In the course of daily life:
Wear a cross/crucifix or a religious symbol. You may be surprised how many times this will start a conversation about your faith.
Pray before a meal, especially with family and friends, but also in public places.
Refer to your church, your faith and the Bible in casual conversation with others.
Respond “Thank God!” or “God is Good!” when someone shares an uplifting story with you.
Say “I will pray for you” when someone shares a personal concern or difficulty with you.
Send a card or note of encouragement, offer words of blessing.
Be courteous and helpful in all public transactions; look for ways to give a verbal and positive witness to the hope that is within you.
As you walk through your day, scatter blessings. Some will take root and grow, others won’t.
Share a smile and personal greeting with a stranger.
Turn times of tension and conflict into moments of blessing.
Offer a “God word” in conversations about current public events (e.g. ”this situation, war, natural disaster, famine, pandemic).
Be thankful for God and the way God’s people are working to make this world a better place.
Ask someone you may have hurt for forgiveness.
Model Christian behavior when you coach or attend your child’s sporting events.
Speak up against injustice, racism, evil and verbal insult.
Be clear that your perspective is informed by your faith and belief in a loving, forgiving God.
In moments when God is blasphemed, speak up and say: “Excuse me, you’re talking about someone who is very important to me.”
In talking about the weather or scenery, marvel at the intricate beauty of God’s creation.
At the office:
Offer affirmation to colleagues for a job well done; share how thankful you are to God for their gifts.
Carry your faith over into your work by insisting on fair prices, good products and just treatment of customers and employees.
Share what motivates you to stand up for values.
Remember birthdays, job transitions with notes of blessing and encouragement.
In times of struggle and pain:
Visit neighbors, friends and colleagues when they are sick or hospitalized.
Share a devotional booklet and offer a prayer.
Deliver a meal to the family or person struggling with loss, tragedy, or illness.
Share a recording of uplifting, encouraging Christian music.
Mow the lawn, shovel the driveway, buy groceries, or clean the house without waiting to be asked. Then share why you were motivated to care.
Recognize the variety of issues that bring pain to people’s lives (financial crisis or loss, death, illness, divorce, abuse, etc.)
Be a listening ear.
Share how God has carried you in moments of personal struggle.
Send cards, more than once, with encouraging words of scripture.
In your neighborhood:
Host a new neighbor BBQ when someone new moves into the neighborhood.
Be public in a subtle way about your faith.
Coordinate a Block Party. Plan activities for the kids that foster friendship. Plan games that encourage sharing about life and values.
Find creative ways to help out neighbors in times of need with a bag of groceries, some help around the house or apartment, a card, flowers, or a listening ear.
Deliver a plate of cookies or a loaf of bread for no particular reason at all.
Warmly introduce yourself to new neighbors.
In your home and with your family:
Witness your faith with your own family by gently stating “I believe…”
Commit to regular prayer before meals and family devotions.
Play Christian music when listening to background music.
Monitor the television viewing of your children; take time to explain why something might offend or please you.
Commit family needs, struggles, and decisions to prayer.
Use “God-language” in your conversation with children and other family members.
Model your faith by taking time for daily devotions and Bible study.
Model stewardship and hospitality by giving money or food to people in need. Evangelize your children by sharing a Bible story with them before bedtime.
Take time to talk about what you experienced at Sunday Mass.
At times of life passage and celebration:
Remember birthdays, baptisms, first communions, confirmations, anniversaries, weddings, funerals, graduations, birth or adoption of a child, a move into a new home or apartment, and job transitions as special times when a word of blessing and affirmation can be shared through cards, letters, phone calls or in person.
Take time to share how you feel about the other person by committing your thoughts to writing.
Plan a party or celebration especially if it appears one wouldn’t otherwise happen.
Take your friend to lunch or out for dessert. Find a special way to celebrate their achievement.
At holiday and “holy day” times:
Remember that some people are more inclined to first come to church at Christmas or Easter.
Look for creative ways to invite a friend, neighbor, or co-worker to worship or to a special holiday event.
Share verbally why Christmas and Easter are times of celebration for you and your family.
Host a Thanksgiving Party for your neighbors. Find ways to help others reflect on their blessings.
Remember Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as a special time to care for others whose families may not be close by.
“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence.” 1 Peter 3:15
Jesus’ parting words to his followers were “Go, and make disciples…” (Mt 28:19-20) We are to be upfront in our witness, not to sit back and wait for others to come to us. In our complicated and fast-paced world, people are not quick to discern “the hope that is within us.” We must take the initiative by speaking and serving in the name of Jesus. We are to plant the seeds. The Holy Spirit is responsible for the growth and harvest.
What kind of witness is effective and faithful to our heritage as Catholics? A witness that respects the space and needs of the other yet confidently and courageously issues the invitation to “come and see.” This kind of witness is not threatening or coercive, nor does it require one to sign on the dotted line. It invites. Gentleness, reverence, and faith grounded in action are keys to witnessing on a daily basis.
Finally, remember to ground and center your faith sharing in prayer. Pray for guidance, opportunity, and courage to share your faith on a daily basis.
“Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.