In our series on Conversational Evangelism, we're investigating
four types of conversations we have with people, when talking
about God and His church.
So far in this series, we've talked about the first three
types of conversations:
- Learn about people and their religion.
- Identify common ground, based on God's word and authority.
- Help them understand what they believe.
In this article, we'll explore the fourth type:
- Teach the Bible, while overcoming objections.
Ask Questions to Introduce Topics of Conversation
Jesus is the supreme example of asking questions to introduce
a topic, then proceeding to teach a related lesson.
In Matthew 16:13-15, He asked the disciples, "Who do people
say that the Son of Man is?" After they answered, He asked,
"But who do you say that I am?" Then He proceeded to teach
a lesson on the church.
When talking with our friends and neighbors, we can introduce
topics by asking questions, which often provide a teaching
opportunity. Simply ask, "What do you think about. . . ?"
and then discuss the subject.
Respond to People's Comments
In John 3, Jesus taught a lesson on salvation when responding
to Nicodumus' comment.
Anytime someone makes a comment, we have an opportunity
to talk about God and His word. If someone says "It's a
great day!" you can respond with "God is really blessing
us, isn't He?" which may lead to a conversation about God.
This type of communication doesn't require a complex thought
process. Just be open with people, telling them what's in
your heart, and see what happens.
Tell People About Yourself
Paul told people about himself, to teach them about God.
He told the Corinthians he was the least of the apostles
because he persecuted the church of God, to demonstrate
the effectiveness of God's grace (1 Cor. 15:9-10).
And he told the Jews he had persecuted the Way to the
death, binding and putting Christians into prisons, and
approving of Stephen's death (Acts 22:4, 20). Telling about
his life, Paul also told them about his salvation, relaying
Jesus' command as spoken by Ananias, "Now why do you delay?
Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling
on His name.'"
Telling people about ourselves and our salvation, is one
of the most effective evangelistic methods. Sadly, though,
it's a tool we often neglect, possibly because of pride,
unwilling to tell people about the time we were dead in
sin, and the time we obeyed God's word to be saved.
Don't Compromise Your Faith, Communicate
We're faced with situations where we have to speak up or
compromise our faith. In other words, we can either be silent
and follow the crowd in the way of sin, or communicate our
disapproval and object to the behavior.
Daniel and his friends are good examples of communicating,
rather than following the crowd in sin.
- Dan. 1:8-13 Daniel determined not to defile
himself with an unlawful diet, and communicated to the
commander. As a result, he found a solution that avoided
- Dan. 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego
refused to worship the king's idol and communicated their
objection. After Nebuchadnezzar witnessed the power of
God to save the three men, he blessed God.
As we talk to people about God, we come across people who
voice opposition to the things we believe.
When this occurs, we shouldn't be overcome with fear,
but be happy that someone is willing to open up and share
their thoughts with us. These are the times when we have
the greatest opportunity to influence people with the gospel
In Ephesus, for example, Paul was challenged by many adversaries
while reasoning and persuading the people concerning the
kingdom of God. As a result, a wide door for effective service
opened to him (Acts 19:8-9; 1 Cor. 16:8-9).
We should consider it a great honor when people communicate
their objections to things relating to God and His word.
Many times, these people care deeply about God's word, and
can be convinced of the truth revealed in His word.
When we're challenged to defend our faith, we should be
very careful to exhibit the correct behavior, speaking the
truth in love, not reviling people who revile us, and speaking
with gracious speech (Eph. 4:15; 1 Pet. 2:21-23; Col. 4:5-6).
Often, people pay attention to our behavior, more than the
things we communicate from God's word.
We have opportunities to talk about God in everyday conversation.
We can take advantage of these opportunities and spread
the good news by asking questions to stimulate conversation,
responding to peoples' comments, telling people about ourselves,
communicating rather than sinning, and overcoming objections
with gracious speech.
As a result, some people will come to Christ through His
word. And we'll be privileged to witness the power of God
working in the lives of men (Rom. 1:16).