In a court of law, a person swears to tell a truthful version of every single thing they witnessed. Does that same standard apply to us as we share the truth about Jesus with others? Let’s take a look.

Retrieved from Google images.

I grew up with a comprehensive understanding of the gospel. It was a fleshed-out version of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, including who God is, who Jesus is—His death, burial, and resurrection, and how we can become a child of God by recognizing our sin and placing our trust in Jesus for forgiveness and eternal life.

Sharing the gospel was done through activities like door-to-door witnessing, handing out tracts, and approaching unbelievers so you could explain the gospel in its entirety.

None of it felt authentic, and consequently none if it happened very often. Not in my life, and not in the lives of the vast majority of believers I grew up with.

I remember awkward experiences of sharing the gospel as part of a community outreach program in Bible college. I remember mustering up the courage to tell a good friend about my faith in Jesus, and then promising never to bring it up again unless she wanted to hear more (as if it was offensive!). And I remember a beautiful experience of sharing the gospel with a military man on a 9-hour flight from Europe to the United States. He was primed and ready to trust in Jesus, and did so 30,000 feet above the ocean.

But those experiences were few and far between.

Until the last year or so.

Since then, I’ve realized that planting seeds of God’s truth—even when I don’t have the opportunity to share the whole gospel—is biblical and powerful. I’ve shared nuggets of Jesus’ truth and love with over a dozen people. It’s becoming a natural way I interact with others, and I’ve shed some of my previous misconceptions.

My Misconceptions about Sharing Jesus

  1. The Whole Enchilada. If you’re going to reach out to someone spiritually, make sure you share absolutely everything they need to know to place their trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord.
  2. Memorize Your Plan. Pick a way to share the gospel, and commit it to memory. That way, when you have an opportunity, you won’t freeze up – you’ll be able to recite the whole thing from start to finish.
  3. It’s Never Natural. Just accept the fact that people don’t really want to hear the gospel, press through, and share it anyway.

 The Truth about Sharing Jesus

  1. Plant Seeds. There are limitless words, phrases, and verses you can share that are relevant to the conversations you’re having with people. It may be as simple as, “I just want you to know how much Jesus loves you.”
  2. Know Key Scriptures. Be able to quote or paraphrase a handful of gospel-focused verses. That way, if the conversation progresses and the person wants to begin a relationship with Jesus, you can guide them biblically.
  3. Genuinely Love People. Wherever you are, see people with Jesus’ eyes and love them with His compassion. Initiate conversations, listen beneath the surface of their words, and listen to the Lord’s whispered words and Scriptures to share with them. 

Jesus told us to make disciples. Think about it – that’s rarely done by just one individual. Paul planted seeds, Apollos watered them, and God made them grow. God uses the body of Christ to share the gospel and disciple people. As leaders, let’s lead the way in loving people and planting gospel seeds everywhere we go.


In the Comment Section below, describe a recent “seed planting” experience you’ve had, and/or a misconception you’ve had about sharing Jesus with others.


A year and a half ago God used the death of a friend—an everyday evangelist—to spur me to talk with strangers about Jesus. Even though I’ve grown in initiating conversations with others since then, I’ve periodically asked God if it’s just a phase. His recent answer bellowed to me from Scripture.

Retrieved from Google images

I was reading Luke 5, where Jesus climbs into the boat with Peter, James, and John. They had fished all night and came up empty-netted, and when Jesus told them to try again they balked. But they obeyed, and soon their nets broke with fish and their boat nearly sank. They were shocked by the miracle and convicted of their own sin, realizing they were in the presence of God. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”

“From now on.”

Not, “For the next season.” Or, “For the next few years while I’m here to stir your passion.” Or, “For the next phase of your life.”

No, “This is your life FROM NOW ON—speaking words of life about Me to others.”

My Personal Highlight from a National Conference and the March for Life

I recently attended a national conference and the March for Life in Washington DC. The highlight could’ve been hearing Joni Eareckson Tada’s keynote, or worshiping with hundreds of believers, or seeing two bald eagles soar over tens of thousands of pro-lifers gathered at The Mall while House Speaker Paul Ryan gave rousing remarks.

