by Rich Garifine
In a recent Bible Fellowship “Sunday school” class the topic was basically personal evangelism. The conversation went the direction of looking for or creating opportunities to share your faith. The two main questions that arose were “How do you start a faith conversation?” and “What stops you from sharing your faith?”
Much of the conversation made me think of my career in the fire service. In my mind the two main questions are very simple. However, just because a question may be easy to answer, the execution may be a little more complicated. When you get down to the nuts and bolts of the matter, you see, it all comes down to training.
When I went through basic training at the fire academy we trained, and trained, and trained. Every day, every night, every week we studied, drilled, tested, and then did it again. The skills we learned became second nature and this eight weeks was only the beginning. We did not graduate and say, “Wow! I’m glad that’s over!” The training continued throughout my career.
Now, why did we train? Well its quite simple really, we trained because the nature of the job promised that we would be called upon to respond to emergency situations. We did not have to look for opportunities to be firefighters. The opportunities to use our training as firefighters would arise. Not only would we be called on but we would be able to execute because of our training. We were firefighters and that’s enough to perform our duties.
So to me it’s that simple. We are Christians. As Christians we will encounter opportunities to give a defense and share our faith. If Christians take Christianity as serious as we took the fire department we would study and train in God’s word daily. We would be able to confidently stand for the cause of Christ. We would not be put to shame for failure to perform our duties because Gods word would be second nature.
Would you want someone pretending to be a firefighter protecting your family? No. You want trained, serious personnel doing the job they love and performing the skills they studied and trained for.
I suppose the tough questions here are “Are you a serious Christian?” “Do you take the call serious?” “Are you willing to study and train?” and “Do you have a relationship with Christ that gives you the confidence to execute your duties?”
By the way, all of what I addressed is everyday Christian expectations. If you think everything you just read is the job of the pastor, your personal training is seriously lacking.