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Talking about Jesus to people who don’t believe in Him can be scary! Here are 5 tips to help you bring your faith more into the light to those around you.
My experience following Jesus has not been one where I’ve constantly been surrounded by like-minded people or other believers that encourage me in my faith. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I have a few friends that are Christian, but most of my friends aren’t sure what they believe, and some are actively against religion. When God moves in my life, I want to tell people about it! When there is an answer to prayer or a super cool God moment, or I feel at peace in His presence, I want to share that. But it can feel really tough to do so without seeming like I am pushing my religion on someone, or that I am trying to convert them. My intention is never to make someone else uncomfortable or feel cornered; I just want to share my experience. If this sounds familiar at all, or you just want to learn about some cool tips to talking to non-believers about your faith; read on!
If someone asks you “how are you?” or “what’s your highlight of the week?,” do not be afraid to mention how the Lord is working in your life! If the honest answer is your highlight was an answer to prayer, say that! If you’ve had a tough few months because you feel like you’ve lost touch with the Lord and haven’t felt his presence in a while, say that too. We don’t have to be afraid to mention the Lord in conversations with people who aren’t Christian. I still struggle with this, don’t get me wrong, but I am working on being more confident in this way. Recently, when people ask me for podcast recommendations I’ve been telling them about a sermon series I’ve been listening to on my commute. You’d be so surprised at how mentioning the Lord can reroute an entire conversation in a beautiful way. If you’re feeling brave and want to start the conversation, try by asking an existential question like “what do you think happens when we die?” or “do you believe in a greater power?” This can kick start a deeper dialogue and can make it much easier to mention your faith in this context. Normalizing your relationship with Christ to those who don’t believe can be a tough step. Every conversation about the Lord doesn’t have to be your testimony or life struggles. You can keep it light if that feels right for the situation.
I have heard people say, “that’s dumb, why do you believe that?” and “how could you actually believe in something like that?” And that hurts to hear! I strongly believe in God and it hurts when someone rudely dismisses my beliefs. In knowing how that feels, it is crucial to never make someone else feel that way for not believing. Without asking, you never know someone’s history with the church or religion, and it is not fair to put any preconceived notions onto them. I’ve found it very useful to speak in “I” statements, so as not to pressure the other person into believing what I do. That has been a fantastic gateway to questioning and having authentic conversations about my beliefs. An example is “I believe in the grace of God, and that is why I’m going to forgive her.” Phrasing it that way allows the person freedom to reply however they wish. If you do not impose onto them something they have to believe they will be much more willing to hear what you have to say. Approaching conversations like this should be done with the other person’s heart in mind. You would never want to turn someone off from a conversation about the Lord because they’re feeling judged or forced into something.
In today’s society, it often feels like everyone is waiting for someone to be done talking so they can get their two cents in. This is not a conversation. We need to bring back the art of listening, of clearing your mind and being present in the moment. We not only want to listen to what someone is saying, but thinking about it, engaging with them, and deepening our understanding of that person. This is crucial for when it comes to talking about the Lord with someone else because if you’re just speaking at them and not listening to how they’re processing what you’re saying or how they’re feeling; the conversation is pointless. Take time during these conversations to be silent. Let your words wash over your friend and allow them space to process and ask questions of you! You may not be able to answer their questions, but giving them space to think about what they’re hearing is critical if you hope to reach them. Listen to their concerns, questions, and misconceptions. Listen to their criticism. Be actively engaged in their words and prepare meaningful responses that show you’ve been listening to them. Let the Lord give you the words to reply. These are the moments that God can show himself to others through your words and actions.
There will be plenty of conversations where you will mention your faith or how God is working in your life and people will move right past it or not engage you in a conversation about God. That’s OK! But when you get the opportunity to share your faith a bit more with someone, take that platform and run with it! We are called to share the Gospel, the Good News. We are called to bring people into the Kingdom. Invite and encourage your friend to come with you to church, to join a Bible study, or to read the Bible with you. Invite them into your relationship with God. Show them what life is like with Him. Just like we are more likely to try a restaurant or café if our friend recommends it, someone is more likely to dip their toe into the Gospel if it is encouraged by a friend.
Talking about the Lord to someone new if you aren’t used to it can seem daunting, but you CAN DO THIS!! I challenge all of you to bring up the Lord in conversation with one new non-believer this week and see what happens. Good luck! If you want to share your conversation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear about it!
Here are a few of my favorite verses to guide you on your Kingdom building:
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