But the highlight for me was a four-minute conversation with “Talib,” the young man who helped me with my luggage.

I don’t remember my opening question to him, but before long we were talking about his homeland—Ethiopia.

He described it as a beautiful country, and one that he hoped to return to soon.

His parents had come to the United States years before, and he came more recently to further his education. His day job was helping people like me, and his night job was taking I.T. courses. He hoped to use what he was learning in the States to start a business in Ethiopia.

I sensed his appreciation for America, his aspirations for his future, and most of all his deep love for Ethiopia. But there was also an air of uncertainty in him, not knowing how it would all work out.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 came to mind, and I shared it with him. I said, “God loves you so much, Talib, and He has good plans for your life. I’ll be praying for you.”

Talib’s dark eyes twinkled. He nodded and said, “Thank you, ma’am.”

Just a simple exchange. Talib shared his dreams, and I shared a few hope-filled words from Scripture. Nothing earth-shattering.

What was shattered was the wall of silence that can exist between us and people we don’t know. It reminds me of Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Commentators have various explanations of its meaning. But in the context of having life-giving conversations with strangers, my paraphrase goes like this, “A word of truth, lovingly spoken, is like a gentle hammer that shatters the wall of silence between people.”

Leaders lead. Leaders initiate. Leaders bring change. From now on, let’s lead by speaking words of life about Jesus to others, everywhere we go.


What was the most recent life-giving exchange you had with someone? Feel free to share it in the Comment Section below.



There’s a new Willow Tree figurine on my bureau. It’s called “Shine.” That’s my desire for the New Year—to shine Jesus’ light wherever I am—whether leading at the ministry or loving in the marketplace.

It occurs to me that we are powerless to shine, or love, or lead apart from Jesus. In EVERYTHING, He has gone first—leading the way for us to follow.

5 Ways to Shine Like Jesus

  1. Honor the Father. Jesus’ posture was to honor the Father—always placing Him above Himself—“The Father is greater than I” (John 14:28b). As we worship the Father, His glory is paramount in our hearts and His goodness flows through us.
  2. Mirror the Father. Jesus did what He saw the Father doing and said what He heard the Father saying (John 5:19). When we’re in sync with the Father through an intimate relationship, His love is evident in our actions and His truth in our words.
  3. See People as Individuals. Jesus saw Zacchaeus in the tree and called him by name (Luke 19:5). I’ve written down the names of a dozen or so strangers I’ve talked with recently. They are no longer strangers. They are individuals with names, dearly loved by God.
  4. Pray for People. Jesus prayed for people while He was on earth, and He’s still interceding (Romans 8:24). As you get to know individuals, write down their names and pray for them. Praying for people is worth Jesus’ time, and it’s worth ours too.
  5. Break the Barrier. Wherever He went, Jesus spoke, touched, loved. He shared meals with tax collectors, hugged lepers, and touched sick people. He wasn’t afraid of getting their stench on Him; He knew His fragrance was more powerful.

A fellow staffer and I were talking recently about how surprisingly easy it is to break the barrier between us and strangers. I said to her, “Yes, the curtain of separation between us and strangers is really, really thin. A single word of greeting, a simple initiation of conversation, and—poof—it’s gone.”

The enemy would have us believe the curtain of separation is many inches thick—so he can prevent us from sharing. It reminds me of the very thick veil in the tabernacle that prevented priests from carelessly or irreverently entering the holy of holies. Jesus’ death split it from top to bottom, opening up a new, living way for us to draw near to God (Hebrews 10:19-21).

“Jesus, You opened up the way for us to know God. Help us to open up conversations with others so they can know Him too.”

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:14-16).


How is God leading you to share Him with others this year? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.




At the outset of this Christmas season, I urged all of us—myself included—to go out of our way and share Jesus’ love. Just like Jesus went out of His way for us. Here’s how He’s led so far.

