6/28/11 Alex, about 25
Witnessing gives us a chance to plant seeds of Gospel truth in people's lives - no matter where they are at with the Lord. I had this attitude as I struck up a conversation with a young man named Alex at our churchwide softball league, hoping to encourage a fellow believer but discoverng a confused unbeliever instead. How does one find this out at an event where it is too often assumed that everyone is a Christian? How can we avoid treating a church "insider" as an outsider? I just asked Alex how he came to know the Lord. He responded with a lot of religious sounding jargon that really didn't make much sense. I realized he probably isn't a believer but still didn't want to simply revert to the same Gospel message that he has probably (hopefully) heard many times in church. As a high school teacher I know that there is a wide gap between a student who simply repeats words like a parrot and a student who truly understands them, and an informal test of comprehension is to turn the tables and ask the student to teach the teacher what he knows. So I did this with Alex, asking him to assume I am an unbeliever who just asked him how I can be saved. What would he say to me? Alex had no idea, so we talked it through. I've used this approach with many churched people and I think it helps. It can help an immature believer to learn to articulate their faith, and it can help the churched unbeliever face up to the fact of their false conversion.