Evangelising to the Apathetic


(Jamie Lee Taylor) #1

I recently read a quote from Timothy Keller saying “Apathy is a bigger problem than atheism for Christianity.” which is very true speaking from personal experience in my conversations with friends.

For example after using the non offensive method of Tactics by Greg Kokul. My friend opened up about her families religious background and how that they have never really thought much about God or religion and their bigger comment was she is not afraid of death and it does not matter to her about what happens. She confessed this is the most she ever really thought deeply about these things and she said even if god did exist then she wouldnt need him.

Now I understand I could have used many questions to open her up more and shown her where her misunderstandings lie. However I could sense she was getting a bit irritated talking about these things as she wasnt bothered about all of this.

She is not too sure of what she believes so I would say she is apathetic.

Now my heart yearns for her to know god and for her soul to be saved. How do I go about talking or having conversations with her about god and her beliefs?

I know I should just keep praying and showing christ like love to her. Is there anything im doing wrong and what could I do in the future to those who are apathetic?

And has anyone else had similar experiences?

Thanks!


(SeanO) #2

@JamieLee One thing you might try is inviting her to do fun things with a group of your friends who truly love Jesus. She may have no interest in Bible study or Church at this point, but most people enjoy going out and having a blast.

In the case of someone who is apathetic, it may be easier for a love for Jesus to be ‘caught rather than taught’ by simply spending time around people who love the Lord.

Or, if she already is dedicated to a cause - like helping the homeless, invite her to come do that in a Christian context and see how Jesus inspires people to do what she already feels called to do.

Of course, she may still resist if she senses that the group is predominantly religious, but let us pray together that Jesus open her heart to see the love of Christ and be drawn to those who honor Him!


(Jamie Lee Taylor) #3

Thankyou! Yeah will defiently keep on praying that Jesus opens and softens her heart and that hopefully having a few people around her who love Jesus she will start questioning and be more open!


(Jennifer Judson) #4

I’m the tail end of the Baby Boom generation. I seems that since WWII era our culture has become secularized at an ever accelerating pace. My aunts/uncles did not have their kids in church and now the next generation is unchurched. Sundays are for soccer. Jesus is for swearing. And terms like fundamentalists and evangelicals define political groups rather than any definition that’s understood in light of orthodox Christian views–even if they understood what those were. Largely a culture where what people think they know about Christianity is ill informed and misunderstood.

Most of my extended family are completely satisfied with their lives. They don’t think too much about an afterlife and if there’s a heaven, well they can’t imagine not being there–after all, they are decent good people. Even those thoughts of heaven are a minor blip on the radar that happens when they attend a funeral. In the last few years I’ve lost most of my aunts and uncles, a few have chosen to have no ceremonies at all. It was their choice and their families saw no reason not to honor their wishes. Funerals are just a left over idea from religious practices that hold no meaning for them.

It’s very hard with this kind of apathy. My brother and I are considered quaint–but good people all the same. I thought when illness claimed their later years they might seek answers. My one uncle spent his last 15 years or so just being angry. Angry about being old. Angry that life had not gone his way. But never any seeking for something bigger than himself.

Sean has good suggestions. A lot may depend on the kinds of things that your friend is passionate about. If she’s passionate about justice, that can open conversations. Why do we seek fairness? What makes us cry out against injustice? We do seem to be wired that way. Why? This can introduce the idea of being created in God’s image.

We need to keep in mind that phrase that we are the only gospel some people will ever read. Our friendship will be a witness to the character of Christ.


(Tim Ramey) #5

@JamieLee
Jamie, you really brought up a good point. I have found the same problem. RZIM claims that everyone has a worldview and I agree but often, it seems that people just don’t care about the spiritual world.

I don’t know what my sister believes so for the RZIM Core Module class, there are two identical assignments where you ask a person what they believe about origin, meaning, morality and destiny. You just ask the questions and they talk. You only comment if you are asking if that is what they said.My sister could not answer the questions. She stumbled through and again, the interviewer is not intimidating - just asks the questions. I hope it spurred her on to figure out what she believes. Maybe you could take the class and ask your friend what she believes using the class as your tool to do so.

It is harder to respond to apathy than to someone with a strong opinion.


(Jennifer Judson) #6

great reminder, Tim. That’s a good starting point for many conversations.