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Sharing the Gospel - Conversing as a Christian Print E-mail
Sharing the Gospel

I. Introduction:
Many of the books and articles I have read concerning evangelism include some story about sharing the gospel on an airplane.  For whatever reason (I guess writers of books and articles fly frequently), at some point the author includes a story, usually from his own experience, about sharing with someone who was sitting next to them on the plane. 

At times, these stories are helpful in thinking about conversing with a stranger about the gospel.  Yet, if I am honest, I do not fly that often (maybe once a year) and it seems I should be getting into conversations about the gospel more than that.  If sharing the gospel with others means at least speaking the gospel verbally to another person, then how do we get in conversations where we can do this?  How do we begin such discussions?

II.  Beginning the Conversation:

 First, we should admit that beginning the conversation is often the most difficult part of sharing the gospel with others.  At some point, we have to make the leap from talking about baseball, the boss, what we watched on TV last night, to Creation, Fall, Redemption, and New Creation.  How do we do that without being so offensive that we lose the opportunity?  I mean how do we make it fit into our normal conversation?  The simple answer is that it will not fit.  Discussing the gospel with someone who is not a believer is an intimate conversation, it is not on the same level as baseball or TV.  Yet, that does not mean that we cannot get to such an intimate conversation by traversing through every day conversations.  Granted it takes some work, some creativity, and most of all much help from the Holy Spirit, but seemingly every conversation can lead to the gospel.  The greatest example of this is of course Jesus, who could ask a woman for water and be speaking the truth about himself to her within minutes (see John 4).  Granted, we are not the Lord, nor will we ever be, but we can, and we are called, to speak of Christ in our every day conversations.  And we have to begin somewhere. 

Second, since there is no set method in beginning conversations, we do not need to over think this issue. At the end of the day, the real key for us is simple boldness.  When we see the opportunity, we do not need to mull it over for a couple of days wondering how we will answer their questions and struggles, no, we need to speak and trust the Spirit to guide us.  We will not be obedient to our call to share the gospel if we are not willing to take some risks.  One of the first risks we must take is simply beginning the conversation.  We need to be intentional about taking such risks.  In other words, if there is someone that you work with that does not know the Lord, then you need to go to work looking for ways to talk about the gospel (for examples, see below).  Thus, be bold and take advantage of every opportunity to begin a conversation about Christ (see Ephesians 4:25-32, 5:15-16, Colossians 4:5-6).

III.  Guiding the Conversation:

  First, ask questions.  Before you can begin to show the weaknesses in their worldview and present the gospel, you need to take some time to listen to what they believe.  People come from all different walks of life.  They have all kinds of experiences that impact what they believe.  We need to do the best we can to be patient and discern what other people believe about life, sin, God, Creation, evil, etc.  If we do not listen and simply run over them with the gospel, then they may tune us out from the very beginning.  Thus, we need to possibly begin with some questions.  As we continue to talk with them, we need to continue asking questions.  We want the person to really wrestle with what they claim to believe and what we are claiming to believe.  One of the best ways to aid them in doing that is by asking them questions.  Again, Jesus was a master at using questions to get people to think.  Consider the Pharisees and the Sadducees.  Jesus was always able to show them the error of their thinking by asking them questions (see Matthew 22:15-33).  We need to use the same tactic as we are discussing worldviews with other people.  Our hope is that God would use these discussions to reveal to them the error of what they believe and the truthfulness of the gospel.  One book to consider on this subject is Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman.

 Second, labor to identify their worldview in all conversations.  People will reveal what they believe if we only pay attention.  Again, part of conversing as a Christian is knowing when to stop thinking about we are going to say next and just listen to what is being said.  We need to learn how to discern what people believe through what they say.  This will take some practice, but it is important as we seek to find opportunities to speak the gospel.  For example, if a person is complaining about marriage, we should try to understand what they see as important in marriage and what they value in their spouse.  From here, we could simply ask them what they think the purpose of marriage is.  Depending on their answer, we could share with them from Ephesians 5 that Christ has come to capture a Bride for Himself.  This could lead into a presentation of the gospel.  Likewise, this discussion could reveal whether or not they believe in sin or whether or not they believe in a higher power or a true standard.  Once we establish some of these basics, we can then try and get them to see that all of these point to the God of the Bible.  As we have said before, many of the people that we will be talking to have some knowledge of God and the Bible and usually some belief in right and wrong.  All of this can be used as jumping off points for speaking the gospel if we are listening and looking for opportunities.

IV.  Conversation Questions Pertaining to our Four Headings:

 A.  God and Creation:  How do you explain the origins of man?  What do you believe is the purpose/meaning of life?  How did we get here?  If you believe that God created us, do you believe that we are accountable to Him?

 B.  Man and the Fall: How do you explain what is wrong with humanity?  Do you believe that murder/stealing/lying/cheating are wrong?  How do you decide what is right and wrong?  Do you do what is wrong at times?  If you believe in God, how do you think he responds when we do what is wrong?

 C.  Christ and Redemption: Who do you think Jesus was?  Why did he come to earth/live a perfect life/die on the cross/raise from the dead?  What does it mean to have a relationship with Jesus?  Do you have a relationship with Jesus? 

 D.  Response and New Creation: How do you become a follower of Jesus?  Why is Church important or not important to you?  How does believing in Jesus impact a personís life?  Why do some people profess to be Christians and yet life a rebellious life (they may ask you this question)?  How does what you believe impact your home, job, relationships, parenting, etc.?

V.  Conclusion:

 If we are going to share the gospel with others, then at some point we are going to have to speak to them the good news of Jesus Christ.  It is easy for us to simply conclude that we just never have opportunities to do so.  Yet, if we are honest, the real truth is that we are not usually looking very hard for opportunities to do so.  We must do the difficult work of being bold, stepping out, and speaking the truth of Christ.  With love and humility, we need to find ways to speak the name of Christ every day.  I encourage you to be intentional about sharing the gospel in your every day conversations.  We may not be frequent fliers on airplanes, but that does not mean that we should not be getting in conversations about Christ on a daily basis.  May we trust the Spirit to guide us as we step out in faith.  Amen.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 June 2006 )

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