LifeWay Research recently published the results of a research project on the state of evangelism in the American “evangelical” church today. Their findings were very interesting, but one statistic in particular stood out to me. When asked to respond to the statement, “If a friend of mine really values their faith, I don’t mind them talking about it,” 79 % of the people surveyed agreed. This means that very few people are turned off by conversations about faith. Unfortunately, too many Christians have it in their heads that today’s culture is so against Christianity that virtually no one would listen to them if they brought up their faith in conversation.
The next time you sense an opening to share about your faith, take advantage of it – more people are willing to listen than you might think!
Here’s a few helpful tips to get you ready:
- Listen for the needs in the lives of others.
- Then, tell them how Jesus has met that need in your life. Some open doors to start talking about Jesus are: changes in a life situation; choices that need to be made; challenges that a person is experiencing; and cosmic questions a person might have about the meaning of life, etc. When these situations come up, simply say, “There’s only one thing that gets me through that…,” and when they ask, “What is it?”, be prepared to tell them how your faith in Jesus got you through one of those situations.
- When speaking about Jesus, be brief, be personal, and be grateful.
- Ask questions of the person with whom you’re talking. Questions help people stay tuned in during a conversation, show that you care, and reveal what’s on their hearts.
- Present the good news of Jesus in a positive way by telling his story with a spirit of joy and love.
- Read Acts 8:26-40 to see the aforementioned tips in action. In that story, we see that Philip (a) followed God’s leading; (b) positioned himself to be used by God; (c) listened for an open door; (d) asked a question; and (e) transitioned the conversation to Jesus.
Sharing your faith with another person is not as difficult as we sometimes perceive it to be. It simply requires the courage to transition everyday conversations into a conversation about Jesus. And that surprising statistic from LifeWay tells us that people will listen!
So, who will share the story of Jesus with today?
Pray about it, and look for the opportunities God puts in your path. People are willing to listen if you are willing to share.