I once saw a birthday card that began its greeting with “Everything I love in life is illegal, immoral, or fattening.”
August 2, 2023
As a mother of young children, I don’t often have the freedom to be on the streets evangelizing. This can be discouraging, but I’ve seen the Lord providentially open doors even in my current activities (not to mention that I view my children as my main ministry in this season!).
Where do I often find myself? In the healthcare world. Prenatal appointments, check-ups, chiropractic visits, etc. fill many of my mornings.
But my full (and blessed!) plate is no challenge for God.
One day I walked into a waiting room where a chatty mother was making conversation with a few of the others.
“One thing my 3-year-old and 16-year-old have in common is they love dinosaurs,” she said.
“Well, that’s a neat thing to connect over,” I commented with a smile. I figure the more I chat with people about earthly topics, the more I can transition to heavenly topics.
The lady continued, “They know all the dinosaurs’ names—more than I do!”
“Do you know how dinosaurs fit with the Bible?” I asked.
She lit up with interest. “No.”
“Well, they were created on Day Six of creation along with the other land animals,” I explained.
“Yeah, why aren’t they in any of the Bible story books?” she asked.
“There are hundreds of different ways we can begin spiritual conversations. We can transition through nature, news events, health problems, family struggles, raising kids…even by asking the meaning of their tattoos!”
“Well, a lot of people don’t connect dinosaurs with the Bible because of the claim that dinosaurs died out millions of years ago—so they couldn’t have overlapped with humans.”
“Oh, I see,” she said.
“But scientists have found dinosaur bones with blood vessels in them!” I continued. “That shows they couldn’t have lived millions of years ago. It fits with what the Bible says.”
She listened eagerly. Although she wasn’t very familiar with the Bible, she was interested to hear that it told of an animal with a tail like a cedar tree which must have been a dinosaur.
“So, do you have a Christian background?” I asked. She opened up about her broken family and rough past. I listened as she shared.
Then, my daughter was called back for her appointment, so we said goodbye.
I was disappointed when I didn’t see her again, but our short conversation felt significant. I don’t know how the Lord may have used it to increase her interest and trust in the Bible. Likely, I’m just one of the many tools God is using in her life.
There are hundreds of different ways we can begin spiritual conversations. We can transition through nature, news events, health problems, family struggles, raising kids…even by asking the meaning of their tattoos!
There are endless possibilities…but how do we discover them?
The answer sounds a little too simple: we chat with people!
Here’s the key, though: we must aim to be caring listeners and interesting conversationalists so that they want to talk with us. By listening, we can find ways to show care and spark their curiosity.
Sharing the gospel in its entirety is always our goal. However, sometimes circumstances prevent us from explaining the full message. In those cases, it’s a wonderful step to lay foundational concepts in people’s minds, such as trust in the Bible.
Then, we pray that God would bring other Christians into their lives to pick up where we left off. Gospel tracts can speak in our absence, so we always keep some on hand. (Are You a Good Person? Comics from Living Waters is one of my favorites.)
Is this easy to do?
There are some people with a natural knack for it. But for most of us, it takes a lot of prayer, intentional listening, and trust that the Lord will put people in our paths who need to hear the life-giving truth of the gospel.
For more ideas, check out “17 Ways to Start Conversations,” a chapter from my book, Will Our Generation Speak? A Call to be Bold with the Gospel.
The reality is, witnessing is challenging in every season. One thing that has helped me is receiving hands-on practice beside others who are more experienced than I am. My husband and I now run an annual evangelism training camp where we discuss practical ways to start conversations and keep them going. Then, we go out and put them into practice together at the Iowa State Fair! The registration deadline is August 6, 2023. Please check it out if this may be of interest to you.
May we point people to Jesus in every circumstance by the leading of His Holy Spirit!