For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. Mark 8:38
We all have them. The questions we do not want to be asked by our co-workers or neighbors…
“Don’t you agree that all people who do good and love their God should be saved?”
“Why are Christians so anti-gay?”
“I believe in Jesus, but not Paul, he is so anti-women!”
“How can you believe in a God who only saves certain people?
And yet, how will we ever share Jesus with the people in our lives if we can’t or won’t address these roadblocks in the way of their faith? The challenge for us is, how can we have ongoing conversations that are meaningful and helpful to people who don’t know the great love of God revealed to us in his Word (John 3:16)? How do we communicate the love of Jesus in this increasingly changing world of mass communication?
On June 11th, we hosted a workshop with Randy Newman where we spoke about the challenge of sharing our faith in the 21st century. Close to 50 people came to talk about these issues with Randy for about an hour and a half. The time flew by and when we were done, Randy gave us an assignment and invited us back for part two on Sunday, August 20th.
Here’s the assignment:
- Try to have one or two conversations with one or two non-Christians about their beliefs. In the first conversation, try to do more listening than talking. Ask questions to make sure you’re understanding what they’re saying or to help them explore their own ideas or beliefs. For example, you could initiate a conversation by saying, “I’m part of a church that is trying to understand what people outside our church believe. Would you be willing to discuss some of your ideas about faith with me sometime?”
- See if you can identify one significant question they have about the Christian faith. Narrow it down to one. See if you can also understand the content and tone of the question to learn whether they’re asking with sincere interest, angry doubt, attacking skepticism. That will help you ask follow-up questions to understand their experiences with other Christians and our faith.
- Try to brainstorm what might be some next steps to take for future conversations.
That’s it! Talk to your friends, family members or classmates, over coffee or a meal. And listen. Then let’s talk together on the 20th!
I would like to invite anyone who is interested to join us on August 20th for our follow-up conversation with Randy. We will be meeting in the Basement Auditorium and serving pizza for $2.00 a slice. Childcare will be provided (please contact JB Tharp). Even if you didn’t make the first meeting with Randy or weren’t able to do the assignment, please come! I think you’ll find the discussion worthwhile and encouraging.
If you are able to do one or both of the assignments, we look forward to hearing what you’ve learned.
Jesus is coming back. Let’s not be ashamed to share his love with our friends. The kingdom of God is coming in power; Jesus is coming back in glory. Let’s be ready!
For the King,