How can we help our friends meet Christ?

Hi friends,

Jana Harmon, with the C.S. Lewis Institute, presented this talk at a recent conference:

I thought I would share with you my notes from the talk. I thought this was a very insightful talk, based on extensive research and personal relationships, and offered some valuable wisdom for us to consider.

My notes:

1 - Relationships

  • Be available and listen well - they are a person, not a problem or set of arguments

  • Without listening, we won’t learn the specific experiences and objections they have to Christianity

2 - Perceptions

  • Don’t stereotype them

  • Acknowledge their risk of identification with Christians (and our negative stereotypes - hypercritical, irrational, deluded, intolerant, negative view of life, not educated)

3 - The experience of suffering

  • Personal pain can distance us from God

4 - The top reasons:

  • I don’t see or feel God (unanswered prayer, personal tragedy)

  • There’s a lack of scientific and philosophical evidence

  • Christian belief is irrational and conflicts with science.

  • Religious hypocrisy

  • Lack of exposure to Christian belief

  • I don’t want to be a Christian, it would put constraints on my behavior, and I don’t feel like I need God

5 - When people are open, be prepared:

  • Be open yourself and ask good questions

  • Value substantive discussions

  • Be winsome and confident

  • Be informed of Christian beliefs and worldview

  • Don’t meet their stereotypes of Christians

6 - The process can look like this:

  • Observe Christians’ lives

  • Open myself to the truth

  • Experience love from a Christian

  • Investigate evidence for Christianity

  • Religious experience with God

Ultimately, trust God, and be actively loving, present, available.

Reflection Question:

Over the next few months, what one person could you pray for and love in this way?

Discussion Question:

What else have you personally experienced or learned about presenting Christ to your family and friends?