The 5 Essentials: Fundamentals for sharing your faith
One of the biggest blunders we all make when we set out to share our Christian faith is to build a relationship with everything but Jesus. We love on people. We hint and hope. Yet these are not strategies for sharing our biblical faith. No, to help more people know God and make Him known, it’s best to focus on practicing 5 fundamentals for sharing your faith. We call this “practicing the 5 Essentials.”
What are the 5 Essentials?
About twenty years ago, when God called my husband, Renod Bejjani (iHOPE’s co-founder), to this ministry, he set out to learn everything he could about Muslim outreach. (Stick with me. The fundamentals are not just for Muslim outreach.)
Renod studied Islam, the Quran, and apologetics. He learned from all the subject matter experts. It was academic, complex stuff. Then Renod practiced what he learned. And very few Muslims became Jesus-followers.
“I was working hard and not seeing any fruit.”
Renod thought he just needed to learn more and work harder. So, he observed more expert evangelists and great church planters working among Muslims. After years of observation, he realized they weren’t any more successful than he was. He needed a new strategy.
That led him to interview and study testimonies of hundreds of former Muslims from all over the world who became Jesus-followers. Through all those observations, he discovered patterns. While there were countless nuances across all those testimonies, most all had five things prevalent throughout their coming-to-Jesus stories.
“I started calling the five commonalities the ‘5 Essentials.’ When I began practicing them with intention, I found them fruitful.”
Renod started teaching the 5 Essentials (faith-sharing fundamentals) to me and to others. We all found them fruitful too. In time, at the urging of his students, he wrote a book called Muslims: 5 Biblical Essentials Every Christian Must Know and Do. Since then, tens of thousands of Christians have told us,
“The 5 Essentials work with people from any faith, not just Muslims.”
Now after over a decade of knowing and practicing the 5 Essentials – faith-sharing fundamentals, here’s one thing I know to be true. If I can remember and do them, you can too. Experience tells me that when I share them with you, you’ll think to yourself,
“They sound so simple.”
And you’d be right. They are simple on the surface.
Yet knowing about them on a surface level is a lot different than deeply understanding them and doing them with consistency. Mastery begins when you deeply understand and consistently practice all five Essentials together, in the context of an authentic relationship over a period of time.
What are the 5 Essentials?
Consider which ones you have already been doing consistently, and those you have yet to master.
- Love in words, actions, and deeds
- Look for a “person of peace” (someone God is wooing to Jesus)
- Pray with them, in Jesus’ name
- Share the gospel, early and often (the simpler the better)
- Share the Bible
“While the 5 Essentials are easy to remember, and simple to do, once I began practicing them with intention, I realized I’ve just scratched the surface. Right now, I’m doing one consistently, and I’m learning to practice all five.” Jennifer, iHOPE Alumni
Fundamentals matter. You might brilliantly understand all the nuanced details about other faiths. Yet that won’t help you share your Christian faith.
Living as an authentic Christian witness among people of other faiths and cultures begins when you deeply understand and consistently practice all 5 Essentials together over time. Then, sharing Jesus becomes a joyful experience that is as natural as breathing.
Think it Through
- Of the 5 Essentials, which one(s) are you most comfortable practicing today?
- What Essentials do you need to get more comfortable with?
- What would stand in the way of you consistently practicing all 5 Essentials?
- What are your next steps?
Take your Learning Deeper
- Read these books: Muslims: 5 Biblical Essentials. and The Blue Cord.
- Listen to our podcasts for stories of everyday Christians who are practicing the 5 Essentials.
- Take our online course here.
Tags:Faith-sharing fundamentals, Share Your Faith