If You Want to Share Your Faith Effectively, Do This First
by Nate Sala
There was a time when effective evangelism was as simple as sharing our testimony with someone or reminding them what the Bible says on a particular issue or even asking them to watch Billy Graham preach on TV. But these days are largely gone. Why? Because, back then, Christianity retained an inherited authority in moral and spiritual matters. Non-believers, who had decided to avoid church and reject following Jesus, still acknowledged this sense of authority over their lives.
Now, when a lot of Christians try to share their faith, folks clam up, fold their arms, and shut down. Or worse, they get angry and start arguing (even demonizing) the Christian for talking about their beliefs.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Christians must have a paradigm shift in their understanding of evangelism and apologetics. We have to understand our audience in order to engage them effectively. This means throwing out scripted speeches and asking questions to develop authentic relationship. In other words, we must adopt a First Date Evangelism approach.
I’m currently reading the writings of Mortimer Adler. If you haven’t read him, he’s an excellent thinker with a lot of helpful ideas about actively engaging literature as well as people. In his book How to Speak How to Listen he writes about the proper order of rhetoric in persuasion. The first step in communicating with someone in order to persuade them is — develop trust…