Beliefnet

"Fear is the No. 1 reason people hold back from sharing their faith," said Lowder, who has presented the Gospel all over the world through his more than 20 years in full-time ministry. "Christmas is a perfect time to talk about Christ since He is the reason for the season, and offers a great opportunity to do so in a natural way."

Lowder offers the following tips for Christians looking to use the true meaning of Christmas as a bridge to share the Good News of Christ with family and friends:

1. Share your testimony. Doctrines and theology are debatable but personal experiences cannot be denied.

2. Start with apologies. If relationships have been damaged with family members or friends, take time to repair them. Without this, you will not have credibility to share.

3. Meet tangible needs. Offer to help with a tangible need – anything from helping with a project, babysitting kids, providing financial help or praying for a need – as a way to demonstrate the Gospel in action.

4. Don't preach or condemn. Compassion and empathy are the medicine of the day.

5. Avoid debates. Celebrating Christ's birth is a perfect time to talk about the person of Jesus, but avoid topics of religion, traditional practices or Bible doctrines. Those only cause disagreements and are not essential to a relationship with Christ.

6. Don't attack or de-value. If a family member or friend worships a different god than Christ, be careful not to diminish his or her beliefs. Reaching others does not come from trying to pull down other beliefs but by elevating Jesus.

7. Rely on God. Ask Him to provide you with the opportunity, courage and right words to say. He promises to use you if you are willing.

8. Don't get discouraged. God doesn't require results from you. Your responsibility is only to plant seeds.

Founded in 1989, Jay Lowder Harvest Ministries exists to reach people for Christ while inspiring others to do the same. For additional information about Jay Lowder Harvest Ministries.

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