Spiritual gifts: Evangelism, Exhortation, Hospitality
At Petaluma Valley Baptist Church, we seek to follow the Holy Spirit's prompting to share the good news about Jesus to our neighbors. Also known as "friendship outreach," it is a key part of the Prayer, Care, Share vision we are pursuing.
Every Christian has a story to tell about the difference that Jesus has made in his or her life. Learning to Share is really not much more than being ready to share that story in the context of the gospel message.
How can you take steps to Share?
- Slow down to listen and observe those around you. You may be given an opening in a conversation to share something in common or bridge to a spiritual question. For example, showing interest in a book they are reading may lead to a discussion of favorite books.
- Write down your personal testimony, and then edit it to a short version that you can deliver in one or two sentences to create interest.
- Develop a list of spiritual questions that are invitations to learn about what the Bible has to say about a topic. Asking permission is one way to be courteous and assure your audience is receptive to the conversation.
- If there is interest, set up a follow-up plan, such as a time to meet to discuss further, or exchange contact information. Alternatively, invite them to church. Most people attend church because they received a personal invitation.
- New tool! Stop by the Welcome Table after worship on Sundays to pick up a supply of "You're Invited" cards. Give them to your neighbors, friends, and family to invite them to join you at church.
- Let them know that you pray regularly, and ask them if there is anything they would like you to pray about for them. Let them know you will be praying and will check back to see how things are developing. Follow up.
- Watch the Calendar for an Outreach Conference to help us practice telling our stories.
If you're serious about learning how to Share, you may benefit from a spiritual Coach who is experienced in friendship outreach.