One of my dear friends is going through a multi-year challenge. While the end is in sight, she didn’t have the heart to prepare her house for Christmas. She was in a grin and bear it mode. One morning during prayer, the Lord whispered an idea to me. We could decorate her home while she was out. I gathered some friends, we rallied our spare decorations, snuck into her house, and turned it into Christmas. When she came home, she called me and said, “Oh my word, Lisa, this is amazing! When I opened the front door, I thought I must be in the wrong house! You guys are too much. Okay, okay, I’m officially entering into the Christmas spirit now. THANK YOU!”

The man in the alley said, “Hello,” when one of our staffers greeted him. He was wearing a bright red hoodie, and she said, “I see you have your Christmas red on!” He laughed and agreed. As they parted ways, the Spirit spoke to her heart, “The box of chocolates you’re carrying is for him.” She thought it was for our clients. I’ll let her share the rest… “So on cue, as I looked back at him walking in the opposite direction, he too looked back at me. Then, it’s like everything was slowed. I told him I was going to deliver the box of candy to someone else, but wanted instead to give it to him. I laughingly said, ‘You’re free to binge on it all by yourself, or have fun sharing them.’ We were super close at this point, and he, with few teeth remaining, said, ‘I have five children, ma’am.’ So I said, ‘Then I guess you’ll have fun sharing them! Merry Christmas!’ I felt such love for this man. As I handed him the box, I asked, ‘May I give you a hug?’ And there, on the corner of 8th and an alley, we were in a full-on heartily-embraced hug. He said, ‘God bless you!’ I thanked him and went on my way knowing that—indeed—God HAD just blessed me!”

When our staff converged upon a local cafe carrying all the trimmings for a Christmas tree—including a small live tree!—the owner said, “Oh man, you’re going to make me cry.” One of our staffers had gathered everything we needed. Before heading to the café, we read scriptures together, prayed for the workers, and signed a card for them. We toted our merriment to the café, outfitted the tree, tucked it in a vacant corner, and sang carols. The owner stood at the counter, taking it all in with tear-brimmed eyes. My tears didn’t stay in my eyes. Afterwards, there were hugs all around. One more gesture of Christ-filled love was extended to those precious men that day!

“Prepare God’s arrival! Make the road smooth and straight! Every ditch will be filled in, Every bump smoothed out, The detours straightened out, All the ruts paved over. Everyone will be there to see the parade of God’s salvation” (Luke 3:4-6 MSG).

Jesus is leading the salvation parade. As leaders, let’s LEAD in sharing His salvation message everywhere we go.


How have you gone beyond the norm this Christmas, however great or seemingly small? Feel free to share in the Comment Section below.



As I’ve been saying in recent blogs, every leader, every believer, has a 24/7 calling to share Jesus with others. When we don’t talk with others about Him—which is more frequent than we’d like to admit—we often blame it on not feeling led. Let’s press into this concept of “feeling led.”

Of course, being led by the Spirit is biblical. Romans 8:14 says, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” We rightly strive to follow the Spirit’s leading and live in concert with our Father’s will. But I wonder if we wrongly categorize our gospel-sharing reluctance as “not feeling led.”

Two Times I Blamed My Reluctance On “Not Feeling Led”

  • I felt a tinge of excitement as I drove to the grocery store. I’d had a meaningful encounter with a cashier the week before, and hoped for another opportunity. As I wheeled my groceries into an open check-out line, I sized up the young cashier. Hmmm… he looks shy, I thought to myself. He probably wouldn’t be open to talking. And sadly, that was it. That was as far as I went in my thoughts. And my prayers. I just stood there, zoned out because of my own assumptions. I’m not condemning myself; just admitting that I had decided I wasn’t led, when actually I wasn’t willing.


  • Same thing at McDonald’s the following week. I took my Bible along for some mid-day inspiration during lunch. Two tables away, an elderly man sat nursing a cup of coffee. It seemed like he’d been there all day. Taking in the comings and goings of the busy people. Looking lonely. I thought of him several times throughout my short stay. I imagined what I might say to him. I prayed about what I might say. But I walked out, giving him a pleasant smile and a hello. Ugh. I think he could’ve used much more than that. But, I didn’t “feel led.”


