Witnessing the religious way...is it Scriptural?

What comes to mind when you are lambasted for your lack of witnessing? Are you laden with guilt and shame because you are not witnessing for Christ? Do you get a dry mouth, break out in a sweat, feel nervous and speechless when you have tried to witness? Did you go to witnessing classes to become a better witness? Were you coached by a witnessing expert? Did you learn how to give a polished presentation of gospel witnessing? Did you learn the language of a good witness-er? 

May I be so bold as to suggest to you that God is not looking for ROBOT WITNESSES of denominated religions, nor is He elated with a polished presentation of sharing Jesus with others.  

The witnessing of the gospel is not a polished presentation to win converts to a denominated religion. Their presentation is not a presentation of the gospel of Christ. The gospel of Christ is divinely revealed by God to those He is calling into relationship with Him. That means it really doesn't matter how polished a speaker you are, or whether or not you've been "properly trained" to evangelize. To be a witness of Christ is not a "strategic" evangelizing exercise! This is a difficult reality to accept for many "denominated religionists" who have made it their life's mission to strategically evangelize people to join their religious denomination. 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ isn't a denominated business, nor does the Gospel need a marketing campaign to solicit members to attend a segregated gathering in a denominated building. The Gospel isn't there so you can "enlist" and make God pleased with you because you are witnessing...at least not the chore that religious witnessing is. God is pleased with you when you are simply who He made you to be and when you share Him genuinely from your own heart and experience in life living. By all means, share Him with people, but forget everything you've been taught about "the proper religious way to win people." Witnessing is more about being a living witness than about being a telling witness.

The thing about trusting the Holy Spirit is that God can take our simplicity and humility and even our nervousness about saying the right thing, and translate it into the perfect presentation of God that a person needs to hear. When all that religious pressure comes off and we realize that we are totally free in Jesus, then we can begin to just live freely and trust Him. Witnessing is not the manipulative event that religion is involved in! Witnessing by believers is not a denominated denomination that are trying to suck converts into their fold to board some train for a ride to heaven. Witnessing is about Christ in us, working through us to accomplish His eternal plan for humanity! Imperfect people with real lives and real problems, but a very real and BIG GRACEFUL|L and LOVING God that we really trust and love and who loves us dearly.

You don't have to be religious to have God effectively reveal Himself through you to others. The whole point of the Gospel is that our righteousness is as filthy rags anyway, so Jesus clothes us with His perfect righteousness. You can strive all day, every day, to try to be a more religiously devout person, but it won't make you any more effective for God. Effective witnessing is engaging in a relationship with God and with people based on His LOVE and GRACE.
Dedicating your life to a religious cause amounts to idolatry because we should only give our lives in dedication to God Himself. Some people devote their lives to a religious denomination more than to God and so they have trouble knowing and obeying God when for themselves He directs them to do things that don't fit the religious paradigm.

A relationship based on adherence to a religious routine is not conducive to good gospel witnessing. A big complaint of non-believers have of religious people is that they come across as fake, hypocritical and insincere. They talk like they have all the answers to life's problems but they too often, by their actions, prove that they are just as messed up, just as screwed up, confused and as frustrated by life's problems as anyone else. People are not dumb, they see through the religious facade.

To make matters worse, rather than simply pointing people to Christ as the answer to what ails them, they "witness" by inviting people to their segregated building they call church...the place where religion manifests all its wisdom, emotion, beauty and charm... that never seems to be relevant in living life when the denominated Sunday-programmed-event-driven-meeting is over. Religious people believe "sharing the Gospel" is all about; inviting people to church to hear the Gospel. In actual fact, that has NOTHING to do with the Gospel beyond serving as a cop out. The witness of the Gospel is when someone shows them Jesus in their daily living of life.

On the other hand, true Gospel witnessing can only be demonstrated from a relationship based in Spirit and Truth that can only be realized by understanding and appropriating God's Grace and Love.  

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