• Michael Haldas

Witnessing


“True evangelism is never individualistic, although it is personal…the unspoken maturing life in Christ is the most effective evangelical gift we have for inquirers.” (Dynamis 4/28/2015, 5/26/2018)

“True respect for people is a key factor in effective evangelism.” (David Kinnaman & Gabe Lyons)

“We are to “witness” for Christ in a way that encourages others to seek after Him as well. This means that each person’s faith must be such that it is recognized by others as something to be emulated. If I know Christ and others can see what a great joy that brings to me, they will want that joy for themselves and they will seek after Christ as I have…There are no qualifications needed to tell people about the Lord. Just faith and desire to share it.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“Many people do not bear witness to Christ because they fear they will be asked questions they cannot answer. This man's [the blind man Christ healed] answer to people much more educated than he provides the solution: he admits what he does not know, but follows up with what he does know. The formula, “That I don't know, but what I do know is this,” is foundational to witnessing one's faith to others.” (Orthodox Study Bible, John 9:25)

“…evangelism must be a natural part of our lives, like eating and breathing, and we need to use God’s opportunities, rather than manufactured ones." (Chuck Snyder)

“Reaching one person at a time is still the best way to reach the world." (Lloyd John Ogilvie)

“It is this witness of holiness that is so needed in our world today. People are becoming more and more disconnected with the truth of God. Many are conforming their lives and aspirations to desires that are rooted in ignorance of who Christ is, what He has done for us, and what we can become through Him. They cannot hear the call to live holy lives in the midst of so many distortions of truth, misconceptions, vain ideas, and meaningless entertainments. They need to be shown the way to life and salvation They need to find truth and the knowledge of the grace of God that will transform their lives and fill their hearts and minds with peace.” (Archbishop Demetrios)

“Testimony is calling out that you have seen light in the midst of darkness. Testimony is telling the story about how you met God, even when you have forgotten it. Testimony is telling the story of a community over time, of a particular people, and how God has intervened. And when the unchurched call us into the most intimate and sad moments, we become the church. We can either sit mute or give our testimony.” (Lillian Daniel)

“The Gospel requires us to reach out with our faith, but at the same time it demands genuine consideration of others….Saint Paul approaches the Jews as a fellow Jew, and the pagan Romans as a Roman citizen. He does not compromise his integrity by bending himself like a pretzel, nor does he change his colors like a chameleon. Rather, he starts from the assumptions he shares with those he encounters. He finds a place to meet them on common ground…the apostle proposes approaching the mission of discipling others in a sensitive way, mindful of their personal spiritual orientation.” (Dynamis 1/5/2014)

“Part of the apostolic calling is making new disciples, while an equally important part is strengthening those who already believe. It would be an empty gesture for the Church to convert someone and then leave him to struggle on his own. Instead, the believers' souls must be guarded and continually nurtured.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Acts 14:22)

“As a Christian, you represent Christ at all times—wherever you go and whatever you say. What impression do people have of Christ when they see or talk with you?...To spread the word of God is to spread Christ Himself.” (Life Application Study Bible, Colossians 3:17, Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Timothy 4:5-6)

“What can you do to influence your local Church to a more faithful answer to Jesus command to “go out to all nations?” Your own personal observance of your Prayer Rule and your own struggle for metanoia, change of heart, witness powerfully to your community, without saying a word. In fact, you will probably find that the more seriously you live the life of the Christian athlete, the more strength you will find to speak and act lovingly for change in your community. The first Apostles went forth into a world hungry for the Good News. We live in a world equally hungry. Our choice is to lead others to the rich banquet of Christ God or, because they are not “our people,” to let them starve.” (Abouna Justin Rose)

“The Gospel requires us to reach out with our faith, but at the same time it demands genuine consideration of others….Saint Paul approaches the Jews as a fellow Jew, and the pagan Romans as a Roman citizen. He does not compromise his integrity by bending himself like a pretzel, nor does he change his colors like a chameleon. Rather, he starts from the assumptions he shares with those he encounters. He finds a place to meet them on common ground…the apostle proposes approaching the mission of discipling others in a sensitive way, mindful of their personal spiritual orientation.” (Dynamis 1/5/2014)

