Sometime ago I began to look in depth at aspects of sharing our faith. I believe no greater model for sharing the Gospel exists than the story we have recorded in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John.
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2) Common Interest
Tracts, billboards, street preaching, church signs, door-to-door evangelism, bumper stickers, and t-shirts all have on thing in common. They are one-offs. A one shot chance at impacting someone with the Gospel message. Let me be clear, I believe each and every one of these things can, and have been, useful; but on the whole these methods are not the most successful means for impacting someone with the Gospel.
In my last post on this topic I wrote about our need to venture outside the walls of our churches and safe Christian sub-culture to impact and connect with non believers socially. This entry further develops that with what would be a necessary next step in the efforts to connect and share the Gospel.
The natural next step in sharing your faith as observed in John 4, is establishing common interest or, build rapport.
This is not always an easy task. It can, in fact, come off like empty small talk–something contrived merely as filler conversation–if you are not careful. Common interests can be many things. A few topics may be; family, sports, hobbies, school, activities, or shared experiences. The key is to be meaningful. If you have to force it, you don’t mean it.
Once a bridge for communication has been established, it will be easier to discuss God’s word with someone. Don’t feel that you must immediately begin talking about spiritual matters. Take time to nurture common interests. Yet at some point we want to reach the next stage.