How Can We Have Meaningful Conversations With Friends and Family Who Aren't Christian?

Hello @Sanj_Kalra,
Thank you for joining us here on Connect! Your focus is so encouraging!

His focus is on meaning and purpose and how Jesus Christ can give us new desires.

We have several family members who are uninterested in conversations about Jesus Christ because they believe they are sufficient in themselves, and the Christian message is ancient and outdated. What are some suggestion you may have for engaging them in meaningful dialog?

10 Likes

@Sanj_Kalra, appreciate having you back ! Thank you for taking our questions. My question is similar to the one above. I have some family members from a nominal hindu background, an elderly couple in their 70’s, who are quite content with how they have lived their life both in terms of work success and responsibility towards others. They have absolutely no concerns of Covid or fear of death. What is a good place to start the conversation to share the gospel? What do you think about sharing evidence of afterlife from NDEs? Though nominally hindu, they seem quite naturalistic in their thinking.

7 Likes

Hi April, nice to meet you and thanks for your question.

My suggestion always is to meet people where they’re at. Find out things about your friends and family that you have in common. Begin there. Spend time with them and find out more about the person that’s in front of you. How do you do that? By asking questions. Questions about them and their lives. Start from their childhood and ask them to give their story and their journey of life and where they right now and how they ended up there. Be a good listener. This will help you build trust and make them more honest about themselves. Once you get to know someone at a deeper level they will begin to ask questions about your life. What are good questions? I love Ravi’s suggestion of always asking the 4 questions of origin, meaning, morality and destiny. These 4 questions form a person’s worldview. Morality is my favorite. A great book to learn the foundations of morality for me was CS Lewis’s Mere Christianity. I read that book often and I actually have the audio of it as well. I guess you could say my strategy is to build a relationship that leads to trust. My goal after that is to have the person be open to reading the Gospel of John. I’m a big believer that God’s Word can change a person’s heart. And now they’ll have questions about who Jesus is? And I can’t reiterate enough to be a good listener. Hope this helps and makes sense.

Blessings, Sanj

5 Likes

Hello Lakshmi!!

Great to to hear from you again. Please see my response to April.

I think as I said to April, I like to ask people to tell their story especially older people in their 70s. It would be fascinating to hear their journey. I’ve spoken to a handful of elderly Hindu friends and family and my main focus is that I want to know what their thoughts of who Jesus is? Because they’ve all heard of him. Have they ever read any of the Bible. And again, I’m pointing them to the Gospel of John. I use simple words like, “would you be open” to reading a little bit about Jesus if I give you something to read. Older people are very interested security and destiny (Where do you go when you die?).

The good part about Hindus is that they do believe in God or a God or gods. That’s a commonality now so I then focus on morality and how they get out of this morality dilemma so that they can be with God one day. And the only thing that makes sense to me is Jesus’s death and resurrection.

My goal is usually to get them to finally admit that they have a debt and that they’re guilty and how are they going to get out of this debt and how will they be made innocent? Again, pointing thrum you Jesus life, death and resurrection. Relationship and trust and being a good listener is what helps you be a great messenger for Christ.

Hope this helps.

In Christ,

Sanj

6 Likes

@Sanj_Kalra, thank you so much for your thoughtful reply full of practical wisdom. Three take home points for me from it - listen well, present moral dilemma, share the gospel. I appreciate you taking my focus back to where it should be, I think too often my conversations tend to be influenced by the latest thing I have read. May God keep you and your loved ones in great health at this time and continue to grow your ministry.

2 Likes

Amen! Thank you @Sanj_Kalra! Such great advice! And I appreciate the book recommendations also.