“When we tell others about Christ, it is important always to be gracious in what we say. No matter how much sense the message makes, we lose our effectiveness if we are not courteous. Just as we like to be respected, we must respect others if we want them to listen to what we have to say.” (Life Application Study Bible, Colossians 4:6)

"The Lord directs us to be with Him through the Holy Spirit, so that when the time comes we may bear witness like His saints in word and deed, despite the world’s pressures." (Dynamis 6/15/2014)

"...our anxiety about unbelievers is most usefully employed when it leads us not to speculation but to earnest prayer for them and the attempt to be in our own lives such good advertisements for Christianity as will make it attractive.” (C. S. Lewis)

“In trying to persuade people, we may be tempted to alter our position just enough to make our message more palatable or to use flattery or praise. Paul never changed his message to make it more acceptable, but he did tailor his methods to each audience. Although our presentation must be altered to be appropriate to the situation, the truth of the Good News must never be compromised.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Thessalonians 2:4-8)

“…we speak honestly of God even in the midst of conflict (1 Thessalonians 2:2). We are wholly united to God in Christ Jesus so long as we honor Him in everything we say and do. Let no one intimidate us, while at the same time we maintain love and compassion.” (OCPM 11/4/2015)

“When we witness for Christ, our focus should not be on the impressions we make. As true ministers of Christ, we should point to Him, not to ourselves.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Thessalonians 2:6-8)

“Our influence on the hearts and lives of non-believers – if we walk faithfully and joyfully in Christ, enduring afflictions – is unpredictable. They may join the persecutors out of fear, or be moved by the witness of love to turn away"from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thes 1:9). What we do know is that when we follow Christ in a pure and Spirit-inspired manner, no one around us remains in a state of indifference.” (OCPM 11/3/2015)

"...the proclamation of the Gospel is not about winning intellectual arguments.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Act 17:2-3)

"It is not enough just to profess one’s faith, but truly to live it – to practice it daily. There will be times when it may seem too strenuous to continue. This is one of the tricks of the devil. By recognizing this, one can forge ahead and truly"be Christ” to others, even when this may seem too burdensome.” (Marianne Sailus)

“Our world does not need theories concerning Christ, but rather the testimony of lives that reveal the Lord.” (Dynamis 1/7/2014)

“Today people are looking for someone to give them security in an insecure world. Our job is to point them to Christ and to show that He is the one whom they seek.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 1:34)

“Don't wage your Christian struggle with sermons and arguments, but with true love. When we argue, others react. When we love people, they are moved and we win them over. When we love we think that we offer something to others, but in reality we are the first to benefit.” (Elder Porphyrios)

“More is learned through living than through lectures…Stay away from religious speculation and pointless theological arguments. Such exercises may seem harmless at first, but they have a way of sidetracking us from the central message of the Good News—the person and work of Jesus Christ…” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Timothy 3: 3-4, 1-13)

“Disciple means"learner” and the word Apostle means"one officially sent on a mission.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 10:1-4)

“We truly must first be learners, that is, Disciples, before we are ready to serve as missionaries or Apostles for Christ. When I say missionaries I don’t mean the formal definition as in people who go to impoverished places in the world to help those less fortunate all in the name of Christ. I am simply talking about a place we may come to in our life when we have a strong spiritual sense that we need to do something in the name of Christ.” (Sacramental Living)

“…if we chose to pursue a life in Christ, we will always be Disciples in that we will always be learning until the day we die. However, along the way, we will certainly encounter times, places and situations where we assume the roles of Apostles in that we will be doing something – teaching, giving, marriage, child rearing, careers – where we are fulfilling a purpose in Christ.” (Sacramental Living)

"Before any of us can preach on a street corner or invite someone to come to Church, we must be able to witness in ordinary ways that there is something worthwhile to the life that we live." (Abouna Justin Rose)

"The word witness indicates our role as reflectors of Christ’s light. We are never to present ourselves as the light to others, but are always to point them to Christ, the Light.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 1:8)

“The words we speak, the way we act, even the way we think (for thoughts become words and actions) are far more important in sharing the Gospel than just quoting some scripture passage or saying some prayer. Our lives, in effect, become the message, and that message is conveyed loud and clear to those with whom we come in contact.” (Marianne C. Sailus)

