Typically we think of those outside the Body of Christ when we talk about sharing our faith - but Christians need to hear "the reason for your hope" too. Why?
1. Because Life is Hard - there are believers in every congregation who are on the brink. Their circumstances are causing them to wrestle with their faith. Each Christian will have those moments when he wonders, "Where is God in this?" Parents who helplessly watch their child fight for life... the wife whose husband of 20 years rips their family apart chasing after an invading interest... young people whose professors are ripping apart all things metaphysical... life is hard. Sometimes our faith is strong and comforting. Sometimes our faith is like moth-eaten, stale fabric that has spent too many winters in the back of an overcrowded closet.
Broken people need you to share your faith with them. Many of those "victims of life" are one disaster away from checking out. Be a lifeline... an encourager.
2. Because it is commanded - Think of the injunction, "Bear one another's burdens." Solomon told us that a fitting word is like "apples of gold in settings of silver" (Proverbs 25:11). All of us can remember a time when God led someone to us who said just the right thing to change our perspective or lift our spirits. People need that. Saved people need to know they are loved. Too many pastors get so caught up pursuing new people that they forget those who have been 'in the trenches' with them. Discouragement is common among us because so much of what we do is attacked or seems fruitless or because we battle a sin nature that is often selfish. That's why something so beautiful as "encouragement" has to be commanded - because we are so prone to think only of ourselves.
3. Because it will bless you - Though we shouldn't strive FOR blessing but to BE a blessing, it truly is refreshing to be a part of making a difference in someone's life. Though helping others can be exhausting at times - I know of no greater work... no richer blessing than being another man's Barnabas. Think of what it meant to Onesiphorus to hear Paul say, "He has often refreshed me." When long dead and gone, the encourager's legacy lives on.
Jesus blessed others. Though He often confronted those whose lives were empty religious shells, He had a magnetism that drew crowds everywhere He went. Why?? Because He loved the unlovable, restored the fallen, and encouraged the weak. Be like Him! Look for ways to bring light to another's darkness. Yes, even believers need to hear WHY they should trust the Lord.