5/2/12 Kevin, about 50
While at a park today I inadvertently started a conversation with a jogger - not about the Gospel, but about running and fitness. He had a lot of advice for me on this topic and we talked for perhaps 15 minutes. I wanted to transition over to spiritual matters and it was tempting to just mention spiritual topics to see if he had any interest in such things. In the past, however, I've seen that if a conversation inadvertantly wanders into spiritual topics, it usually inadvertently wanders back out, and if I try to keep it there by force, my hidden agenda is exposed. No, I believe going into all the world means taking the initiative in evangelism and being clear about our purposes. At a natural pause in our conversation I said "Hey, I've been walking around the park asking people an interesting question - do you mind if I ask you?" "No problem" he said, "What's up?" I went into a line of questions about his beliefs, which shifted the leadership of the conversation over to me and allowed me to purposefully and naturally keep our discussion on topic. He - Kevin - seemed just as comfortable talking about religion as he did about fitness. He is well-read, has traveled around the world, claims to appreciate various religions but is himself an atheist. We talked about the possibilities of judgment day, our accountability to God, and the punishment of hell - topics that are so heavy that if we rely on allowing our conversations with people to drift "inadvertently" onto spiritual topics, they will drift away from these in a hurry. Unfortunately, they are a part of the Gospel message we can't do without.