Share My Faith This Thanksgiving – 8 Practical Steps
Thanksgiving is an easy time of the year to share your faith across cultures. Not only can your humble witness have eternal significance for someone who doesn’t know about Salvation in Jesus, but you can also model sharing the gospel across generations for your family.
Expect the Unexpected
Last year my sister and her family traveled across the country to join our family for Thanksgiving. They live in a rural area, and my niece and nephew didn’t have many opportunities to meet people from other faiths or cultures. We warned them ahead of time that we’d invited several other-faith international students to join us on Thanksgiving, and that we would be sharing our Christian faith during the meal.
It was a great day. Full of curious questions, our international students embraced the whole experience – starting with the story of the first Thanksgiving, a passage from the Holy Bible, good food, loving fellowship, the round-robin stories of God’s care and provision, and our heartfelt prayers.
Then came the unexpected! My brother-in-law, an introvert, initiated a conversation that led to a deep spiritual discussion with everyone around the Thanksgiving table. Our niece and nephew watched in fascination. They’d never seen their dad boldly share his faith like that before. We all vastly underestimated what an incredibly memorable meal it would be for everyone.
Recently, my sister texted me,
“The kids are very unhappy that we can’t be at your home this Thanksgiving. They are still talking about what happened around the table last year, and they wanted to have dinner with more international students. Too bad the nearest university is hours away.”
Start a family tradition. Here are eight practical steps for you to share Christ this Thanksgiving.
- Reach out now to your church, international student organization, or local refugee resettlement agency for a referral. These organizations can connect you with someone who would love to join you. God is bringing people here from the world’s least-reached nations. It’s easy to forget that most don’t know much about Jesus or Thanksgiving. You can change that.
- Extend an invitation and let them know what to expect. Explain who will be at your home, what to wear, and what to bring. Check for any allergies. Be mindful that an international student may need a ride to your home. Some may not yet speak English fluently, so you might want to have Google translate at the ready.
- Begin praying for your guests and asking God for opportunities for you and your family to be authentic Christian witnesses.
- On Thanksgiving, before the meal explain that you’re a follower of Jesus and that you will be praying in Jesus’ name, like this:
“I’m a follower of Jesus. That means that I’ve confessed with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, so I’m saved (from Romans 10:9) And as a Jesus follower, I pray before meals in Jesus’ name because God revealed in the Holy Bible (Romans [8:34]) that Jesus Is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”
- During the meal, share why Christians celebrate Thanksgiving. Then read a Bible verse like this one from Psalm 105:1-5 ESV:
“Oh, give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done.”
- Invite everyone around the table to share one “wondrous work” that God did this past year – something they’re rejoicing over – along with one prayer request for the upcoming year.
- Model praying and submitting requests to God, in Jesus’ name like this:
“God tells us to bring our prayers to Him and He hears us. God’s Holy Word in Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious for anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
- Rely on the Holy Spirit to guide your steps.
For More Practical Things You Can Do
- Listen to our podcasts for stories of everyday Christians who are sharing their faith
- Read these books: Muslims: 5 Biblical Essentials. and The Blue Cord.
- Take our online course here.
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