2 Likes

Hello @Sanj_Kalra! It was a real gift to listen to you speak in the You Tube video about your story. It blessed my heart tremendously. I have a couple of questions–if you have the time. My first question/s regard a friend who is really going through a struggle with a family she is very close with. She is really distressed and grieving because the oldest son in this family has renounced Christ and is dating someone who is practicing wicca. He is flirting with the Satanic arts, as well, and is working on trying to get his two younger brothers to renounce Christ as well. I meet with my friend and another friend on Zoom every day, and she brings it up every day, begging us to pray. I asked her if he was willing to talk with his parents or friends about it, and she said no, but she then said she herself has had conversations with him. This makes me think that perhaps he is willing to talk and she may either be not asking the right questions or she may not really be hearing what he is saying. I asked her if she asked questions and really listened to his answers, and she said yes, but she also said she asked him questions in order to be able to refute his claims. To me, in the way she describes him, this young man sounds extremely angry, and she was discussing evolution and similar topics with him. She said every time she asked him a question he couldn’t answer, he would change the subject. I know it’s somewhat difficult because I myself have not talked to this person, but I was wondering if you would have any thoughts to offer to help my friend see a different way of approaching this person. Or perhaps if he shifts subject every time he can’t answer a question, maybe it’s time to just step back and just continue to pray?

My second question is in regard to your talk about influence in the You Tube video you shared. A lot of people don’t think they have much influence. In fact, I know people who just think they are invisible to everyone else and don’t think that they could have any meaningful impact on others’ lives. Is there a way to encourage people who feel that way to see that they have more impact and influence in others’ lives than they might think?

6 Likes

Hi Lindsay, thanks for reaching out and asking me some questions. I don’t have a lot of experience with people involved in Satanic cults…etc. I think as I’ve mentioned in a couple of other answers prior to your question here in RZIM CONNECT was that I highly recommend that maybe you don’t have spiritual conversations right now. That you should think of building bridges with people by finding out more about the person in front of you. Grab a meal and avoid spiritual conversations. Because it seems that the conversations are ending up in debates and arguments. Another suggestion would be for the person to write down all the positives of their worldview and then the negatives of Christianity. And then you’ll be able to answer them by writing back your answers. So writing might an option. But first try and show that you genuinely care about the person and this will build trust. Spend time and ask caring questions. And always remember to pray before your conversations and lean on the Lord for strength and wisdom.

Regarding your question on influence, again I can’t reiterated enough that like it or not we are influencing people all the time every day. Especially in your own home is where influence is really impacting lives. I believe there are two ways to influence and that’s by words and also buy action and so I don’t know what type of person you are but many people actually lead with action because they may not always know what to say. But I think it’s a combination of both. People want to see that it’s real. We are heavily influenced during times of crisis and adversity. I always say that the Christian shines through adversity. So people are watching you on how you deal with crisis, death and various other trials. Most of the time I think were influenced in a negative way but as believers in Christ you can have such a positive influential impact on even just one individual. Humility is what influences me.
Hope this makes sense.

Blessings, Sanj

6 Likes

Thank you for the response, @Sanj_Kalra! I truly appreciate it! The writing idea was especially intriguing. Very creative and something that might actually interest the unbeliever. Thanks! Grace and peace to you!

1 Like

Hi @Sanj_Kalra, I was so blessed by your testimony, thank you so much :pray:t3: When you witnessed to your neighbors, work colleagues and friends, how did you approach them and how did they react?
Also, what was the reaction from your “enemies “?
You have inspired me, God bless you :heart:

3 Likes

Hello Sig and thanks for your questions. I approached my neighbors and friends and family one at a time I was honest And transparent. I made appointments with them I was wanting to just share my story and my new love for Jesus Christ! I not only wanted to tell him what happened to me but that they could also have a relationship with Christ. Meeting with my enemies was not easy. I was able to set up private meetings and I was able to write to to some of them too. I first apologize to them and I explained the gospel to them. This was over a two-year period and I received positive responses from my enemies. But as you know friends and family we are the toughest and they all weren’t positive responses. I really feel a good practice is to write out your testimony so that you can send it to people if you don’t quite have the courage to meet one on one. Again none of this was easy but it was worth it. I saw many friends and family give their life to the Lord and I reconciled with my enemies.

I hope this is helpful.

blessings Sanj

3 Likes