Tactics Chapter 14: More Sweat Less Blood
guest blog by David Stoecker*
In going through this book, you have looked at multiple tactics to help you effectively have conversations that aim to put a rock in the other person’s shoe. That is, you give them something to think about that will hopefully stay with them long after the conversation is over. It is not about winning, but planting a seed. That said, this book and this blog on it do not guarantee that the conversations you have will be different.
There is a huge difference between application and knowledge. Greg states an old training maxim he heard from a former marine, “The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle.” That means that you need to look at not only the tactics you have learned. You also need to practice those tactics as well as learn when and how to apply them in actual conversations. Following are his 8 quick tips:
- Be ready – always be willing to talk to the people you come in contact with and see if there is interest
- Keep it simple – Stick to salvation. If other issues don’t come up, why bring them up?
- Avoid religious language and spiritual pretense
- Focus on the truth of Christianity, not merely its personal benefits – Focus on truth, not only experience
- Give reasons – Don’t make assertions without giving evidence. Remember, the roof needs supports to hold it up
- Stay calm – Don’t get mad, don’t get frustrated. Always stay composed
- If they want to go, let them leave – You don’t have to close the sale every time. That is God’s job
- Don’t let them leave empty-handed – Offer a business card, a Christian web site or something to read
Also, gather on a regular basis with people who have the same interests in apologetics and/or sharing salvation with others that you do. They may not yet be as advanced as you are, they may have more wisdom and knowledge than you. Commit to meeting together on a regular basis. It could be monthly, weekly or biweekly. Just be consistent. Get together and study with open discussion. Build each other up and don’t be surprised to see your passion spread to others.
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As ambassadors you need to welcome opposing views. If you are confident in your beliefs you will be committed to truth and gathering knowledge. I had a philosophy professor who gave me a great definition for intelligence. He said, “An intelligent man can discuss both sides of the argument.” How can you combat what you don’t know? Furthermore, how can you know that you are right if you don’t listen to all of the facts?
If you are truly interested in the salvation of others you will not run from opposing viewpoints. Instead, you will strive to find out why they believe as they do and share the truth with them. If you are committed to truth instead of an organization, you will be open to refining your own beliefs and views. You should be open to correction in how you think. Someone who disagrees with you may actually have the right view. You may have the right view. Either way, an evangelist is willing to engage in argument that goes against what he/she believes. That allows you to develop better answers to defend how you believe or make corrections if you find your thinking to be faulty.
Bottom line, don’t retreat under fire. Remember, it is all of eternity you are fighting for. If you were trying to save someone’s life, would you just give up and walk away or would you be willing to fight for it? Having courage in the face of adversity allows you to gain the respect of others. Never be afraid to share your side; always be willing to hear the others side. Over time this will allow you to develop faith that is rock solid!
In closing, remember the traits of an ambassador. Always be:
- Ready – Be on the alert for chances to represent Christ
- Patient – Don’t quarrel, listen so you can understand their side, then respectfully engage
- Reasonable – Have informed convictions, not feelings, give reasons, ask questions, seek answers
- Tactical – Learn to adapt to different situations and people, present the truth so they understand
- Clear – Don’t use Christian lingo and jargon
- Fair – Be sympathetic and understanding of the others views
- Honest – Don’t misrepresent the facts of your view or someone else’s, don’t understate the gospels demands
- Humble – Know that you are fallible and that your understanding is never perfect
- Attractive – Always act with kindness and grace so that you may honor Christ with your conduct
- Dependent – Always rely on God in all that you do. That is the most important key to being successful not only in conversations but in life!
*Written for TPE by David Stoecker of Spiritual Spackle.
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