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Making the most of opportunites

As Christians, we get a glimpse of the world as it really is. So how can we share our perspective with our friends who see life through a different lens?

1. Live your own life recognising that only Jesus that makes sense of it.

When we actually live this out, evangelism becomes so much more natural. Sharing Jesus with others is an overflow of our own devotion for Jesus.

Make a habit of seeing God at work in the everyday and talking to Him about it all. Thank Him for the things that are great, and pray for the things that aren’t.

Challenge yourself to talk about these things. Make God part of the conversation with your Christian friends.

When I was a student, every week a church member Brenda would ask me I how I was. I’d give a fairly non-committal answer and then return the question. She’d be honest but finish by saying something like, ‘but by the grace of God I’m here and He is good!’.

It’s stuck with me. Her view was firmly fixed on God while living through all sorts of things.

2. Listen out for ways in which we can share that same hope in the life experiences of others.

When somebody wants to talk about God, it’s like a whole new dimension has opened up in the conversation. So how can we find more moments, when, as we dig a bit deeper, we suddenly find that there’s so much space to begin to share something about God?

Asking questions is a great way to take a conversation deeper.

Start with being interested in the person and finding their interests. Then ask a deeper question – ask about the desire behind the interest. Then you might have an opportunity to ask what they think about God.

So, ask about how work’s going. But then ask why work is so important, or ‘what the dream is’.

Chat about your favourite TV show. Mine is ‘Race across the World’, which follows teams on a worldwide race. As they trek across the desert in episode three, they nearly all have moments of reflecting on how their trip is fulfilling them or giving them purpose. It would be so easy for me to turn a conversation about ‘Race across the World’ into talking about the desires that we all have for freedom and purpose.

If God is part of our everyday lives and if we’re aware of how our view of the world, through Jesus, is different, then we may have something to share about him which is completely relevant to a conversation we’re already having.

Because God is a key player in our lives, he’s bound to come up in conversation. What phrases like these could you use to bring your faith and your friendships together?

Offering to talk about God, like offering a handshake that may or may not be taken up, puts us in a vulnerable position.

Nobody likes to be left hanging, but surely, for the chance of sharing a bit about God, it’s got to be worth the potential knock back. And if it’s a natural progression in the conversation anyway it’s no big deal if, having broached the topic, your friend would rather move on.

These tools aren’t rocket science – they’re just how you get to know someone! The difference is that, as Christians, we get to see when the conversation opens up and someone hears something about God, potentially for the first time!

This could be what they’ve waited to hear all their lives, the very thing they needed to hear that brings a salve of grace and love and welcome like they’ve never experienced before.

It’s so worth offering a bit of ourselves for that moment for someone else.

So what happens next? Read part five: sharing your story.

Having trained as an English Literature teacher, Katie Shaw now works with Christian Unions in Sheffield, helping students meet Jesus at university.   

This blog is part on of our 'Jesus on my street' series, based on a series of seminars given by Peter and Katie at Word Alive 2019.

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