5/23/12 Frank, Edgar, and others
I believe in teaching by example, so I visited one of my church's home groups to lead a witnessing outing. Chris and Theresa volunteered to go with me, so after the rest of the group prayed for us, we left the comfort of the home group for the mission field just outside the door . As we went out Chris asked about my "strategy" for starting conversations. I shared that when I am intentionally trying to start Gospel conversations I am basically looking for people who look like they might have a little time to talk. This takes some practice, because most people look like they are busy doing something, but most people will make the time to talk if they can - especially when they trust their opinion will be heard and they won't just be preached at. I am convinced that the main reason people reject a Gospel conversation is that they happen to be busy at the time, so we do need to respect the time of those who are obviously too busy, like parents watching their little children. The other part of my "strategy" is that I use gospel tracts as conversation starters with people who are most likely in a hurry, but with people who seem to have some time I simply request to ask them an interesting question. As we walked around the neighborhood, Chris, Theresa and I experienced a variety of reactions. First, I asked a man if he had time to answer a question about his spiritual beliefs but he declined because he was going to watch his daughter's softball game. I didn't take his rejection personally because I believe he truly didn't have the time. A young couple agreed to answer my questions and we talked for a few minutes until she became desperate to go find a restroom. Next, a young lady stopped jogging and took off her earbuds to take a gospel track, but didn't really respond to my attempts at a conversation. She just wanted to get back to her jog, but at least she has something she can read later. Three college students approached on the sidewalk, two on their phones and the third dialing on his. I asked the third if he would respond to an interesting question and all three put their phones away to talk. They were Hindu and we had a long interesting conversation in which we learned about their beliefs and we were able to share the Gospel very clearly. Finally, two middle aged men were enjoying a smoke at a table outside a cigar shop. I asked if they would answer a crazy question. Many people take pride in having an open mind and these men did too so they took this as an interesting challenge. "What do you think happens after this life" This too led to a good gospel conversation. My main strategy? Pray! Then assume the best in people! Most want to talk, but we as Christians need to be the ones to boldly take the intitiative and start the conversations!