I cannot say that my memory is not what it used to be. It’s been bad for as long as I can remember. So, just from last week to this week, I had already forgotten that I was going to write about this topic and I had already written a whole post about something completely different. Fortunately, I caught myself and will post the other article next week.
For this week, I want to continue where I left off from last week’s post. When we last ended, I had promised to go over some ideas on how to talk about Jesus while minimizing how uncomfortable we sometimes can make people when we talk about that sort of thing. To that end, let’s dive on in.
So, how do you share Christ without seeming like a Bible-thumping zealot and making people feel like you’re beating them over the head with your faith? That’s a great question. And the most all-encompassing answer I can give is probably going to seem as though it’s not very helpful…at first. In the most ambiguous terms I can muster, it comes down to this…know your audience.
Really that’s the crux of it. Know your audience! If you know who you’re talking to and what they are like and how they communicate and where they are at with respect to their faith (or lack thereof) and such matters, that will go a long way toward discerning how to approach them. Each person is going to be different and will respond differently to different methods, tactics and such. Your job is to know your audience in order to know which approach will work best and do the least amount of damage to them, you, your relationship and their potential to accept Christ.
Greg Koukl has a book available that talks about the tactics that you can use to talk to people about Christ. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book. He uses what he calls “the Columbo Method” quite a bit. I’ll leave it up to the book to describe this in more detail as this is more geared toward what to do once the conversation has begun.
What about that uncomfortable moment when you’re hanging out with someone and you really want to bring up Jesus, but aren’t sure how to do it without sounding like a fanatic? After all, it’s broaching the subject that typically seems to be the hardest part.
Perhaps one really easy thing to do is to take advantage of your local church and any events they might be having in the near future. Our church recently had “West Fest” where they had inflatable slides, bouncers, train rides, petting zoo, live music, a hay-field maze, obstacle courses, etc. That’s a pretty easy thing to invite someone to. And it opens the door to talking about the church itself. From there, it’s not so difficult to mention the current teaching series and then invite them to check it out.
Sometimes, whatever the series is that is being taught is just what someone needs right then. If you know someone dealing with loneliness and that’s the current subject of the teaching, invite them and let them know that you really think they’d benefit from the teaching. No obligations. No strings. (Or, at least, there shouldn’t be.)
If you’re fairly plugged in at your church, it’ll help provide plenty of opportunities to bring things up. People talk about stuff they do. That’s normal and natural. If you go to Bible-study on Wednesday nights, there’s no reason you can’t mention a conversation that came up at Bible-study. Or you can bring up a funny/related situation that you recently heard/went through involving someone at your church.
The important thing to remember is…if they just don’t want to go to church with you, or they don’t want to talk about Jesus or the Bible or anything like that…don’t push it. It’s not respectful of them to push them to believe something that they aren’t ready to believe or simply don’t want to believe.
It all goes back to…know…your…audience.
Have you had conversations with friends, co-workers or family that resulted in them going to church and accepting Christ? Share some of your experiences with us.
Grace, love and peace.