Thursday, March 29, 2007

Some Conversation Tips for Sharing Our Faith




Will McRaney Jr., in his book The Art of Personal Evangelism, gives some great conversation tips when we are trying to share our faith with non-Christians.

These tips are:
  1. Use common language, not religious terms

  2. Avoid being argumentative

  3. Listen without interruption when the other person is talking

  4. Recognize that no means no, at least for the time being
  5. Respect the time and schedule of others

  6. Try to maintain goodwill so that you canengage in future conversations

  7. Avoid talking down other religious groups or individuals

  8. Remember that people have intellectual limits, so do not overwhelm them with too many Scriptures

  9. Try to leave with a win/win approach, not create winner and loser

  10. Remember that many people are not avid readers so other forms of material will be needed--videos, DVDs, CDs, etc.

In the past, people would debate various points of faith. Today, however, debate and argumentation are death for reaching people. People are tired of religious fighting over head matters with little care for the poor, world hunger, or many other things Jesus concerned himself with.

Instead of argument and debate, we must ask questions, actually listen to the answers, share our own experience, and invite others to join us in this experience.

What do you think of these conversations tips?

2 comments:

The Queen said...

I would agree with all of them. I have been guilty of doing one, if not all of them, at one time or another. (I am embarrased to type that, but it's the truth.) It has taken the Spirit, along with a good hard bite on my tongue,to learn to listen and to put myself in the other person's shoes.

We have a joyous life in Christ and that is the quality others will see and want to understand. We have to ask ourselves if we truly believe we have a joyous life in Christ? If we do, do we show it? Does our speech reflect it? Do our actions towards others live it out? I believe we need to live our inside beliefs on the outside yet be aware of how we are coming across to non-believers and believers alike. What do they hear coming out of our mouths? What do they see us doing? Are we a witness for Christ or would He be better off without our help??

James said...

Cynthia,

I too have been guilty of these things. I am a good debater and am good at "proving" my point.

However, there is also a side of me that always wants to win people over. And from study and interaction with younger people, I have learned to invite rather than prove, to share rather than argue, and to leave uncorrected many things to allow time for a person to grow in understanding.

The questions that you ask are good ones. We need to remember that we are the only Christ that many people may ever see in a week. Thanks for sharing.