I heard a speaker say, in a tongue-in-cheek, yet convicting way: “If you need to feel led before you talk to someone about Jesus, just put a lead sinker from a fishing line in your pocket. That way, when you’re deciding whether or not to approach them, you can reach into your pocket and feel lead! And then go ahead and talk with the person!”


God Already Expressed His Will

GO into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mk. 16:15).

DECLARE His glory among the nations, His wonders among all people (Ps. 96:3).

MAKE DISCIPLES of all the nations (Mt. 28:19).

Yes, we want to be led by the Spirit. And yes, we want to obey the scriptural mandates to share the gospel. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to stand before the Father and say, “I know You said, ‘Go, declare, and make disciples,’ but 99% of the time I just didn’t feel led. So I didn’t.”

“Father, stir our hearts, give us Your passion for the gospel and Your compassion for people. We pray with Paul that you would give us words as we open our mouths to boldly proclaim the mystery of the gospel as we should. Based on what You’ve already said, Father, we do feel led to share Your gospel with others.”



Has there been a recent time that you didn’t “feel led” to reach out, but could have? Or you did anyway? Feel free to share your experience in the Comment Section below.




I know, I know. Christmas, plus year-end responsibilities, equals one of the busiest seasons for Christian leaders. I don’t want to add to your stress, but I do want to add to your joy. And add light to those living in darkness. Let me explain.

On the Monday before Thanksgiving, during the Body of Christ time at our ministry, the staffer in charge encouraged us to think of ways we could extend Thanksgiving blessings to people we didn’t know. Ideas flew around the room, and God laid a few on my heart. Here’s how it played out through the week:

TUESDAY NIGHT I was running errands after a long day at work, and I needed something at the vitamin store. I’d been reaching out to the greeter there, but didn’t feel up to a conversation. When I told God, “I got nothin’,” He reminded me that He had everything. I pulled into the parking lot, half hoping the man wouldn’t be working. But he was. I greeted him by name and went on with my shopping—praying about what to say. After paying for my items, I told him I’d been praying for him and shared a verse with Him. He opened up, and we talked for an hour about his beliefs and mine. We were worlds apart, but face to face in a cordial conversation. He said, “You’re the first person who’s ever taken the time to listen to what I believe.”

THANKSGIVING DAY, between church and a family gathering, my husband and I stopped for gas. I went into the convenience store carrying a hand-made card with a verse and a five dollar bill tucked inside. As I paid for my protein bar, I said to the cashier, “I appreciate you working on Thanksgiving and wanted to give you this card.” His face lit up and he said, “Thank you so much!” He stretched out his hand to shake mine, and kept saying, “Thank you so much.” I asked his name and told him that God loves him and sees his hard work. The nameless, faceless young man was “Collin,” a precious human being who came to life when he experienced a touch of God’s love.

LATER THAT DAY we stopped at a restaurant where I meet monthly with a group of women to pray for our husbands and their small businesses. We often have the same waitress, who cheerfully tolerates our extended stays. The last time we were there, I told her why we meet, and she said, “I knew you ladies were up to something. That’s so cool!” The restaurant was mobbed on Thanksgiving Day, but before long I spotted her wielding an armload of plates. She greeted me with her typical, “Hey, sweetheart!” I gave her a card with some cash, a verse, and a few simple words – “This is a small token of our appreciation… but God’s love for you is no small thing…” She beamed and said, “You’ve made my day. Thank you!”

Even as ministry leaders, our 24/7 calling is to plant seeds of the gospel and make disciples. Engaging with people brings joy unspeakable into our lives, and the light of God’s truth into theirs.

So, during December—during this month of celebrating the birth of Jesus that has brought light and love and salvation and divine, eternal relationship into our lives—let’s share Him! Let’s share His love and truth! Let’s pray about ways to reach out of our comfort zones and into the lives of others. Jesus did it for us—He left the comfort of heaven to love on us. Let’s leave our comfort zones and love on others.

This new Christmas song, The Call of Christmas, by Zach Williams captures it well.


