A Seat at the Table

The question is what does having a seat at a table mean, really?

Most everyone is undoubtedly familiar with the term “having a seat at the table.” It is most often reserved for those who are considered to have both the influence and power to make decisions and effect change, the table has become a symbol of power, negotiation and credibility through which one can forward their career, generate a sale or plot a course for commercial success.

In other words, when one is provided with a seat at the table, it represents an opportunity to be heard and to make a difference.

To have a seat at the table often means you represent interests unapologetically and are not afraid to speak up even if you are the dissenting voice. Someone who is not afraid to “go against the grain” to do the right thing, for the right reason, for the people or the cause.

But what about the other table? Are we not all invited to sit at the table with Jesus?

Of course, there is much more behind coming to the table than simply taking a seat.

John 12:1-2 tells us, “Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.”

To be dead, and then made alive is truly a life-changing experience. But God doesn’t stop there. He seats us at His table, in relationship, fellowship and communion with Him.

You may not be invited to sit at someone’s table because of who you were and what you’ve done. But God has forgiven you. He has washed you. He has removed the old and dressed you in the newness of Christ. He has seated you in a place of honor and glory with Jesus. What a tremendous blessing!

If He raised you up spiritually, He can raise up your dead relationships, your dead finances, your dead sickly body, or your dead way of thinking. Anything that’s lifeless and unresponsive, He will quicken and cause to come alive by His word and power (John 6:63).

So, what do you do with your seat at the table?

Think about this last point for a moment. We are invited to sit with God. Can you feel that? Take a minute to genuinely feel the blessing of sitting with God. And, once you do, don’t you kind of what to share it with others?

Think about the day that you were saved. Maybe this was recent, or maybe this was long ago. No matter when or how it happened, that day is always a game-changer. After that day, life never goes back to normal – there is a new normal. A normal where Jesus is ever-present in your daily activities, talks, voice, thoughts. After you were saved, did you want to share Jesus with others?

When our life changes dramatically in such a positive way, we either want to tell the world and go into it blindly, or we get nervous about talking about Jesus and don’t know how to begin.

Here are some simple ways to share the gospel without coming across pushy, preachy or, honestly, obnoxious. You have a seat at the table, here is how you can be heard in a way others can understand and embrace.

So, how do you share the Word of God with others?

You don’t have to be a pastor to talk about Jesus with others. Sharing the gospel does include talking about Jesus and the stories in the Bible – but it also includes things such as how we carry ourselves, how we treat others, the words we use, the things we do.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15 NIV

The simple truth is Jesus has not returned yet (the second coming) because he is waiting as long as possible so that as many people as possible can make the choice to follow Him. That’s the simplistic version – but it works. The point of sharing the gospel with others is to share the Good News so others will WANT to know Christ and have their own personal relationship with Him. This won’t happen if they just see you as another member of the “God Squad,” “One of those Christians” or worse “A jerk for Jesus (who shoves it down their throat).”

The better approach is by:

  • sharing your own personal story or testimony
  • offering an ear to listen and encourage them
  • reflecting Jesus through your works and deeds
  • reflecting Jesus on social media
Share the Gospel Through Your Testimony

One of the easiest ways to share Jesus with others is through your personal testimony. Many people may be resistant to simply hear another “Jesus” story, but they are more likely to be interested in a personal transformation story. We all have one.

A few years back through a series of events I was awkwardly (for me) seated next to a gentleman at a large dinner. He started small talk which in general is my nemesis. He asked where I worked. At the time it was church. This propelled us into a 2-hour conversation into why he wasn’t much of a believer. Although he was Jewish, he was not walking in any faith. He asked why I followed Jesus. Strong question.

Simple answer: I am a much better person following Him and living like Him then I was pre-Jesus. I have seen dramatic change in my life since choosing Jesus.

Him: Wow

The next morning as we were checking out of the hotel, we ran into him and his wife. He pulled me aside to tell me that he had spoken to his wife, and they were going to give church another try. Interestingly enough, a Christian church.

A song I really like is My Story by Big Daddy Weave. One of the lyrics in the song says “to tell you my story is to tell of Him.” This is crucial when talking about Jesus with others; it should be all about Him and how great He is, and the great things He has done in your life. I never talked about religion. I only talked about relationship.

There is no perfect testimony. When I was leading small groups, I often heard, “But I have no real testimony. Mine is boring.” No such thing. Maybe you grew up in the church and never had a “defining” moment. That is amazing! It’s okay to talk about how you have always been with Jesus, and how that has affected your life. Talk about how you always knew how to talk about God or to God and the remarkable things that have happened because of it. Or maybe you came to Jesus crawling through fire and broken glass (like me), well, then talk about that. It is your story. Every story has impact; He will make it so.

In an Elevator

You may have a general “elevator pitch” of how to share Jesus with others, and that is a great thing. However, if a time comes that you don’t use that, that is fine too. The spirit leads us in amazing ways, and sometimes talking about Jesus will lead us to discuss something else that happened in our life because of Him. God didn’t show up in my life once and then never appear again! He is constantly working in our lives so we may end up sharing a different personal testimony with different people, and that is okay.

Listen Up

Imagine a non-believer who is going through a hard time because of previous sinful behavior or bad decisions. The truth is that many non-believers expect a Christian to come at them all judgmental. “If you had been right with God, none of this would have happened!”

It is human nature to start offering advice when we see someone struggling. We often jump right into telling them what they should or shouldn’t do about their situation.

Don’t be that Christian!!

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19

Instead, just listen to them. Avoid judging their situation. Avoid giving them your personal opinion of their situation. Just offer your ear. Let them know that they are still worthy, valuable, lovable and, yes, God still loves them.

Share The Gospel Through Your Works

For some of us, we’d like to verbally share the Gospel and be done with it.

For others, we’d like to do some good works, or write a check, and be done with it.

Box checked!

Nope. We are called to do both.

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.” Matthew 5:16

The good works of Jesus in today’s world come through us being His hands and feet. This means that since He is not on this Earth anymore, we need to do the work for Him equipped with the Holy Spirit in us. This is helpful to do after speaking about Jesus because most people don’t learn by just listening to words, they respond to action. (Imagine a teacher that just presents a lecture versus a teacher that lectures and follows it up with an interactive lesson.)

If someone is going through a challenging time and you talk to them about Jesus, follow through with what you talked about with the walk. Ask them how you can help. Ask how you can pray for them. Check-in on them. Follow up with them. You never know when you are the only person that follows through like that.

When you see a need, fill it! Whatever resources you have – time, money, talents – use them to serve others!

Share the Gospel with Social Media – Wait! What?

Yes, we could write an entire blog on this subject, but here is the short version. The most powerful (Earthly) tool we have – literally at our fingertips – is the power of social media. Statistics show many of us spend more time on social media than we do with our family and friends! Ugh!

But social media gives us immense power in sharing the gospel across the entire planet! I’m not suggesting Jesus memes and scriptural answers. But one simple rule, before posting or sharing anything, always ask yourself “If Jesus had Facebook, would He post this?” Great Rule! It’s ok to let people know you are a follower of Christ and then post like one.

Bottomline, you are “at the table.” You have influence. You may meet many people in your life that are open to talking about Jesus, but also be the one that has actions that match it to the point that no one can deny Him!

Finally, become a conversation encourager. Besides the knowledge that you bring to the table, listen and observe what others are saying and doing, and don’t be afraid to challenge ideas or have your ideas challenged. Listen well, but also speak up. Share your thoughts, opinions, and beliefs. Own your space at the table. You are in good company. After all, He invited you.