I wrote a few weeks ago about why we sometimes avoid talking about God. I listed several things that I thought hinder us. I want to focus much of my attention over the next weeks on how we CAN talk about Jesus with anyone in a way that makes sense.
Here’s my first set of thoughts on that:
1. Learn to retell the stories Jesus told. We call them “parables.” They’re simply stories that encourage the heart. Learn 4 or 5 of them well and learn how to retell them naturally and in the context of your present life. I’m going to be doing a series of videos on this to show you what I mean.
2. Tell stories about the life of Jesus. Not what he said, but what he did. I will sometimes start with “…that reminds me of the time Jesus saw a blind man on the side of the road and….”
3. Know the teachings of Jesus and learn how to relate them to everyday life. For instance – “Have you ever been tired? Well, of course you have. I’m worn out right now from my recent trip. You know…it’s so interesting how Jesus said that he came to give tired people rest. Not sure how that works, but I know I could use some of that now…”
4. Tell the stories of Jesus touching someone else’s life that you know. Don’t always tell your own story – that feels too personal. Tell someone else’s. Like this: “I was just with a friend of mine the other day – and he told me the most incredible thing that happened. I can hardly believe it….”
A great tool of teaching is not to TELL someone the thing you want them to know, but explain how that thing happened to someone else or was told by another person to someone else. In other words, give people the space to agree or disagree without feeling cornered. This by itself will change how you share your faith and how people respond.