What are ways you plan to reach out to others this Christmas? Feel free to share your ideas in the Comment Section below.


Seeing And Speaking

Jesus, the greatest leader of all time, saw the individuals in the crowds around Him and was moved to compassionate action. As Christian leaders, we consciously engage with the people in our ministry world. But do we do the same with the people in our everyday world?

Last week I shared that God’s been leading me to interact with people when I’m out and about. As I’ve processed this with Him, He’s given me vision to see individual people with His eyes. He’s given me increased compassion, boldness to initiate conversations, and fresh insights to pass along.

It’s almost never been easy, it’s been awkward, and it’s also been ridiculously fulfilling. Best of all, people are being touched by God’s love.

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone into God’s Love Zone

  • I’m taking incremental steps with the greeter at a local vitamin store. On one occasion, I paused to say, “I just wanted you to know how much God loves you.” On another, I asked his name, and asked if there was anything he’d like prayer for. He responded, “You can do what you want, but I don’t believe in that stuff.” He might not believe now, but I’m praying he will. And I frequent that store.


  • A woman at Burger King had her head in her hands as she sat waiting for her food. I saw her on my way in, and was about to leave with my take-out meal when I noticed her again. I approached her and asked if there was anything I could pray for her about. There was. She was undergoing medical tests and was worried about the results. I prayed. Her husband joined us with a tray of food and a curious look on his face. I explained why I was there, and he shared that they’re believers. As it turned out, we had mutual friends through the ministry where I serve, and we had a great time of fellowship.


  • The man at the antique store in Washington D.C. wasn’t so receptive. As I paid for my small key, he explained that it was actually an old-fashioned lamp switch. I said, “Oh, so we can go from darkness to light—the same thing that Jesus does for us.” He said, “I’m an atheist.” To which I replied, “Well, even so, I’d love to pray for you, what’s your name?” He told me, shaking his head as I smiled at him and took my small parcel. It’s on my keychain—a tangible reminder to pray for him.


  • The cashier at the grocery store was having a hard day. Her scanner was broken and the produce scale was acting up. I began talking with her, and she added many more woes to her list of complaints. I sensed God’s heart for her, and as she handed me my receipt, I said, “As we’ve been talking, I felt God wanted you to know that you’re a jewel to Him.” Surprised, she said, “A jewel?” I said, “Yes, a jewel. You know, a gemstone. Not a rhinestone, which is a cheap imitation. He views you as a very precious jewel with great value.” God’s words hit her heart. Her face flushed. She said a soft, “Thank you,” with a sound of amazement in her voice.


When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Matt. 9:36, ESV)

See with God’s eyes. Feel with His compassion. Speak with His love and words. The call to be like our Good Shepherd extends beyond the sheepfold of our own ministry; sheep without a shepherd are waiting.


How have you been prompted to reach out to people you encounter outside your ministry circle? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.


Most Christian leaders give the lion’s share of their time and energy to their primary ministry calling. This is understandable given the weightiness of leadership responsibilities. But is there an even more comprehensive call to fulfill?

Over the past 14 months, I’ve been convicted of God’s overarching calling on my life to make disciples. I could argue that I’m facilitating that through my leadership at our “gospel-sharing” ministry—and to an extent that’s true. But on a very personal level, we’re each called to make disciples.

Here’s what I’ve become aware of within myself as I’ve pondered these things with the Lord.

My Confessions

  • I can tend to view my leadership calling as my main calling. So, at the end of a workday, I’m “off,” so to speak. After all, I’ve just given my heart and soul to that day’s advancement of the ministry.
  • While I see the people around me after work—at stores, gas stations, and community events—I don’t always see them like Jesus did. Jesus saw people as sheep without a shepherd. He felt compassion for them and ministered to them.
  • When I’m out and about, I’m either busy or burdened. I’m in a rush to finish my errands and get to the next thing on my list. The needy person behind me in line would not typically be on my list. If I’m not busy, I’m processing through an important issue in my life, and not sensing the importance of the person right in front of me.

