Have you noticed that many people can talk about children, grandchildren, dining experiences, shopping deals, sports teams, the weather, the economy, or politics with relative ease and conviction? Why do we struggle or hesitate talking with people about Jesus? In Col. 4:2-4, Paul said, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison-that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.” Paul desired for the Lord to use him to transition normal conversations into spiritual conversations.
How do you and I talk with other people about Jesus? I want to offer you six thoughts about how God uses us to engage people in spiritual conversations. I hope these six ideas will help you share Jesus with other people with courage, clarity, and conviction.
- Pray for a sensitive spirit. God is the One who opens and closes doors in ministry. You and I never want to force or manipulate opportunities to reach non-believers. Are you asking God to orchestrate your walk, allowing you to meet people who don’t know Him? God desires to use you and me to reach other people. Proverbs 11:30 says, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.” As you’re hanging out with family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues, find out where God is at work. If you’re in a public place, look around and see who appears to be troubled, stressed, or confused. May the Lord equip us to be sensitive to His leadership and to the needs of people (physical and spiritual)!
- Ask basic questions about life. Basic life questions are icebreakers. As we meet new people in the community, we can ask them, “Are you from Tallahassee? Are you a student at FSU? When did you move to our city? How long have you worked here? Have you had a good day? How was your weekend? What do you think about the weather?” I can tell a lot about a person by asking basic life questions. As I ask questions, I’m seeking an awareness of the person’s openness to talk, too. In restaurants, I generally ask servers how I may pray for them. It’s an effective way to break down walls with people.
- Inquire about a church connection. As we talk with people about life issues, one question to ask is, “Do you attend a church in our city?” If a person says yes, I’ll ask, “What church do you attend? Who is the pastor? What was the sermon about on Sunday?” If the person says no, I ask, “Did you attend church growing up? As you hear the word church, what comes to mind?” As I ask a person about church, the conversation is changing from normal “stuff” to spiritual “truths.”
- Extend an invitation to attend church. Inviting people to church should come natural to us. When was time you invited another person to Bradfordville? As I meet people unengaged with a local church, I always try to invite them to attend our church. I give them the name of the church, the location of our facility, and the time of the Sunday morning worship service. I often give people the church’s website address, too. I’ve found that many people have never been invited to a church. I love to talk about Bradfordville to people in need of a church family.
- Transition the conversation to Jesus. As you and I come to this place in a conversation, the next step is to introduce Jesus’ name and ask a person about his or her personal relationship with Him. Depending on the person and the context, I’ll ask one of the following questions. “In your personal opinion, what do you understand it takes for a person to go to Heaven? Through the years, have you come to know Jesus in a personal way or would you say that you’re still on the way?” Those are open-ended questions. I’m looking for more than a simple yes or no answer. You want to see if he or she gives a faith response, a good works answer, or is clueless and confused about spiritual matters.
- Share the Gospel as the Spirit leads. You and I never want to force conversations or be pushy, and we never want to miss an open door the Holy Spirit presents us. At this point in a conversation, I frequently ask a person, “May I share with you what the Bible says about Jesus and knowing Him?” If the person says no, I respect the person’s answer and acknowledge my prayers for him or her. If the person says yes, I sow spiritual seeds at this point. As we share the Gospel, we’ll want to know key Bible verses (Rom. 3:23; Rom. 5:8; Rom. 6:23; Rom. 10:9-10; Rom. 10:13; Jn. 3:16; Jn. 14:6; Acts 4:12; Eph. 2:8-10; 1 Jn. 5:13, etc.); we’ll want to keep the Gospel presentation to three minutes or so; and we’ll always want to keep the door open for future conversations. It’s highly likely at some point that we’ll see a person repent and come to Christ because many people have prayed and witnessed to the person prior to us. Whether we’re sowing or reaping, praise God that the Gospel is being shared!
Who needs to hear about Jesus from you? God desires to use you to turn a normal conversation into a spiritual conversation. I’d love to hear your stories of how the Holy Spirit uses you to share Jesus. Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your stories of victory and celebration!
Sharing the Good News,