Alvin Reid, in his book Sharing Jesus without Freaking Out: Evangelism the Way You Were Born to Do It, writes this pithy but powerful statement:
Lost people are more amazed at our silence than offended at our message.
His point reminded me of something Nabeel Qureshi often said. Here’s one version:
Evangelism is more than memorizing facts and apologetic arguments. Sometimes it’s enough to simply be a friend who cares and asks questions. I remember one time in high school when I was still a staunch defender of Islam. Betsy, an outspoken Christian in our school, cared enough to ask me a question. She had a soft yet adamant demeanor, which made the rest of us feel uneasy.
She asked me a simple question, “Do you know about Jesus?”
At the time I remember thinking, “Betsy is crazy.” We were in the middle of Latin class! All the same, I immediately gained respect for her. Why had the other Christians never asked me what I thought of Jesus? They thought I needed Jesus to go to heaven, right? Were they content with letting me go to Hell, or did they not really believe their faith? Her question meant she believed, and she cared whether I believed.
Would you agree or disagree with Alvin and Nabeel on this point?
In other words, do you think being open about your faith will lead to your friends and family respecting you less - or respecting you more? Will it break trust - or build it? I’m curious to hear what you think - and why!