There is a common misconception that non-churched people are not interested in discussing spiritual issues. But research shows that a majority of non-churched people would actually be interested in having a spiritual conversation with a friend about Christ. They are not interested in having the same discussion with a stranger, nor does an unsolicited mass mailing about spiritual issues interest them. But an open and honest discussion with someone they know would interest them. The problem is, too few Christians are willing to have those conversations. If Christians want their faith to spread, we are going to have to overcome our fear about sharing our faith.
Here are some thoughts that might make witnessing easier for Christians:
- Think of witnessing as a process instead of as a single event. Instead of trying to memorize some pre-written witnessing plan and using it like a religious salesman, just share small portions of the Gospel at any one time. This process oriented approach may take several conversations before the entire Gospel is presented, but that is okay. Christians must learn to be patient and let God guide this process. Our job is to share what we believe; it is God's job to call a person to repentance and faith in His Son Jesus Christ.
- Ask open ended questions instead of just giving answers. Open ended questions invite discussion. They cannot be answered with a "yes" or a "no." When we only ask "yes" or "no" questions, we tend to lapse into presentation mode. When we fall into presentation mode, we tend to answer questions that our friends are not asking.
- Admit that we don't know all the answers. The friends that we witness to may ask complex questions. These questions may be based on negative experiences from their past or some evil they have seen in the world. We may not know the answers. There may not be any answers. We may have to admit that we are still looking for answers ourselves, but that we trust Christ to reveal those answers in time.
- Share how we came to understand the truth of Christ in our own lives. Share how Christ has changed our lives. Share a specific story of how our faith in Christ helped us overcome a significant challenge or difficulty. Use one powerful Bible verse that helped us in our time of need so that our friends can see how the Bible impacts our daily life.