Talking about Jesus doesn’t have to be weird.
In fact, talking about Jesus should be as natural and normal as talking about your family or your favorite sport or hobby.
Gospel conversations don’t have to be awkward one-off encounters that much evangelism training is geared toward. And turning a normal conversation in a gospel direction does not have to stress you out.
Here are a couple things to help you begin a gospel conversation.
Be freshly overwhelmed by the gospel. Take some time to meditate on the beauty and mystery of what God has done for you through Jesus. You’re forgiven and made a new creation. You’re filled with Holy Spirit power to live this new life. You are a child of the King, part of a kingdom family, the object of God’s mercy…WOW!
When you worship around the truths of the gospel, you find you are freshly overwhelmed by it. It really is good news, and you have no trouble sharing good news with someone else you know who needs to hear it.
Ask for deeper love and compassion for people. People are always on the heart of God. Ask him to put those people around you on your heart. See them from God’s perspective. Even those who are difficult will look different to you because your heart is softened toward them because of God’s love. Your posture toward them will be more open. That helps them to be more open to you.
Ask for opportunities. Ha, here’s where we stumble. You may get your heart ready to speak the good news, but you never ask God for opportunities. Why? Because you know God will give you one. And when it comes, you freeze or fail to seize it.
But ask anyway. God has a way of surprising you with fresh opportunities to speak the gospel. It may not be the occasion you imagined. It may not even be the person you were thinking of. But once you’ve asked for the opportunity, watch for it.
Ask for awareness of God’s work. God is always working around you. Ask the Spirit to make you sensitive to his work. Much of the time, it’s the opportunity you were asking for. It may not be dramatic. In fact it may seem pretty mundane. Remember, God does some of his very best work in the ordinary and the mundane. So when you see God’s work going on, join him!
Public space questions. Asking good questions is an excellent way to engage others in conversation. Public space questions would be asking things like what sort of work they do, where they live, and how long they’ve been in the area. This would be general information that you could likely discover from other sources, that’s why I refer to these as public space questions. Their answers can lead to the next level…
Personal space questions. You can ask about their family, their background, education, hometown, preferences in restaurants, movies, etc. This would be information of a more personal nature learned directly from the individual. People generally enjoy talking about themselves and things they love, so listen carefully to their answers.
Intimate space questions. This level of questions may take some time to get to. You would ask more intimate questions only after having developed a relationship with this person. They know things about you and a measure of trust and credibility has emerged. These questions may relate to personal beliefs, viewpoints and perspectives about heavier matters. An example might be, “So how did you come to believe that for yourself?”
What to listen for in their answers…
- Overlap or common experiences: maybe you have a similar experience
- Areas of pain: hurt, regrets, missed opportunities
- Areas of pride: family, accomplishments, work, skills
Their answers can provide gospel pathways into their lives (means by which you can speak the gospel into their lives).
Gospel conversations can happen every day. Get your heart postured around the gospel and toward people, ask God to set up the opportunities, then take them by asking good questions. Start up a gospel conversation today!