You know that Netflix series we all binged during quarantine and told everyone we know about? Yep. Me too.
If you’re like me, you couldn’t shut up about it. You posted about it, you texted, you even called some friends and told them. (Remember phone calls?)
You wanted them to have the same experience you had… And then you wanted to share that experience with them.
For many of us we’ve had an even better experience with Jesus than a Netflix show. He’s changed our lives, he’s given us hope, and he’s invigorated our relationships. And we want everyone we know to experience the same thing.
Then why is it so hard to tell others about Jesus with the same passion you told others about Tiger King?
Let me tell you a few things I’ve learned the hard way that might help you…
1 • Pray for God to open their heart.
God starts the process long before you or I. And he will use situations and circumstances to get their attention. Just pray that they are become in spiritually senstitve to it.
A trusted mentor of mine told me once “Stay close enough to be there when they experience crisis.”
Everyone experiences crisis. And then they are interested in hope.
2 • While salvation happens in an instant, evangelism is a process.
Don’t feel the pressure to tell everything you’ve experienced with Jesus in just 140 characters. It’s not about sealing the deal, or closing the sale… It’s about a relationship.
Jesus always started with the person first. In fact we see a three fold process in the scriptures:
- ask questions about them, dinner for them, neighborhood parties.
- dinner parties, sharing life, asking for help, giving help.
Determine Next Steps
- share a weekend message series with them, ask if there’s anything you can pray for them about, invite them to church.
Jesus would heal someone before preach to them. He’d have dinner with them long before a sermon. And he’d be so kind and so real with them, that most of the time they’d make the decision on their own.
3 • Recognize they might not be ready for it yet.
Here’s a resource we use at RLCM:
Often the first step is they need to have a few positive experiences with Christians long before they want to go to church. I’ve made the mistake of starting with an invite to church when I should have been inviting them to dinner.
I’ve also made the mistake of preaching messages for those that are -5 and -4 on the chart when the only ones in the house are -2 and -1.
This is targeting those who are in – 3 to -1. It’s a great resource for friends and family who might be there. But for those who aren’t yet… then don’t get ahead of them.
Remember, God is in this.
He’s even more interested in helping your friend get to him than you are. You are in partnership with him. Start with prayer and lead with kindness.
After all, we’ll never be able to share the message of Jesus unless we lead with the kindness of Jesus.