ALWAYS BE READY “Envangelism: Know who you are talking to”
Updated: Feb 2
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Last post I stressed about listening when sharing your faith. Today I want to expand on that topic. When you listen you need to figure out who you are talking to determine how you proceed in your conversation or next conversation. Jim Warner Wallace compares this to jury selection and in Evangelism you determine whether they are a Christian or a nonbeliever then break down to 2 subsets under either category. If a Christian whether they are have no doubts or have doubts on Christianity and same thing with nonbelievers.
A Christian with no doubts is a person probably not able to understand why a person may have doubts especially a former Christian or they don’t think they need to look at the evidence for Christianity. Unfortunately, these kinds of Christians can give off an aura of arrogance whether they mean to or not. Usually these are people who have been Christians for a long time and their personal experience has been the backbone for their belief in God and have less understanding of people’s doubts whether a nonbeliever or another Christian. The strategy for these is to get them understand it’s ok to have doubts even as a Christian. I don’t understand everything about God and have some questions still after over 40 years walking the Christian journey. Remember my post on “absolute certainty” which I think no Christian can be “absolute certain” about God, Jesus, and the Bible.
The second subset under Christians is Christians with doubts. A mark of a mature Christian is to understand that everyone has doubts even other Christians especially recently converted Christians. I’m very confident in my belief that God created the universe, earth, and our human bodies also that Jesus was born of a virgin lived an error free life on earth then died to make us an acceptable child of God and he rose from the dead to give us an opportunity to have an eternal life with God even after we die from our decaying bodies. I’m also confident that the Bible holds the truth about God, Jesus, and the purpose of our lives. While I’m very confident, I still have questions about things in my faith yet I stand firm on the most vital beliefs of Jesus being the only way to God, the Father. Some Christians can be a good Christian and have some doubts. The question is where is the Christian with doubts is at with his beliefs in the truth about God, Jesus, or the Bible. Sometimes Christians with doubts can fall into the other subset of nonbelievers which is a nonbeliever with doubts about Christianity.
"Are you ready to share your Faith??"
This third group while a nonbeliever can be open to discussion on Christianity. Former Christians are in this group as well as people who never heard of the gospel. Most are willing to talk about beliefs in or ask questions about Christianity. Some nonbelievers may take a little more coaxing if you ask the right questions. Listening plays a major role in determining how to ask the right questions and having an amiable conversation about Christianity. Remember a “ rule of thumb” when having a spiritual discussion if anyone gets mad no one wins which I learned from Greg Koukl’s book “Tactics”. Christians need to learn to keep their cool when having discussions about their beliefs and do their best not to upset other person however it can happen other person gets upset, we just need to make sure it’s not caused by our words or actions.
The fourth group and second subset under nonbelievers is nonbelievers with no doubts about their unbelief. In my other post, I mentioned the second attitude people need to avoid is “radical skepticism” and this group falls in this area. Unfortunately, these people can be rude even obnoxious however we shouldn’t just ignore them nor should we engage in spiritual conversations with them. The most important thing we can do is PRAY for them. Jim Warner Wallace labels this set as Group #4. When his youth group was training to engage with atheists, some of which are very arrogant and obnoxious, some of the youth wore t-shirts saying “Praying for Group #4”.
So here is the list again, 1. Christians with no doubts, 2. Christians with doubts, 3. Nonbelievers with doubts, and 4. Nonbelievers with no doubts. When we have spiritual conversations we need to listen more and assess who we’re talking to so we can strategize how to proceed further in the conversation and keep it friendly or just pray for them. When we listen we can learn more what the other person is thinking and why they have the beliefs they do. I will continue some more posts on Evangelism with specific strategies in certain situations.
Kevin J. Garrison