“I’m not one to wear my faith on my sleeve. Christians can do a disservice to unbelievers by being obnoxious or judgmental....People know where I’m coming from without my having to harp on it all the time...I just tell people about God naturally, when opportunities arise or when I’m asked." (Orel Hershiser)

“A Christian who manages a small business told me the other day that some of his employees were complaining about a co-worker who kept bugging them about the Bible. He wanted to know whether he should encourage the Christian to keep on in the manner he was, or ask him to stop. I advised him to ask the Christian to back off. I don’t believe in bugging people to receive Christ. I think evangelism must be a natural part of our lives, like eating and breathing, and we need to use God’s opportunities, rather than manufactured ones." (Chuck Snyder)

“Seek to share your faith in the power of the Holy Spirit...and leave it up to God to give you whatever experiences He thinks you need.” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 19:6)

“It should be of great comfort that God’s plan does not rely on our greatness but rather on His. We must simply be willing to be used.” (Richard Stearns)

“The Forerunner [John the Baptist] encourages these men to ask Jesus,"Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” (Luke 17:20). Saint John does not resort to persuasion to convince his disciples, but rather tells them to search out the truth for themselves, based on Jesus’ own actions and words (Luke 17:19). We, too, should encourage others to investigate Christ Jesus for themselves. We need not sell Christ to the world as if He were a commodity. Faithful forerunners understand that knowing the Lord Jesus and His teaching firsthand is more powerful than any human testimony, so they plant questions and invite exploration.” (Dynamis 10/9/2014)

“Medical science continues to be surprised by the health benefits of prayer and fasting. Stressed out business people take seminars to learn meditation. Authors have made millions on books suggesting that companies reach out to the poor in their communities. The world seeks to embrace the very life we live without acknowledging that God is the source of that life. It is up to us to put the name of Christ to the life that many are"accidentally” finding so attractive.” (Abouna Justin Rose)

"We need not always respond using the language of faith; Christ’s name need not be invoked in order to confess Him before men. Our duty before God is to stand for what Christ teaches, remaining as mindful of the implications of silence as of those for speaking out." (Dynamis 6/15/2014)

“Paul was not nearly as interested in creating an image as he was in being an example. He did not hesitate to share his past, because he knew his failures would allow others to have hope. At times we hesitate to share our past struggles with others because we are afraid it will tarnish our image. Paul demonstrated that lowering our guard can be an important step in communicating the gospel.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Timothy 1:15)

“Winning” a neighbor isn’t about converting others, but instead is about helping to open their hearts to God’s healing. If we do so, we win God, too, because we become a vessel and vehicle for someone else to encounter the Divine in new and life-giving ways. We allow the qualities of the sacred to appear through our being, letting go of our preoccupations and anxieties. We are healed in the process as well.” (Christine Valters Paintner)

“When we share the Good News, we should start where the other person’s concerns are focused. Then we can show how God’s Word applies to those concerns.” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 8:29-35)

“…we must do continual inner work on ourselves first before we are ready to preach and teach the truth of God…we should always be continually working on ourselves spiritually to grow in God’s likeness revealed to us in Christ. God will provide us with opportunities as we grow to help others.” (Sacramental Living)

“Christ tells us something else in His Sermon on the Mount that is critical to our spiritual growth and really is the point to sacramental living. He says,"ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will open to you” (Matthew 7:7). These verbs as originally written are in the present progressive meaning"be asking, be seeking, be knocking.” It’s a continual action on our part to grow in God and Jesus promises the ever-present availability of God’s help. (Sacramental Living)

“Jesus was never judgmental or condemning except to the self-righteous. If we can exude the qualities of Jesus, but genuinely and not with an agenda to convert someone, we will be living the Gospel and that is what will draw people to Christ…. That does not mean we should not talk and teach about Christ, but I will tell you from experience that opportunities will unfold and present themselves if we are living sincerely.” (Sacramental Living)

“People must see Christ at work in us, even if that is not what consciously is going through their minds. It’s to our benefit too if we just live the Gospel and don’t think about it as such because the more it is a genuine part of us, the more we are truly humble and thus Christ-like and the more we will draw people to God through our unconscious example.” (Sacramental Living)

“Our world needs to be turned upside down, to be transformed. The Good News doesn’t merely improve programs and encourage good conduct; it dynamically transforms lives.” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 17:6)

