How to talk to your friends about Jesus
Part 1: Getting started
So, you’re a Christian, and you think the good news about Jesus is worth sharing with your mates. That’s a great place to start. But how do you do that? How do you pluck up the confidence to just start talking? How can I talk about Jesus without offending people, and losing friends?
I’ll assume that if these are your questions, then you’re not like my best mate, Paul. I’d say Paul has the ‘gift’ of evangelism. Paul is able to walk up to someone, introduce himself, start chatting like like they are old mates, and within 5 minutes he’s told the person about Jesus and is leading them through a prayer of repentance. That’s one of Paul’s unique skills, but you know what? Not many Christians are like that.
But, we still have good news to share. So confidence: how do we get more confident? Here are my tips:
Try and try again
- Some people are naturally good at certain things. But for most of us, we need to practise! A lot! So have a flip through the New Testament, look for verses that explain the gospel well and memorise them.
- Also, look at some of the ways other people share the gospel. Check out one of these links to ‘the bridge to life,’ ‘two ways to live,’ or ‘evangelism explosion,’ and learn one of them.
- Or better yet, write out your story, how you got to know Jesus. Tell Jesus’ story through your story.
- Sit down with some Christian mates and have some of them pretend to be people who don’t believe in Jesus. Have a practise conversation with them. Or, even better; practise by talking to people you don’t know. Do you catch a train to school? Ever have to sit next to a kind old granny? Start talking to her and tell her about Jesus! You’ll get some practise, she’ll think you’re a lovely young person, and potentially she’ll get to know Jesus. Do you go to the same cafe everyday? Get to know the names of the people who work there, and when it’s quiet, find out about them - what else do they do outside of working in a cafe? Chances are they’ll ask you the same question, and you can tell them that you’re a Christian.
- You don’t have to explain all 1,176 pages of the Bible to people!
- You don’t even have to share the whole gospel message, or explain the differences between expiation and propitiation to people (what???!!). You are just one of potentially hundreds of Christians that people will come across.
- If the opportunity arises to talk to people about your faith in Jesus, just keep it simple, share your story, or tell them one thing about Jesus you believe. If they want to know more, they’ll ask.
Remember, it's not about you
- It’s about Jesus. This isn’t some amazing theological thing you’ve figured out or made up, this is you being saved by Jesus. So be humble about what you believe, and don’t worry if people get angry at you, or call you names, or stop being your friend. It’s not you they really hate, it’s Jesus.
- You won’t be a complete loner, you have heaps of Christian brothers and sisters. And chances are, people won’t start hating you for telling them about Jesus, unless you’ve been judgmental, or called them stupid for not believing.
Be willing to suffer
- Maybe we don’t face much persecution in our countries because we’re being too quiet about Jesus. Check out what Hebrews 10:32-39 says about facing persecution and being confident. Basically; be confident! You’ll probably suffer for speaking up, but hey, Jesus is returning soon, and everything will be heaps better then.
So how do you get more confident about evangelism? Practise, relax and be willing to suffer.