Halve a Conversation
Have a Conversation
According to LifeWayResearch.com, 79% of unchurched Americans indicate that if a friend really values their faith, they don’t mind if that friends talks about it. That’s encouraging news. It explodes as a myth the view that nonbelievers don’t want to discuss spiritual things. Alvin Reid, in his book, Sharing Jesus without Freaking Out (Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2017), agrees. He writes, “Lost people are more amazed at our silence than offended at our message” (p. 13). He also says, “If Jesus is the greatest thing that ever happened to us, he should come up in our conversations” (p. 50). Nothing helps getting the conversation moving in the right direction better than being friendly. As Reid says, “if you are friendly, most people are also friendly” (p. 63).
In addition to being friendly, Reid says we need to love others: “If we honestly love Jesus and people we can honestly and confidently talk to them” (p. 69).
We often fail to share Jesus with others out of fear we will not have the right answers to their questions and objections. To be sure, there is a need to have answers to things that hinder unbelievers from coming to faith. But we must never forget that, as Reid says, “the gospel, not your answers or arguments, is the power of God for salvation” (p. 102).
Reid encourages us to simply try to have a conversation with someone as opposed to trying to take the person through a gospel presentation. He argues, rightly I believe, that this “takes the pressure off the witness and relates the gospel more clearly to an unbeliever” (p. 41). He advises us to converse with people about either their pain or their passion (p. 47). That’s really good advice! Look for what’s causing them heartache and let them talk with you about it. Likewise, try to find out what really excites them and makes them happy, and let them talk about that. Anybody you meet has both things that bring them pain as well as things they feel passion for. Get them talking about those and you may be surprised what kinds of doors to the gospel God opens.