Communicationg Our Faith According to Internet


Following are 17 questions that can be used as a start-up by your answering the 5 most important questions on this questionnaire according to your estimation.

QUESTIONS ON HOW TO COMMUNICATE YOUR FAITH MORE EFFECTIVELY

1-If you can't communicate your faith effectively, how strong is your faith?

2-To communicate your faith effectively, you have to know it. Could you define your faith?

3-How do you communicate your faith? In business? At home? In your community? Etc.?

4-What do you think of the Socratic method (listening and asking probing questions) as a communication tool to help the listener recognize his or her need for a Savior?

5-How many people have you saved (converted) or led to Christ in the past twelve months?

6-Should a Christian determine (judge) who is or is not a Christian when communicating his or her faith?

7-Should a Christian communicate his or her faith through mental persuasion, or through witnessing at an opportune moment what faith has done for him or her? Who really converts, the Christian or the Holy Spirit?

8-In your Church, assuming you had the authority, would you try to set up an Evangelistic program if none existed? Why or why not?

9-What is Evangelism and does the word "Evangelism" have a bad connotation? Why or why not?

10-Should your church emphasize Evangelism or Christian Growth?

11-In a pastor, should one look for leadership or shepherdship? By leadership I mean one who leads without looking back to see if he has lost any of his congregation. By shepherdship I mean one who follows his flock to take care that he does not lose any of his congregation.

12-Would the best approach in teaching the Gospels be by teaching them concurrently or as a whole rather than in teaching them separately as the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? Have you ever tried this former approach?

13-Is setting up neighborhood Bible or Gospel study groups whereby you can invite your neighbors in to participate, a good tool to use in communicating your faith? Can and could you use it in your situation?

14-One person suggested that since we have two ears and one mouth, we should listen twice as much as we speak. Do you agree?

15-Should communicating your faith be more of a dialogue rather than a monologue to be most effective?

16-If a person rejects the Christian message, is he or she really rejecting Christ or the Christian messenger?

17-In conclusion, how do you think we can continually educate Christians on how to communicate our faith more effectively (either through the Internet or by other means)?

Question on Internet: I'm interested in discussing how do you really communicate your faith, because many people are confused in what they should do in this area. I know, however, that listening is an important ingredient in this context.

THE RESPONSES COME FROM 3 CHRISTIAN WEBSITES

1) Gary says: Communicating one's faith is obviously at the core of being a follower of Christ. I think that God expects us to take advantage of opportunities He provides all of the time to share with others our experiences of faith in Christ. Some of these encounters will be casual, one-time meetings, while on other occasions we have the opportunity to cultivate a friendship with another person and share with him/her over the course of several encounters about the hope we have in Christ. Both types of opportunities are God-given and should be acted upon, always being careful to be sensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in how we share and communicate our faith with others.

2) Corbin says: Speaking about communicating your Christian faith, the most impressive book I've ever read about communication has been Plato and his story about Socrates. It was not the content in the book that impressed, but the method that Socraates used in presenting his points. The Socratic Method entails one to ask many leading sequential questions to those who are adversaries of the questioner, until eventually the questions tend to persuade the adversaries to agree with the questioner and to become his or her allies. I've only used the Socratic Method successfully twice in my 71 years of life since I read Plato during my university days. But when it works, you feel you did something to perfection. You really feel great.

Some of the comments received from some of the other contributors over Internet are:

That we have instructions from Jesus as Christians that we should speak out and act on behalf of the helpless, the hungry, the homeless, the lonely, etc. In other words, you communicate your faith in the way you behave, treat others, and live your life. This is love. And as someone said at one time " Love is like walking on water, just don't stumble over the waves. But as St Francis of Assisi also said: "Go ye into the world and preach (communicate) the Gospel. If necessary, use words". In fact to complete the task in communicating our faith, another contributor added, words have to used to explain to others what motivates us to accomplish our good deeds, and we have to wait for opportunities to express this, which if we have faith in God, God will provide for us.

