Today, I wanted to speak about Football. Well, not really: I wanted to expand on a lesson that we had in Vacation Bible School about taking the Word of God into the world. I know a lot of us struggle with sharing our faith with others, especially close friends and family. For me, the time I had to tell my family about my call into ministry made me nervous. What would they say, what would they think? But what I discovered is that they were happy about my calling and supported me in it. I’ve found the same to be true for almost every encounter I have with others when discussing Jesus.
Many people don’t mind talking about religion, yet others people are rarely the first to bring it up. So how do you bring it up? Good question and I hope to answer that in a series of blogs that I plan to write over the next few days.
But first I want you to consider something. Are you on the offense or defense when it comes to Christianity? Do you openly go to people and tell them about your faith (the offense)? Or do you only speak about your faith when something happens against your beliefs (the defense)? Or…are you sitting on the bench because the one time you told somebody about Jesus, they “rejected” you? (Let me be clear, although you may think they rejected you, they rejected Jesus, not you).
There’s another category I haven’t mentioned – the sideline. Are you just on the sidelines watching others talk about their beliefs? Do you cheer for them, or are you the stick in the mud that won’t root for either team (for or against Christianity)?
Well, no matter which position you are playing (or sitting) on the field, there is good news. God called us to be disciples of Him. God commanded us to go into the world and share our faith, but He didn’t just say to do it…He gave us the tools to accomplish it.
There are numerous methods and programs used to teach people about Jesus [these will be discussed in future blogs]. However, the main way to reach people for Christ is having a relationship with the other person. This first step is already complete among your friends and family.
But how do you tell somebody on the street about Christ? You can’t just go up to them and talk to them, right? After all, our parents have told us “don’t talk to strangers!” Well, I’m sorry, but Matthew 28:19 says “Go…[to] all nations.” But remember the next verse reminds us that God is with us “always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). We don’t have an excuse for not talking to people about God.
Still it’s hard, but God gave me a neat little question to open a conversation with. I used this at Lowe’s the first time and it works great. When you approach somebody, simply ask them “Do you know of a good church around here?” This question doesn’t offend most people, but it will tell you a lot about that individual’s religious convictions. From here you can use a variety of questions to turn the conversation to Jesus.
I will follow-up this blog with another entry soon about how to use this question and the response(s) they give to steer the conversation into a witnessing encounter.