As Christians, we love it when we are able to bring somebody to God for the first time and watch their transformation. After all, being saved is the starting point of any Christian's walk with God.
But what is the best way to do it? How can we successfully bring somebody to God without overdoing things and putting them off? What are the dos and don'ts of successfully witnessing to a non-believer?
I have personally experienced and met many Christians who use the scaremongering tactic when trying to share their faith with a non-believer - the typical "you are a sinner and need to repent or you will go to hell" style.
Although I am sure that has worked for some people, I try to look at how Jesus treated people. He didn't try to frighten or threaten people into believing, He just spoke the truth of who He was and what He had to offer. "Jesus answered I am the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to the father except through me" (John chapter 14, verse 6).
Live what you preach
Another way to lead someone to Christ is to simply model His teachings and way through how you live. You can still share what you believe, but follow through with how you act. Jesus loved and accepted everyone, regardless of their status in society and was even willing to show love towards a condemned criminal in the last hours of His life. "Jesus answered him. Today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke chapter 23, verse 43).
So even though we are nothing compared to our Saviour, we can still show others that His teachings are worth learning about, and that He is loving and forgiving no matter what.
I personally found that having Christian friends model this loving and accepting behaviour towards me made a huge impact on me and my journey towards being saved. Knowing that people who loved God were accepting and loving towards me regardless of who I was made me more interested in learning about a God who would feel the same way about me.
From the times of the Old Testament right through to Jesus's time, there have been prophets and religious leaders appointed by God to teach others about Him. Sometimes it was just the priests in the temple and sometimes it was somebody who'd had an encounter with God and wanted to share about it.
They also had different ways of going about it. Moses often communicated with God on a personal basis and was able to pass onto others what God had specifically said. Paul converted after a personal encounter with the Lord and was able to share the testimony of God's grace towards him during his transformation.
Jesus shared by being a living example of what our heavenly Father is really like. These different approaches brought many people to the Lord and showed that there is more than one way to go about it.
When I first came to God, I already knew who He was. But I was reluctant because I had many past experiences with Christians "Bible bashing" and scaremongering me into believing that God was someone to be afraid of.
It was only after a few years of attending a Bible study group from another church that I began to see the possibility of God being someone completely different to who I'd always believed Him to be.
My friends showed me through their life examples a God who was loving and accepting and who genuinely cared for me. It was only because of this that I was able to feel comfortable approaching Him.
Because He no longer seemed like someone to be afraid of or who I wouldn't be able to relate to. This was an example to me - that simply living for Christ and trying to love like He does can impact people without you even realizing it.
There are many different ways to witness to those who don't yet know Christ, and everyone responds differently to each method. I try my best to be open and honest with others about what the realities of living a Christian life are. Because none of us are perfect and I don't want to portray it that way. But in living how I do, I hope that I can encourage others to follow God