What advice do you have for us in sharing the gospel with strangers?

Hi @mittelm,

What advice do you have for us in sharing the gospel with strangers? The proverbial person sitting next to us in a plane, train, bus, at the store, etc.?

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Advice for talking about your faith to strangers?

First, pray for God to orchestrate serendipidous meetings with people who will be interested and open. Pray and then watch for them. Look in people’s eyes and see who wants to engage in conversation. Just say hello, and engage in sincere but casual small talk. But then, if it seems appropriate and you sense green lights from the Holy Spirit, toss out a comment or question that can help you get to spiritual matters. If you’re on your way to or from a Christian event, nonchalantly toss that fact out there. See if that raises interest or resistance. Either way, ask them what they’re thinking, what their background is, whether they’ve ever really looked into the teachings of Jesus.

Start with any topic, but then try to steer the conversation to what’s central: Jesus, the gospel, and your own testimony. Pray as you speak, asking God for favor and wisdom – and for the Holy Spirit to open the other person’s heart to what you’re saying.

If it’s a long ride or flight, I’ve found it helpful to engage for a while, then move on to other topics or just give it a break (lots of people just want a nap!), but then to reengage again later in the journey. This alone lets them know I’m not going to hound them with the topic, and they often become more open.

Also, reading a good Christian book next to a stranger can open up spiritual conversations.

Last thought: One of the most helpful habits I’ve developed is carrying a couple small Christian books or booklets that I know and truth and feel good giving to people. This time of the year The Case for Christmas is great (and The Case for Easter in the spring). Also, I mentioned my little evangelistic book, The Reason Why Faith Makes Sense. I ALMOST ALWAYS carry copies of that when I’m traveling (and before I was writing my own books I was almost always carrying other books). What’s great about this habit is that it’s much easier to get into a conversation – even when you know you just have a moment – when you know you’ve got spiritual backup in the form of a good book you can give the person. And when I do this I usually write my email address in the front of the book and encourage them to let me know if they have any thoughts or questions they’d like to discuss later (they rarely do so, but when they do it can lead to real progress in their journey toward Christ). And occasionally I hear about one of them putting their faith in him (including a local doctor I gave The Reason Why to recently!).

SO: Pray for guidance and open doors; Take a small risk and see who wants to talk; Ask lots of questions and really listen; Be willing to get on and off the subject of spiritual matters … and back on again; Give books or other tools (you can also write down helpful websites), trusting that as you plant seeds God with bring other workers into the mix and help the person go next steps.

Do these things faithfully over time, and you will see real spiritual fruit – fruit in the form of changed lives. People who will be on your arm for eternity, thanking you forever for taking the risk to reach out and share the life-giving gospel message with them! (1 Cor. 15:58)