Many people are turned-off by coercive and aggressive proselytizing. Many Christians and their organizations have a pre-programmed way of communicating their faith, and this tends to frighten people. Actually there is something to the idea of communicating our faith in as many different ways as the different people you're communicating with. Another way in putting it is that there are as many layers in faith sharing as there are in an onion, probably more, but when it is done well, it can bring some of the greatest joy that one can ever experience. And suffering should not be a deterrent in communicating our faith, because suffering throughout the world is a part of life, and God is not going to change that. He's actually going to suffer with us and give us the strength to endure it. We also should live beyond our vision, live our deeds by the great commandments, to do justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.

These are the gist of the comments I received on this topic over Internet.

14) Corbin says: I took a course entitled "How to Become a Contagious Christian" by Mark Mittelberg, Lee Strobel, and Bill Hybels. This course shows how you can actually communicate our faith in a style that really fits your personality. And with this, you would learn how you could always find an opportunity, comfortably, to ask someone the question "Would you like to receive Jesus Christ?", after explaining to them that Jesus had done everything for them so that they could receive His salvation. They didn't have to do anything themselvess, but only to accept this and ask for His forgiveness in not being perfect in their behavior. This is what I would call becoming a true Evangelist.

Corbin also says: In not feeling embarrassed by asking the question "Would you like to receive Jesus Christ?", you first of all would have to ask yourself this question, "Have I really received Jesus Christ?". Some have received Jesus Christ most dramatically like Paul in Scripture, but most, I suspect, have received Jesus Christ thru a very slow process, especially if you've been a church-goer all your life. I started going to church on a regular basis in 1958 at the age of 27, although I didn't realize it at the time, but somewhere early in this process I must have received Jesus Christ, although I don't recall the exact momeent. What attracted me mostly was Christian education, so somewhere down the line, I must have received Him. I know I have Him today. And in knowing this helps me in feeling more comfortable in asking this question, if the context on any discussion leads naturally to asking such a question.

Corbin finally says: In my experieence, two important events occurred in my life after starting to attend church, including a Bible class, on a regular basis which purportedly was accompanied by my receiving Jesus Christ. These events corrected two basic problems I had while growing up which greatly hindered my ability to socialize with others. One of these was getting a migraine headache most everytime I desired to go out in a social situation, which either prevented me from going out or cut short my enjoyment of such a gathering. Instead I had to lie down and sleep for about two hours to get rid of the headache. No medication helped. After starting church regularly, I had occasion to visit a psychologist(my parents never thought of this earlier) and he suggested I do some positive thought recitations, which worked like a charm. This eventially eliminated this problem.

The other problem I had, which was closely related to the first in that both greatly hindered my social relationships, was that I was overly obsessed with sex with the opposite sex, which interferred greatly with many of the other positive elements I needed in growing up. This was dealt with, after my starting my regular attendance at church, by a series of events introducing me to a 3 year nudist camp experience. And this greatly relieved me of this problem. This in my mind were 2 miracles, because in one approach, it just seemed too simplistic in that I had to ask myself the question "why didn't I ever think of this before?", and in the other approach, it was just too unorthodox for a Christian ever to engage in an activity such as this. And these events occurred after, I believe, I received Jesus Christ, but others probably would say that these events would have occurred anyway. I DON'T, after thinking about this, because I believe God has blessed me in so many other ways too numerous to mention here, that I believe these were the beginnings of the many blessings God had in store for me. So as you can see you really have to compare your life before and after this momentous event of receiving Jesus Christ, to see at what point your life was better off.

Corbin Melvin Wright was born in New York City, grew up on Long Island, graduated from Roanoke College in Virginia with a B.A. in Political Science, and from New York Theological Seminary with a Masters in Religious Education. He became a committed Christian in 1958, and worked as an accountant in various companies in N.Y. for about 25 years, then moved to Argentina and worked for about 20 years as an English conversationalist teacher with some of the top managers in the country. He was married twice, widowed once, and has no children.

If you wish to contact Corbin, you can do so by writing to (corbinwr@yahoo.com).


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