Have you ever witnessed an uncomfortable situation? I recently did. I was working at one of my favorite coffee shops in town, when a college student stood up to put his dishes away. In the process, he stumbled, fell into a table, knocking into the surrounding chairs. It's a small coffee shop, so everyone noticed. He carefully placed everything back the way it was and walked his dishes over to the return counter.
Now, most people would have quietly put their dishes away, eased themselves to the floor and army-crawled out of the door in shame and embarrassment. Not this guy. After unloading his dishes, he immediately strutted over to a table full of girls and singled out one in particular: "Uhh, you're really pretty. Want to go out sometime?" Look out Nicholas Sparks. Though I'm sure she was tempted by his well-planned and eloquent delivery, she politely declined. Needless to say, it was pretty uncomfortable to watch.
For the longest time, this was my idea of evangelism. It was synonymous with a clumsy, ill-timed, "uhh-you're-pretty. Want-to-go-on-a-date-sometime" kind of exchange. A conversation cloaked in awkwardness. Over time, I learned my perspective wasn't very accurate. Once I started sharing my faith with others consistently, I noticed people are more than happy to talk about what they believe. So, here are "4 Simple Steps to Share Your Faith":
- Ask Genuine Questions. Most of us have heard it said, "Two things you don't talk about in public: Politics and Religion." That's just silly. In my experience, people are more than happy to talk about what they believe as long as the conversation is conducted in a mutually respectful manner. I'll usually ask questions like, "What do you believe about God? Jesus?" Why do I do this? Because I am genuinely interested in what they believe. Crazy, right?
- Listen Intently. Don't formulate a response while someone is talking to you. It's rude. Listen carefully to what they have to say. People are interesting. Their stories are interesting. Explore how they arrived at their system of belief. You might learn something in the process.
- Share Your Story. When you're a good listener, you'll usually get the chance to talk about what God is doing in your life. And here's the cool thing about your story: You can't mess it up. It's your story.
- "Be a Bringer." We try to hammer this principle into our people at Progression Church. We believe that "regardless of where you are on your faith journey, you have place at Progression Church." It's a safe place to come with doubts and skepticism. Invite someone to your church (progressionbr.com is always a good option).
So, stop trying to be a sneaky evangelist. It's disingenuous (and confusing for that matter). Be direct and genuine. I think you'll find it more bearable than tripping over tables and and hitting on random, uninterested girls.