Who do you want to see begin a relationship with God this year? Whether it is someone you know or a burden you have for people in your community, opportunities to share the Gospel are all around you. Sometimes, we just have to open our eyes.
Jesus connected with people every day. He began conversations intentionally, and they often lead to deeper discussions about faith. Now for some people, starting conversations comes easily and naturally. But for the rest of us, beginning conversations may be a bit more difficult.
Recognizing the opportunities around us is key. We don’t have to travel across the world to share the love of Jesus with someone. All around us, people are searching for genuine relationships. They want to connect with others. So what would happen if we tried to engage with just one person each day? Now, not every attempt will end with a long-lasting relationship or a spiritual dialogue. But some will. And as we engage in conversations, we have the opportunity to point them to the ultimate relationship with Jesus.
Pray for God to open your eyes to the opportunities around you. Ask Him to fill you with compassion for those who don’t know Him. Pray for open doors to share His love with people you know (and maybe people you don’t know yet). If we ask, He helps us step out of our comfort zones and begin that conversation.
Here are three tips to get you started:
Begin casually. Find a hook to start the conversation. Strike up a conversation about something they are wearing, shopping for, or a current event in the community. Get to know them. Look for common interests, but keep the focus on them – their thoughts, ideas, and framework for life. Make them feel comfortable. Don’t think about what to say next. Think about what to ask next.
Ask engaging questions. Invite them to share about their lives, values, and experiences. Find out what really goes on in their world, and listen. Be genuinely interested in what they have to say. Craft deeper questions around things they say that invite them to share their views about faith and God.
Encourage meaningful dialogue. Continue to exchange ideas and views that transition into the spiritual part of their experience. Be compassionate, not judgmental, even when you don’t agree. Look for opportunities to share the Good News about Jesus that flows naturally with the conversation. Remember to ask permission first before you share your story about God or begin a Gospel presentation.
As we begin conversations with the people around us, we often discover that people are more open than we think to talk about spiritual matters. Opportunities to share our faith are all around us. Pray that God will allow you to be a part of what He is doing in the lives of other people. Then, we simply need to step out in faith and begin those conversations.
Rev. John B. Sorensen, D.D. is the President/CEO of Evangelism Explosion International, headquartered in Arden, N.C. EE has been a leader in equipping Christians to share their faith for more than 55 years. For more free tips and resources, visit evangelismexplosion.org.