How to talk to your friends about Jesus
Part 2: Creating opportunities for conversations
In part 1, we talked about how to be more confident about sharing your faith. Now that we’re confident … how do we actually get started? How do I move a conversation from talking about the weather with the kind old granny on the train, to talking about Jesus?
Make it super-clear to everyone that you’re a Christian. When people ask you what you did on the weekend, be honest. “I went to church.” Afraid of being laughed at? “I went to church, and it was awesome.” Even ending conversations with a simple “God bless you” can open up new and interesting conversations.
In 1 Peter, the author Peter has been writing to his readers about how God has called them out of darkness, and made them his holy (set apart) people. Then in chapter 2, verse 12, he writes that they should conduct themselves ‘honourably among the Gentiles, so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do evil, they may, by observing your good works, glorify God in a day of visitation.’
Basically what he means is, be holy. Be different. When you’re at a party, don’t go along with drinking and hooking up. Stand out as different. Not ‘see how much better I am than you’, but rather following Jesus instead of following the crowd. Then, they won’t be able to accuse you of doing dodgy things, and they might actually see that God has changed you. This will sometimes lead to people questioning you, which is a perfect opportunity to talk about Jesus.
Make sure you’re not just hanging out with Christians all the time. Stay friends with people who don’t believe. And be there for them. When his girlfriend dumps him, be the first to go around and cheer your mate up. When she finds out that her granddad has cancer, be the first friend there to comfort her. Offer to pray for them, most people take that as a sign of real friendship and support. Outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchens has been surprised by the amount of Christian prayer groups that are praying for his healing from terminal cancer, and that’s a really good witness.
Invite them to things
Do you go to a youth group or church? Invite your mates along! Then us leaders can do some of the hard work for you! A friend of mine started inviting her friends to youth group when they were in year 7. They kept saying ‘no.’ 5 and a half years later, she was still inviting them to youth group every week. Then they said ‘yes.’ A few weeks later, one of the guys gave his life to Jesus!
Prepare some questions
When you’re having a deep & meaningful chat with a best friend, rather than just complaining about other people, have some questions ready to ask. Like ‘how satisfied are you? if you were to rate your happiness on a scale of 1 to 10, what would you rate it?’ Then, ‘if God was a part of your life, do you think that rating would go up or down?’ And when they say, “why do you ask?”, you can share a bit about how your life has changed since you’ve started following Jesus, or about what they think about God and his expectations of them.
Pray for opportunities, and when people start talking, realise that God is answering your prayer!