Ideally, the thought of sharing the gospel should fill us with joy. However, realistically, it often fills a lot of us with trepidation and nervousness.
That is why I was so dreading a recent assignment I had for seminary in which I was required to interview a handful of non-Christians. I was to ask them about their religious background and beliefs in order to gain a greater understanding of different faiths, and if I felt like it was appropriate, I was encouraged to share my faith in Jesus with them.
Afraid of saying the wrong thing and making a relationship awkward, I must admit that I wanted to hide under the covers and ignore this assignment. I am glad that I didn’t because these interviews ended up being enlightening, meaningful, and even fun. They taught me that sharing the gospel not only involves our mouths – it also involves our ears.
Oftentimes, we Christians feel like we have to do all the talking. After all, we know the truth, right?! However, by asking my friends questions about their beliefs about God and Jesus and listening – really truly listening – to their answers, I was able to show my friends Christ’s love by being respectful… the R word some Christians foolishly avoid because they don’t want to appear to be religiously pluralistic. With most of my friends, a natural dialogue was created to discuss our differing faiths and for me to share Jesus with them. I found it to be the most easy and genuine way to open the door to talking about Jesus.
I encourage you not to shy away from talking about spiritual matters with your non-Christian friends. Rather than sitting down and diving into the “let me tell you about Jesus” stuff right off the bat, try starting the conversation by asking them what they believe. Not only will you find it interesting to hear from others who think differently than you, you will grow closer to and value that friend so much more – and, God willing, you will probably have a chance to tell them about our Savior who loves them.
Need some suggestions on questions to ask your friends? Try these:
• What is your religious background?
• What do you think God is like and what does He value?
• Who do you think Jesus is?
• What are your thoughts on the Bible?
• What do you think it takes to be right with God?
• Do you think our sins need to be atoned for?