Answered: Five questions on how to share your faith

Dave Palmer, GRN radio, interviews Nancy Ward at Sacred Heart Books, Dallas, on ways to share your faith in the Year of Mercy (Photo by PhIl Ward)

Dave Palmer, GRN radio, interviews Nancy Ward at Sacred Heart Books, Dallas, on ways to share your faith in the Year of Mercy (Photo by PhIl Ward)

In Five Ways to Share Your Faith, I encouraged you to always be ready to evangelize through your personal witness.  

Remember that every baptized Christian is commissioned to be an evangelist. The most effective way we can evangelize is by sharing our unique story — the faith story only we can tell.

What about the mechanics of knowing and sharing our story? My recent interview at Sacred Heart Books and Gifts in Dallas covered this. I spoke on our local Catholic radio station, KATH 910 AM. Here are five questions about getting started:

1. What different kinds of faith stories are there?

Faith stories are circumstances or trials unexpectedly or slowly resolved with supernatural solutions that boost your faith. They include stories about:

 

  • Miracles that God worked in our lives,
  • Conversion from atheism or a non-Catholic denomination.
  • Reversions or returning to the Catholic Church.
  • Physical or emotional healings from supernatural means.
  • Answered prayers that seemed impossible or came about in a supernatural way.

2. How do I structure my story?

The basic three parts to any faith story center around that God-moment when you knew God loved you personally. Ask yourself:

  • Who were you were before this experience happened?
  • What happened in that God-moment to change you so that you knew God loved you?
  • Who are you now and how has your life changed?

If you are a cradle Catholic, you may think you don’t have a conversion story. Think of the moment you made an adult commitment to the Lord. That is your conversion story.

3. What different ways I can share my story?

  • In person – One-on-one occasions are our most frequent opportunities for evangelizing,
  • Two-minute elevator speech – A quick summary to see if the listeners want to hear more.
  • Social media – Challenge yourself to write the essence of your faith story in a few Twitter characters or a few sentences on Facebook, Google+ or a chat entry.
  • Videos – Show your sincerity on the Tube.
  • Blogs – If you don’t have a blog, send your story to editor@JOYAlive.net
  • Magazines – Attend a local or on-line writers group and get feedback on your story and market suggestions.

4. How do you know when to share your story in person?

Often you will find yourself with one person or a small group, handpicked by the Holy Spirit. No coincidence there! An opening comes in the conversation just when the Holy Spirit urges you to tell a significant incident in your faith story. A miracle. A healing. An answered prayer. You’re on!  Go for it!

5. What about self-consciousness?

Sharing your conversion or renewal story encourages others tremendously — and encourages you as you express what God is doing with your life. Scary — but you are doing what God wants you to do—proclaiming the greatness of the Lord. And proclaiming it as only you can.!

Don’t worry about your ability to share your story. God cares more about your availability than your ability. He’s already there waiting for you. Expect his presence to carry you through what you say and carry it beyond what you can ever imagine. His grace makes your story a little step or giant step in the spiritual life of someone else because you were available and let God use you.

Take courage! God is with you. He tells you in 2 Timothy 1:7,8:

“God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord.”

However you share your faith story, just know that the Holy Spirit is guiding you and God is with you.

Three specific ways I can help you always be ready to evangelize in by sharing your unique faith story:

  1. I can help you shape your personal witness, and post it on JoyAlive.net or suggest other markets.
  2. You can use the Sharing Your Faith Story DVD for guidelines and examples of preparing and sharing faith stories many ways. I tell my conversion story, my renewal story and give ten tips for sharing your story. You can complete the free study guide on your own or with a prayer partner.
  3. I can come to your parish or Catholic group to give a seminar or workshop on How to Share Your Faith Story in the Year of Mercy.

However you share your faith story in the Year of Mercy, just know that the Holy Spirit is guiding you and God is with you.

Take courage! God is with you. He tells you in 2 Timothy 1:7,8:

God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord.

Where can you go to pray, write, and ponder your faith story?

© 2016 Nancy HC Ward

 

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About Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward is a journalist, author, and speaker who blogs about Catholicism, her conversion, and Christian community at JoyAlive.net,
 7 websites and 7 magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs through her Sharing Your Faith Stories seminars, also available on DVD. She contributed four chapters to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. She facilitates the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers and a critique group for the Catholic Writers Guild, where she serves as a board member.
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