TRUTHQUEST: Christians have duty to evangelize world
For years I have hated this responsibility, partly because of fear. Fear of rejection, fear of persecution, fear of not having the right answers -- pretty much all of the typical fears that Satan places in our minds. I've been attending church since before I was born and I've known about the Great Commission ever since I was in Sunday school. However, I never learned how to share my faith in Jesus with others.
Sure, I've known about the Roman Road salvation verses in the Bible and what it takes to be a Christian, but I have never learned how to lead another person to Jesus.
All that changed on July 9, the first day of our TruthQuest: California boot camp. As I walked into the Southern Baptist Convention building that day, the answers to all of my evangelical questions sat waiting for me in the form of a man named Bill Faye.
Faye is the author of "Share Jesus Without Fear," an evangelism book published by Broadman & Holman Publishers, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
I was certain I was in store for another boring lecture, but what I received was valuable information that put me on the road to effectively sharing my faith.
Never in my life had I heard of Faye. He appeared to possess a kind, sincere spirit and appeared to be ready to teach us how to win the world for Christ. Faye's testimony was riveting and every one of us was within an inch of falling off our chairs.
Faye told us about his ownership of a multi-million-dollar international corporation, connections to the Mafia, beautiful women and everything else the world had to offer. But then, Faye went through a dramatic life change that led him straight to Jesus Christ.
One would assume that the loss of all worldly possessions would have sent Faye into a state of serious depression, but in his eyes, he had gained more than the world could ever offer. Faye now shares his wisdom about Christianity and evangelism with thousands of people around the world.
The details of Faye's life were more than enough to seize our short, teenage attention spans, and his message succeeded in equipping us to easily witness to anyone we might encounter on the trip and in the rest of our lives.
Faye gave us pamphlets with simple directions for witnessing to anyone. From these directions, we learned to continue to ask questions without stirring up an argument. We also received small pocket Bibles in which we highlighted verses that showed the road to salvation.
In the past, I was afraid I would drive someone away from Christ by saying the wrong thing. But Faye told us there is no way we can fail in our attempts to share Jesus. He said we just need to obey God's instruction to go out into the world and make disciples. Even if we are rejected, we've still done our job as believers.
Never in my life have I been excited about sharing my faith -- that is, until now. Faye proved to me that I can witness to anyone without being a Bible scholar or a "Super Christian."
David Hicks, one of 12 teens in the TruthQuest: California initiative of Baptist Press, FamilyNet and LifeWay, is a 2002 graduate of Cleveland High School in Cleveland, Tenn., and a member of First Baptist Church there where he sings in the youth praise band, youth choir, and has participated in numerous mission trips. At school, Hicks is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.