Celebrate every little victory when sharing your faith
We may want people to say ‘yes’ immediately and accept Christ into their lives, but a ‘healthy maybe’ can be just as good a step, argues Mark Greenwood.
I’d finished one of my comedy and Christianity nights when I was approached by an older gentleman who had been invited by his family.
The aim of these events is to seek to change the perception of the Christian faith. Off the back of them, people are then invited to come along to hear me speak on a Sunday morning six weeks later or attend an Alpha or my ‘Reason To Believe’ course. Now, back to the gentleman.
I could see him heading towards me as I stood at the door. He told me he would come and hear me preach (advertised on the postcard on the table) as he was intrigued to hear a comedian (his words) preach. True to his word, he came along and on that morning came to faith in Christ. I met him six months later and he had the biggest smile ever, announcing, “I’m still going strong, you know. I’ve been to church every Sunday and now done Alpha.”
This is one of many reasons why I value, celebrate and encourage what I call the ‘healthy maybe’ in a person’s journey to faith.
This story is not uncommon. In fact, I would say it’s the norm. When you listen to most people telling their testimony, there’s a journey involved at some point travelling through the ‘healthy maybe’ on their way to a ‘little yes’ and a ‘big yes’. I’ve met so many people when they’ve been in the ‘healthy maybe’ stage. It excites me because at this stage they are on the way.
If we’re not careful we can put such a big focus on a person committing their life to Christ. In fact, we end up not celebrating all the little decisions along the way.
I remember speaking to a lady who was disappointed because her husband didn’t commit to following Jesus at a particular event I was speaking at. She had been praying for him for 30 years.
Yet that was the first night he had come along to church with her and he had asked her if he could attend. That’s a ‘healthy maybe’! It might not have been the ‘big yes’ but it needed to be celebrated.
One of the biggest challenges we face is changing the perceptions people have of the Christian faith and church. Anything that helps address this – however small – is something we should celebrate.
Whenever I preach the gospel, share my faith one-to-one, produce resources or help churches with their evangelism – I try to build in a ‘healthy maybe’ option. I’ve had people come to see me at the end of my evangelistic events introducing themselves as ‘a healthy maybe’ – this makes me happy as they are on the way!
Many people would see themselves as open-minded. A ‘healthy maybe’ is asking people to make a commitment to remain or become so.
A ‘little yes’ is making an intentional decision to find out more about the Christian faith. This can be made as a commitment to God or simply as a commitment to themselves.
A ‘big yes’ is giving people the opportunity to become a Christian. This is often seen as the big step in the conversion journey but for many, it’s the final ‘little yes’! For some, a ‘healthy maybe’ could be the big step!
It’s my firm conviction that we need to have a long-term view of the journey of commitment and celebrate and promote whatever steps people take in their discipleship journey – which starts incidentally before they come to Christ.
Have a prayerful think about the people you have had the opportunity to share your faith with. Are any of them a ‘healthy maybe’ or ‘little yes’ or ‘big yes’?