An excerpt from “Honest Evangelism" by Rico Tice
What are the life skills required for evangelism? One, of course, is knowing what to say; and that’s what this chapter is mainly about. But before we get to that, how do you get a foot in the door? What opens up a conversation? Two life skills I’ve found to be essential in witnessing are these: ask questions, and chat your faith.
It was said of John Chapman that he was interested in everything. That meant that questions just poured out of him because he found life, people, culture and the world fascinating. He loved people, and so he asked questions. James tells us:
Take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen [and] slow to speak. (James 1 v 19)
That applies to our conversations about Jesus just as much as conversations about anything else. We need to listen to people more than we speak to them; and that means asking questions. After all, if you want people to ask you questions about what makes you tick, then you need to ask them questions about what makes them tick. Don’t just wait for someone to ask you about Christianity and wonder why they never do. Ask questions; and then make sure you listen to the answers!
But we also need to make your faith an everyday, natural part of our conversations with people. Knowing Jesus is an integral, important part of your life, so it can and should be part of what you chat about; not always in formal, “now- I-am-sharing-the-gospel-with-you” ways, but as part of conversations about what we did at the weekend, how we’re dealing with an issue at home or work, why we’re really busy at the moment, and so on. By raising an aspect of your faith in conversation—even if that conversation then moves on to other subjects—you have shown the person you’re speaking to that Christian faith is relevant to real life, that it’s important to your life, and that you’re open to them asking you about it. It’s so easy to talk about everything but Christ. So aim to chat your faith in low-key, natural, conversational ways.
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