Hi Sean, I love this topic! I think it would be fun to ask people, “What do you think Jesus is doing right now?” and see what they say.
One of the most effective approaches I have found is just to be curious about people.
For instance, on a recent flight I sat next to a woman who was quite conversational. I’ll do my best to remember and present the conversation, but it was an early morning flight a few weeks ago! Because of how engaging she was, we started talking about rather mundane topics, found that we enjoyed the rapport, and pretty soon we were talking about her artwork, her career, and stories from her life.
As we got into these stories, it came out that she was quite passionate about some moral issues, so I asked her to explain her positions in more detail. That led into a discussion about her strong commitment to Buddhism. So we discussed her Buddhist practices and the positive effect this had on her life.
After a while, she asked me, well, what do you believe? I carefully entered into that by sharing many of the areas I agreed with her. She continued to press me with questions, so I explained the gospel in everyday language. It didn’t sound like a religious presentation at that point - it was from my heart, connected to our conversation, and using words she was familiar with and understood. After sharing about Jesus in a clear, brief way, I said, this is what I seek to keep at the center of my thinking and life. She was quite interested in this and so we discussed it more, veering back into what she believed, and so on.
The most interesting part of the conversation was at the end of the flight as we landed. I shared with her how much I had enjoyed getting to know her and our conversation. She reciprocated. I said, as much as we agreed, the main issue that we didn’t seem to find resolution on is whether or not it is true that Jesus live a perfect life, died for our sins, and rose again from the dead. That would be a question you could look into and really investigate.
Then she said, “Oh no, I fully agree with you about Jesus!” I couldn’t help but laugh! I said, well, respectfully, based on what you’ve told me about your Buddhism, I don’t think you would see Jesus as God, as someone you know personally, and call yourself a Christian? She said, “Oh, definitely. I just express that by being a Buddhist.” Unfortunately, we ran out of time around this point. But it was a lovely conversation and I would be delighted if I happened to see her again.