolicited DVDs about how bad the world is because you disagree with the election results on people’s doors.

Why Christians Should Stop Soliciting Their Faith

Jesus is love. As followers of Jesus, our greatest Commandment is to love.

Maybe at this point you’re thinking that leaving things on people’s doors is love, but it’s not: Don’t downplay the situation at hand. That behavior is the same as salespeople soliciting in neighborhoods to people who don’t care or necessarily need those things.

You are forcing people you don’t know into finding ways to respond to you when they already don’t want to be sold to. Perhaps after walking away, you think, THIS is what’s wrong with the world today!

Not only are you placing them in a situation where they may feel forced to respond with resentment (you are unlikely the first!) — but you’re playing yourself in that same situation.

The Word of God doesn’t need a sales pitch. We have all the information we need to share God’s love with the world. Jesus died for our sins and bought us at a price! But that doesn’t mean that we need to become multi-level marketers.

Making assumptions about people, especially as a Christian, is dangerous. It is difficult and something I myself work at everyday, but you never know someone else’s situation:

  1. Perhaps they love and follow Jesus with all their heart, but cheap faith promos break their heart
  2. Perhaps they’re Deaf or Hard of Hearing, or they are just not comfortable speaking to people they know
  3. Perhaps they are neurodivergent, disabled, and/or struggling with mental illness, which puts you at risk for being liable if they behave a certain way after you speak to them. You are not a therapist; if you are, you are not their therapist.
  4. Perhaps they have been hurt by a church like yours in their past, in which case none of your Biblical platitudes are going to help them find their way back to God — in fact, you could wind up pushing them further away

How to Share Jesus’s Love

How do you share Jesus with the world without being a pushy, annoying jerk?

Stand out by standing up against Christians behaving badly

A friend in high school was defending herself against this guy she’d had a crush on, who kept harassing her because he couldn’t understand why she didn’t believe in God. Instead, she high-key couldn’t help but wonder if humans came from aliens — and if God was a sort of alien, since He is different from us.

On and on and on he went. She tucked her hands further into her sweater, so the arm opening covered her fingers. She’d stopped eating her lunch and started pushing her food around the tray. Everyone at our table was looking at her as he berated her for her beliefs.

What started as a joke in an upbeat conversation turned into abuse.

That is not Christian behavior.

No one else spoke up, and I recognized the situation as bullying from my 15 years of life.

So I did. And you know what, friends? The other people around the table looked at me so quickly. One guy said, “Of course it’s always the quietest ones.”

When it was just us, she said to me:

Thank you. No one who believes in God has ever [stood up for me] before. I didn’t know anyone would. I actually hated Christians because of it, but you’re my best friend and you did that. You’re not like them.

Behave differently from the people of the world

A common argument by Christians in any heated discussion is to validate their right to use Biblical texts a weapon because “we are not of this world”.

It’s true, in that we aren’t of this world — but by behaving like the people of this world instead of being different, we are. American Christians have really bad branding because so many of us forget that we are not supposed to be like the people of the world.

In fact, we are literally called to be different.

If someone tells you that you are “just like every other Christian”, it’s not a good sign. They are bringing to light the irony of calling oneself a Christian and not behaving the way Jesus commanded us to.

The world is hateful and arrogant. As Christians, we are called to love.

When we call ourselves Christians, when we say we know God, when we say we follow Jesus — we are representing Christ. Everything we do is in the name of Jesus, so why are we behaving in ways that Jesus would never?

Listen and adapt to their level

The gospel is meant to be good news. It’s not your job to convert people — only Jesus can do that through the seeds His followers have planted!

Listen to what people are saying to you. Meet them where they are, just as Jesus did back in the day, instead of insisting they get on your level. It’s not your job or place to decide what about them needs to be changed — it’s God’s, which means it might not be in line with what makes you comfortable enough to connect with them.

Understand and accept that — as fiercely as you believe your beliefs — they believe theirs. People who believe different things from you, or have different religious beliefs altogether, are going to be mirrors of yourself in a parallel universe:

Ultimately, you both believe the same concepts, just with different gods. In order to truly share the gospel, we must first discern the nuances of the human connection so we can work to form a relationship where our views and opinions do get shared.

Otherwise, we are simply shoving our beliefs down people’s throats and threatening them to believe what we say or else — which sounds a lot like the way the end of days are described in the Revelations.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be on the wrong side of that fight. I want go where God wants and adapt the way Jesus did during his life.

The Christian Bubble is not why I follow Him.

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