If you’ve ever felt torn between a desire to share your faith and a feeling of intense anxiety over your friends thinking you’re a weird, religious freak, you’re not alone. Most of us feel that strain, and we all address it in different ways. Some push through it, and others shy away from it. But what if there was a way to share your faith, both naturally and effectively? By learning about one simple university student’s success, together we can learn the principles that make sharing your faith easy and powerful. 

Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak 

There was a university student who loved Jesus and wanted to share his faith with others, but also needed to keep his grades up. This meant he had to spend hours at a time each week in his school’s library, pouring over textbooks and completing assignments. One day, he had an idea. Why not bring a small whiteboard with him and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to his heart, writing down whatever he felt God speaking? He began to do this every time he went to the library. One day, he had a sense that he should write the phrase, “you are not an accident” on the whiteboard. Later that day, his studies were interrupted by a young man. 

“What do you mean, ‘I’m not an accident?’ I was an unplanned pregnancy!” 

In John 4, Jesus shares this way with a Samaritan woman. He wasn’t knocking on doors, asking people if he could share a presentation with them. Instead, he was just going about his day, grabbing a drink of water, and listening to God as he did so. On that particular day, God spoke to Jesus about this woman and immediately opened a door into the whole village!  

Don’t Forget About Their Oikos 

Because he valued listening (not just to God, but to others as well!), our young friend didn’t just launch into an evangelical presentation with this fellow student right away. Instead, he asked more questions and spoke with them for a while. Eventually, he said… 

“You know, you have some pretty good questions. There are some stories in the Bible that answer those questions. Why don’t we meet in your dorm tonight and read the stories together? And why don’t you invite some friends that might have similar questions?” 

This response might seem unusual, but it follows Jesus’ example, thinking about the bigger picture.  There’s a story in Mark 5 where Jesus casts out demons from a man and sends them into a herd of pigs. Imagine, you are that man and you’ve just been set free in such a miraculous way by the one and only Son of God.  Naturally, you would want to hop in the boat and follow him, right? Yet, Jesus says no. This is because Jesus was thinking about the man’s oikos. Oikos is a Greek word that simply means household; your friends and family. In Mark 5, Jesus instructs the freed man to go to his friends and family because he knows that the proper response to finding something good is to share it with those you love. 

Let Them Be Taught By God 

The young man did exactly what our friend suggested. He gathered a group of friends, and together, they started practicing Discovery Bible Study (DBS). DBS is a simple, inductive, way for seekers to read the Bible. Instead of a sermon or a devotional, simple, open-ended questions are asked about a Bible passage. This group of students enjoyed meeting in their dorms for DBS because there was no religious leader there to tell them what to believe. They didn’t feel like they were “project” and were able to learn what the Bible says in a direct way, rather than hearing someone else’s interpretation of it. Jesus explains why DBS is so powerful in John 6:45, when he says,  

“It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard from the Father and learned from him comes to me.” 

Imagine your boss calls you and wants to relay some important instructions to one of your coworkers, who doesn’t have their phone on them. Sure, you could try to remember everything yourself and tell your colleague, but why not just call your boss and hand your coworker the phone?  

Jesus told the Pharisees that the scriptures reveal himself (John 5:39). Allowing people to encounter scripture, rather than sharing an evangelical presentation is so powerful because in that moment, they are learning directly from God himself. 

Tell Them to Entrust it to Faithful People 

The students enjoyed their time discovering the word of God so much that during their second meeting, some of them asked our university student if they could invite more people to the group. Surprisingly, the answer was no! Instead, the university student offered to coach the seekers to start a similar group in their dorms with those friends and their oikos. Consequently, three of them started new DBS groups! They didn’t need to have voluminous knowledge of the faith to do this. Instead, they just shared the little bit they had read with others, and the Christian university student helped them along the way by coaching from afar. 

We see this modeled consistently in Jesus’ ministry, especially in the examples shared above. After an encounter with Jesus, the woman at the well immediately went back to her village and the Gerasene man was told to return to his friends and family . It was Paul who explained this principle best, while giving advice to his apprentice, Timothy (2 Timothy 2:2): 

“What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” 


So, the next time you think you can’t share the hope you have in God with your friends and family, just remember these simple, Biblical principles: 

  1. Be quick to listen, slow to speak 
  1. Don’t forget about their oikos 
  1. Let them be taught by God 
  1. Tell them to entrust it to faithful people 

These principles didn’t just work in the first century; they’re still working today. We see this in the story of a simple university student, who helped three entire groups of seekers meet with Jesus, all while doing his homework! If you’d like to read more about this story and others like it, we recommend picking up Contagious Disciple Making, by Paul and David Watson, from which this story was borrowed. Or, you can sign up for the Waha Disciple Making Course today to learn how to create an entire movement of disciples that multiply in your community! 

If you’re feeling really inspired, click here to download the Waha app and experience how easy it is to facilitate a DBS yourself!