Throughout the Bible, Jesus had many conversations. Some were with powerful men in high positions. Others were marginalized or poor. Some were desperate for any interaction with Him, while others hated Him. No matter who Jesus was with, He shared truth and love, and people left His presence changed.
Jesus's interactions in the Gospels can teach us how to have faith conversations as well. By using Jesus's example, we can learn simple keys that can help us share God's love with those around us.
Jesus Saw Others
Jesus truly saw people. He acknowledged them. Jesus first saw them as people, not problems. He viewed others with compassion.
Jesus saw children. He acknowledged the hurting. He was willing to go out of his way. Jesus allowed people to interrupt whatever task He was doing, even when it was important for His mission.
So, what can we learn from this?
Who do you see in your everyday lives? And, do you really see them? Do you view the waiter, the checkout employee, the receptionist as a person? Or, are they "machinery," who are present to perform a task?
They are someone with a story, and their story can intersect with God's bigger story for their lives.
Let's try to follow Jesus's example. When we are focused on our to-do list, let's be willing to be interrupted. Let's focus on seeing those around us as people God loves and Jesus died for.
Starting a faith conversation is much easier when you really see the person in front of you.
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Jesus Greeted People
Fishermen. A Samaritan woman at the well. A tax collector.
When Jesus encountered each of these in the Bible, He saw them. Next, He took the time to greet them. He was kind to them.
When you encounter someone and really see them, greet them kindly! Start with a friendly, "Hi!" and a meaningful, "How are you doing today?"
Sometimes when I hear this question, I quickly recognize the "How are you?" was asked out of habit or as a greeting. The person asking doesn't really want to know how I'm doing. Sometimes they even ask the question and keep walking away, not waiting for an answer!
Practice greeting people and asking how they're doing in an authentic way. Slow down enough to indicate you're really waiting for an answer beyond the token "I'm fine." If they are something other than "fine," give them the space to answer honestly. This opens the door to real stories, honest emotion, and opens the door to faith conversations.
Jesus Asked Questions
Jesus asked a lot of questions. He was interested in people and their story. He wanted people to think and ponder.
An effective, disarming way to start a faith conversation is to ask questions. Be genuinely curious about people and their story. What excites them? What is their view on faith? What has been their perspective on God or church? Then, listen to understand. Be slow to respond and continue to be curious and compassionate. By asking questions and listening intently, you can learn a lot about the person's hurts, needs, and how Jesus can intersect their story to offer hope, healing, and love.
A simple question can open a big window into where the other person is coming from, and can lead into an opportunity to share what Jesus has done for them.
Jesus Served People
Jesus didn't just see people's spirituality, but He also saw their humanity. He met people where they were at. He didn't just teach, He also healed and fed and delivered.
How can you serve those around you? Keep you eye open for big and small ways to help those you encounter in your daily life. Even strangers! Serving communicates that you see them and their needs, and that you are available to help. You have compassion for them and aren't trying to get something from them.
Serving others with joy says something about you as a person. Unfortunately, many consider Christians to be angry, divisive, and judgmental. Wouldn't it be great if, instead, the average person thought of Christians as loving, generous, respectful, and grace-filled?!
Pray for Faith Conversations with Others
The easiest conversations are those that start naturally in your daily life. Keep your heart open to everyone in your path. Each morning, pray, "Holy Spirit, help me see those around me as people You love who Jesus died for. Help lead me into conversations about Jesus."
This is part of a series on How to Have Easy Faith Conversations. To read the rest of the series: