The idea of having an evangelistic conversation might sound like bad news.
You know you should be telling people about believing in Jesus for salvation. You have friends, family, and neighbors that you see every day who aren’t saved, and you would like them to be. You don’t want them to be separated from God forever! Plus, you want them to know the joy of believing in Jesus.
And yet, having an evangelistic conversation can seem hard. Very hard. Even terrifying. But does it have to be?
I recently heard Stan Ponz from Make It Clear Ministries explain an easy three-step approach where you think of the conversation in terms of three “S”s: secular, spiritual, and salvation.
Secular: Open with a secular topic you can both agree on. It can be about anything, so long as you’re on the same page. Avoid any topic that may be a point of conflict, such as politics or trans rights. For example, maybe you have a favorite sports team in common, or both like to go hunting, like the same music or have traveled to the same vacation spot. If you find an area of common ground, it breaks the ice and creates a bond that allows the conversation to take the next step.
Spiritual: You then move the conversation from secular to spiritual things. That can be intimidating because not everyone is comfortable talking about spiritual issues, especially in cultures that have made religion a private matter. How can you make that move less intimidating? Well, people usually love talking about themselves, so ask them about their beliefs, thoughts, and spiritual journey. Let them tell their story.
Salvation: Finally, you can move the conversation to the topic of salvation. This can be intimidating for you, but you don’t need to be a preacher, teacher, or missionary to tell others about Jesus. All you need to do is tell your story. No one knows that story better than you, and since the person just told you their story, it’s socially expected that you’ll share your own. That’s your opportunity to explain how you came to believe in Jesus for eternal life. And when you do, be clear that you understood that salvation is by grace, through faith, apart from works. Make clear that salvation is forever. Have a verse or two memorized, such as John 3:16, Acts 16:31, or Eph 2:8-9, and share how you came to that point of faith.
And voila! You’ve just had an evangelistic conversation.
The good news is that evangelistic conversations are easier to have than you might think.
Send your questions or comments to Shawn.