What comes to mind when you hear the word evangelism? Does it conjure up images of the late and great televangelists of the 1980s? Does it make you think of men on street corners showing God’s Word into a megaphone? Whatever your mental image is, there is sure to be one. Along with that picture probably come feelings of discomfort as well. Why do we get squeamish about sharing Jesus with strangers?
It is normal to feel intimidated by initiating a conversation like salvation with a perfect stranger. It has to do with preconceived notions about how your words will be received. The world wants Christians to feel as though Jesus is someone of whom the general populous has no use. Yet, there are still people being saved every day. It is the assumptions and premature conclusions that keep us quiet. How do we put those aside to fulfill the great commission? It is easier said than done.
Sharing Jesus With Strangers Is Easier If You Pray First
Most Christians long for those moments when someone asks us about Jesus. We fill with hope for the opportunity to lead someone to Christ. Oh, what joy to pray the sinner’s prayer alongside a repentant heart! Sadly, too many Christians report that those faith-filled opportunities have never come. Maybe the reason why is simpler than that people are not interested in being Christians anymore.
For every well-intentioned heart who wants to share Jesus, there is an enemy who would like nothing more than to keep them quiet. A Christian who is ill-prepared to witness is an excellent target for the enemy. The best way to be available for sharing Jesus with strangers is to prepare your heart first.
If you want more opportunities to share Jesus, ask for them. Praying for these opportunities will do a few things:
- Fix your mind on seeing the prayer answered
- Keep your heart sharp to recognize opportunities
- Stuff down the fear and anxiety around talking to strangers
Would you be a better witness if you knew that Jesus was handpicking those opportunities for you? That is what happens when we pray for opportunities to share Jesus.
Make Sure You Are Someone A Stranger Would Engage
If you get a little anxious about talking to people you don’t know, many people in the world are just like you. It is good to realize we all feel unsure about talking to people we don’t know. The best way to be someone a stranger would want to talk to is to be as friendly around them as possible.
Do yourself a little favor and experiment next time you are out in public alone; smile at everyone with whom you make eye contact. We’re not talking a big toothy grin here, but a friendly “I see you” kind of smile. Take note of who smiles back and who might even start to engage you in conversation. Smiling relaxes your body. It is hard to be tense when you are smiling. A smile can change the room in an instant. It is most people’s natural reaction to smile back when they see someone smiling. Give it a try. You’ll feel better being around people you don’t know, and they will feel better about being around you too.
If you want to be open to sharing Jesus with strangers, it is best to lose the headphones, earphones, earbuds, etc. If you have anything in your ears, you let others know you are otherwise occupied and not open to having a conversation. Getting those opportunities to share Jesus is about your ears being open to hearing the invitation for a conversation. If you are receptive, then look the part. Also, ditch the obsessive scrolling on the cell phone. Keep your attention on those around you.
Bring Up The Conversation About God First
One very easy way to share Jesus is to weave Him into your everyday conversations with people. Make sharing Jesus with strangers a comfortable flow in your life by finding ways to bring Him up.
- If someone shares a problem, offer to pray for them
- Talk about how God is working in your life around an issue they bring up
- “I don’t know where you are at spiritually, but I am a Christian and…”
- If someone brings up a subject, tell them what the Bible says about it
Not making the God conversation awkward and jarring will allow the other person to hear what you have to say. If they resist the conversation taking a Godly turn, it is okay. Let them go. The important thing is that you planted a seed.
Letting Others Know They Can Talk To You About God
One of the best things about evangelical t-shirts like Ichthus VerseWear is that it provides information to people that you would be open to sharing Jesus with them. While most other Christian t-shirts are very obviously Christian, our t-shirts use the power of curiosity to get someone to ask what your t-shirt is about or what the verse means on the back of your t-shirt. If you want to start sharing Jesus with strangers, find out more about our mission and get talking about Him!