“The Good News isn't good if shared inappropriately. Yes, the Bible says the Gospel will be offensive, but many Christians guarantee this.” (Richard Stearns)

“Many people do not bear witness to Christ because they fear they will be asked questions they cannot answer.” (Orthodox Study Bible, John 9:25)

“You don’t need to know all the answers in order to share Christ with others. It is important to tell them how he has changed your life. Then trust that God will use your words to help others believe in him, too.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 9:25)

“It is not enough to teach or preach with conviction. Like Paul, we must be prepared…This does not mean that we should avoid presenting the Good News until we feel adequately prepared. We should use what we have learned but always seek to know more in order to be an effective witness and be able to respond to people’s questions and arguments.” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 17:22)

"The Gospel is an announcement not an argument. You share it, not shove it….Christ's message was 'Come and see' not 'You're wrong and I'm right.'" (Follow Jesus@FwJesus, Orthodox Evangelism)

“It's very often better to show the love of Christ rather than talk about it.” (Bruce Van Horn)

“Other religions bring advice; Christianity brings news. The former tells you what to do; the latter, what's been done for you.” (Scotty Smith)

“To be converted to Jesus Christ means that a human person encounters Him and is mysteriously drawn to trust Him and to unite with Him. All we can do is to open the path between that person and Christ, remembering that both persons have the freedom not to make the encounter. Our strongest evangelistic tools are love and prayer.” (Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)

“We need to let our lives be witness to the truth by how we live, what we do more than what we say….People must see Christ at work in us, even if that is not what consciously is going through their minds.” (Sacramental Living)

“When we do discuss our faith with others, we should not force the Gospel message down their throats like some large horse pill. If we do, we may experience them spitting it back in our faces. Instead, we should share with others that God invites all people to share in His love and fellowship.” (Father David L. Fontes, PsyD)

“Some Christians believe that faith is a personal matter that should be kept to oneself. It is true that we shouldn’t be boisterous or obnoxious in sharing our faith, but we should always be ready to give an answer, gently and respectfully, when asked about our faith, our lifestyle, or our Christian perspective.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Peter 3:15)

“Our prayer, as Christians, is to ask God to help us release what it within us and share it with others. Ironically, when we are able to do this, we will receive back a hundredfold what we give. God Himself will provide for us the ability; all we have to do is cooperate with Him.” (Marianne C. Sailus)

“Reaching one person at a time is still the best way to reach the world." (Lloyd John Ogilvie)

“If they [young people] don’t see Christ in us, but only posturing, they will see nothing they want. They must see us as a people changed by our relationship with Christ. They must see Christ in us, loving them, and reaching out with respect and hope. They must see us as prayerful people.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“Many of us have friends or family members who resemble the Jews of Capernaum. They stand at a distance from the faith and resist the claims of Christ on their lives. We may yearn for them to know our life-giving joy, but they neither see nor believe in the Lord…It is divisive to try to force others to believe our way. Instead, let’s witness about what Christ has done for us.” (Dynamis 5/8/2014, Life Application Study Bible, John 3:25-36)

“Sometimes we have difficulty confessing Christ even to those who are very close and dear to us. At such times, according to the Gospel, ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household’ [Matthew 10:36]. It so happens that our people do not understand us, but we also do not make any effort to speak to them discreetly about Christ. Or perhaps we sometimes even go to the opposite extreme. We talk to them so very much about Christ that - in the end - we tire them, satiate them, and pressure and annoy them so much they do not even want to hear anything about Christ. We can never pressure anyone, assume a commanding authority over him, or threaten him - even our closest relative - to follow Christ.” (Orthodox Agape)

“Don’t hide your light at home; our families are fertile fields for planting seeds of the Good News. Let your parents, children, spouse, brothers, and sisters know of your faith in Jesus, and be sure they see Christ’s love, helpfulness, and joy in you.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Timothy 1:5)

“Christ said it in a timely fashion: that in this life we must be warriors, even within our own family; our own people will behave as enemies, because we follow the Christian life.” (Orthodox Agape)

“A changed life speaks loudly and clearly, and it is often the most effective way to influence a family member…A changed life convinces people of Christ’s power. One of your greatest testimonies is the difference others see in your life and attitudes since you have believed in Christ.” (Life Application Study, 1 Peter 3:1-7, Acts 4:13)

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