So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon 1:6

FRONT PAGE - here you will find the last 20 postings about recent conversations. Please pray for these people!

The Main Thing

5/9/13                       Ron, Julie                         Early 20's
“The main thing, is to keep the main thing, the main thing.”  I don’t know where I heard that, but it was helpful and challenging advice to keep in mind as I spoke with Ronald and Julie, a young couple at Starbucks today.  Initiating Gospel conversations with strangers usually involves a period of time at the beginning when the goal is to “win the right to be heard”.  I asked Ron and Julie about their beliefs, and heard a variety of theories and opinions that would have been easy to challenge.  But that would have led us down all sorts of conversational rabbit trails and shut down the conversation prematurely.  It took some active listening to get to the point where they cared enough to listen to what I had to say.  Both Ron and Julie had Catholic backgrounds, but were confused with fairly extensive experiences with ghosts and haunted houses.  This caused them much confusion about what happens after we die – and fueled a variety of theories about our purpose in life and “unfinished business”.  On the positive side, it gave them a strong sense of the spiritual, even though they also have the strong faith in science typical of their generation.  After working to “earn the right to be heard”, it took even longer to unravel all their disconnected ideas and to build a solid foundation for “the main thing” - faith in Jesus.  All this takes time and hard work, with no guarantee of results that we will know about in this life.  It is very different from handing out a tract or giving an evangelistic “spiel” (defined as “A long or fast speech or story, typically one intended as a means of persuasion or as an excuse but regarded with skepticism or contempt.”)  It means treating others as fellow human beings with beliefs and experiences that matter, and being willing to be used by God to help them take whatever next step of faith or obedience they need to take.  I believe it is a way to share our faith that is sorely missing and needed in our churches, which is why I write these posts.  I try not to depend on people’s reactions, but Julie’s response was very encouraging today.  Ron had mainly carried the conversation while Julie was often distracted with her cell phone, but in the end she thanked me profusely, saying “People never talk about these things. Thanks for having the courage to just walk up to us and ask to talk.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget this.”

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