Anyone who knows me knows I love to meet people. As I have followed Christ over the years, I have realized that the purpose of each encounter I have with people, whether in a coffee shop, grocery store, or gas station, is, as a former mentor, Stanley Ship, told me, is to “put in a good word for Jesus.” Here are six practical tips that help me share Jesus in everyday conversations:
- God is the main evangelist. God saves people; we do not. This powerful truth lifts a heavy undue burden off of us. God is pursuing people with His love. His Holy Spirit is the one who convicts and draws someone to put their faith in Jesus. So, just relax. We have the joy of joining God in what He’s doing.
- YOU have a major role! These semantics are common in certain circles of pop theology today but not in the Bible: “God does not need you.” The truth is God invites us to join Him in the Great COmmission. In fact, Paul clearly and passionately exclaims in Romans: “How then can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news (Romans 10:14-15)!”
- The Holy Spirit in you empowers you. God, Himself, the Holy Spirit lives inside of us. His will is for people to be saved. He speaks for us, and He reminds us of what Jesus says in conversations. Jesus encourages us in our Gospel conversations: “For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you (Matthew 10:20).”
- Initiate conversation. I have never met anyone who does not like for someone to ask how they are. Although we live in a world of connectivity through digital social networks, people often feel disconnected, are more isolated in real life and do not often get asked how they are. This week, step out, even if it’s out of your comfort zone, and ask someone simply, “How are you?” Ask about their lives and their story.
- Mention Jesus. There are many outgoing people. I’m outgoing and could have ten to twenty conversations a day and never mention Jesus. But I would miss out on my God-given purpose when I do not have purposeful conversations centering on Christ. Like my late mentor, Stanley Shipp said “put a good word in for Jesus”. This might be saying something like, “God has given us a beautiful day.” Most of the time, if the person is interested in talking about God, they’ll hear my faith and continue to converse about God or ask questions.
- Share the Good News. The purpose of our lives is to spread the Gospel of Jesus. Share why you love Jesus and what Jesus did for you on the cross. In other words, share your story or what I’ve coined, “The Gospel in living color.” One of the many ways to share the Gospel is using the visual aid of the bridge illustration.
I know by experience that you will walk (or roll, in my case) away from the conversation with deeper faith in Jesus, knowing more about what you have in Him. This is one of my personal verses that inspires me to start Gospel Conversations: “And I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ” (Philemon 1:6, ESV).