I've heard many people say they're nervous to talk about faith because they’re afraid they don’t know enough answers. People believe that they need to learn more in order to be good at evangelism.
You may have fear that, if you talk about your faith, the person you’re talking to may have a question that you can’t answer, an argument you can’t debate, or witty comeback that you can’t shut down.
“If I could just learn more,” you think, “I’d be better at defending their faith.”
Let me lift the pressure: This isn't about defending our faith.
Don’t look to “defend” your faith
We're not supposed to enter a faith conversation with a defensive posture. We shouldn’t have a confrontational mindset. Our goal isn’t to win an argument.
If you're looking to debate someone, it typically doesn't go well. So often, people close themselves off or get defensive when approached about faith because they’re expecting to be shamed or condemned. Nobody wants to stay in a conversation where they feel judged or demeaned!
That’s the big reason why, for too long, we’ve been wrong about evangelism: We’ve had the wrong posture.
Look for conversations, not confrontations
We’re looking for conversations, not confrontations. We’re looking to love, not to win.
When we're done with a faith conversation, the question we ask ourselves shouldn't be, "Did I argue every point correctly? Did I win?"
Rather, we should ask ourselves, "Did the other person walk away knowing they are loved by God and loved by me? Did I encourage them?"
“Did the other person feel loved by God and loved by me?”
That changes the objective, doesn't it? It changes our whole posture in the conversation, and the other person will feel it. Imagine their relief when they are treated with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). Imagine how your love will soften and disarm them. It could change their entire perception of Christians and their view of God!
Related Post: 7 Questions to Help You Share Your Faith
Look to the Interests of Others
Everyone is carrying some kind of burden. Even the most “put-together” people have something weighing them down. Just because someone carries it well doesn’t mean it’s not heavy.
Before starting a conversation, think about what the other person may need. Everyone needs love. Do they need to be encouraged? Prayed for? Do they need to be listened to and really feel heard?
All of the above!
Enter a faith conversation with the primary goal to love the other person, listen to them, and share your story about how God changed your life.
Your faith story is a story of love. Just as God loves you enough to die for you, He also loves the person you’re sharing with. He loves and accepts them, and wants a relationship with them.
Look to God to Change Hearts
When you’ve loved, listened, and shared, then trust God to do the rest.
After all, only God can save! It's not fancy words or perfect sentence structure that leads someone to accept Jesus. It's the power of the Holy Spirit.
We can't expect every conversation to end with someone praying to receive Jesus. It will happen sometimes, but we don't always know what's going on in their lives and what they're willing to accept at that very moment. We can, however, always know that we planted a seed in their heart, and trust God to water it until it comes to fruition.
God has given us seeds to plant into the lives of others. I don't know about you, but I don't want to leave this earth, enter heaven, and stand before Jesus with any seeds still in my basket. I want to give them all away.
Do you tend to be confrontational? If so, how can you remind yourself to avoid that in faith conversations? What can you do this week to show love to others?
How to Share the Gospel
Several resources exist to help you share the Gospel during a faith conversation. Some of our favorites are using just one verse or these apps to explain the Gospel. Take a look at related posts here on Ask About My Faith or other evangelism sites to learn how to share the Gospel. But remember, there is no single resource that is the “secret sauce.”
The best method to share the message of Jesus is however you can share your own salvation story in a way that is authentic, confident, and gracious. Simply share from your heart and show God’s heart for the person you’re talking to.
Finally, continue to pray for each person after having a faith conversation with them. While you planted the seed, it is God who gives the growth.