5 Ways to Engage in Your 24/7 Calling

  • Be loved. You know God loves you, but do you know it on a personal, experiential, and current level (Eph. 3:19)? Press into the Word and ask God to help you know Him and His love in a fresh, deep way.
  • See people. Ask God to open your eyes to the people around you, and to see them like He does—like invaluable sheep, made in His image, who don’t yet know Him.
  • Be loving. Talk with God about how He wants you to express love to the person in front of you—whether through an action, a smile, a word of encouragement, an offer of prayer, or a conversation about Jesus.
  • Be bold. Even Paul prayed for boldness. The enemy covers us with a sheath of fear or awkwardness or rationalization for why we shouldn’t reach out to others. Pray for boldness to break through this barrier and step out!
  • Shine. Jesus is the light of the world, and He says we are the light of the world. Light shines, and we can shine with the beauty of the love and truth of Jesus. Wherever you go, you can shine so that others see and encounter Jesus in you.

“You are the light of the world.

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works

and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Matt. 5:14a & 16, ESV


Leaders’ lives are full. Their ministry responsibilities spread beyond a typical workweek. But a leader who lives in the fullness of God’s love readily shines that love to others inside and outside of their ministry.


What are the pitfalls you encounter in sharing Jesus’ love with people outside your ministry, and how is God helping you overcome them? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.


Some of the most ordinary things in life are actually extraordinary when we take time to ponder them. So let’s think about seeds—both physical and spiritual. And then let’s do something with them.

Last week I planted marigold and sunflower seeds in a container of peat pellets. I was pretty amazed when just a few days later they broke through the soil and even had tiny leaves. Their skinny stems were white from being sequestered under a clear plastic dome. When I took off the dome and placed the container on a window sill, they seemed to turn green right before my eyes. Every few hours, I could see noticeable growth.

Fun Facts About Seeds

Smallest seed. A tropical rainforest orchid seed is 1/300th of an inch long.

Largest seed. A palm tree seed is 12” long and can weigh up to 40 pounds.

Fastest vegetable seed. Broccoli, cauliflower and kale seeds germinate in one day.

Slowest vegetable seed. Asparagus seeds germinate in 21-30 days.

Oldest mature seed to germinate. A 2,000-year-old Judean date palm seed, discovered in Herod the Great’s palace in Israel, was planted and germinated in 2005.

As fascinating as physical seeds are, spiritual seeds are even more phenomenal. They’re actually supernatural, because they are literally the Word of God (Lk. 8:17). As such, they’re timeless—far older than the Judean date palm seed. But they’re very much alive and active (Heb. 4:12). Through the Spirit, seeds of God’s truth can transform people’s lives from eternal death to eternal life. We are born again by the imperishable seed of the Word of God (1 Pet. 1:23).

4 Keys to Cultivating Spiritual Seeds

  1. Receive them. As leaders, we need a steady diet of the seeds of God’s Word. If the Bible seems dry to you these days, remember that seeds look that way until they’re planted in moist soil. Ask God to soften your heart, then read the Word and He’ll germinate truth in your life.
  2. Gather them. As seeds of truth come to fruition in your own life, keep track of them. Meditate on them. Have them “at the ready” to share with others. An awesome thing about seeds of the Word is that when we give them away, we still have them. And there’s a never-ending supply in the Bible.
  3. Plant them. Scripture tells us to sow seeds freely and generously. Look for God-given opportunities to share seeds of the gospel and truth with people—believers and non-believers alike.
  4. Water them. Without water, seeds will die. They’ll also die from overwatering. Be sensitive to God’s Spirit as you speak the Word in season and out of season, exhorting people gently and respectfully.

By God’s design, physical seeds grow when planted and cared for. By God’s design, spiritual seeds grow and spring forth into eternal life. As we know from the parable of the sower (Lk. 8:4-15), when growth doesn’t happen, the issue isn’t the seed, it’s the soil.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “My job was to plant the seed, and Apollos was called to water it. Any growth comes from God.” As leaders and believers, our job—and our incredible privilege—is to plant seeds of the gospel and truth in people’s hearts. Let’s be generous seed sowers.


What’s God saying to you about planting seeds of truth? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.