One of the biggest obstacles to people becoming Christians in the world today is not hostility. It is indifference. A lot of people have heard something about Jesus but don’t think that God or religion is relevant for their life. They don’t want to hear the Gospel because they think they know enough already. In those cases, how is a Christian to share their faith?
No magic formula
There is no magic formula or seven easy steps to sharing the Christian faith with those who are not interested. Everybody is different and you need to try different approaches and see what works. But if you try to share about Christ and receive a sharp negative reaction, it is probably a sign that you should back off and try again later in a different way. If someone doesn’t want to listen to us talk about Christ, then we shouldn’t force them to listen to us like a pushy salesperson. But when that is the case, what can we do?
The first thing we can do is listen. Ask your friends about what they believe, what they don’t believe, and why. Ask them about their lives and what is important to them. Most people like to talk about themselves. If you ask out of genuine interest and show care for them, they may eventually become curious about what you believe and think. Or they may not. But either way, we need to love others by showing care and respect for them, and we need to listen to them.
Know your Bible
As you listen to your friends talk about themselves, maybe there is a particular pain or hope in their lives that comes up. How does the Gospel address that pain or hope? Is there a Bible story that relates to that pain or hope? In personal conversation, if you know some Bible stories that relate to something your friend is talking about, you could share those stories. If your friend is experiencing troubles in life, you could tell them about Job. If they are longing for a child, you could talk about Hannah, the mother of the prophet Samuel who cried out for a child (1 Samuel 1). Even talking about the awful weather outside could lead to talking about a Bible story, such as Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4:35-41. The more you read the Bible and become familiar with the stories of the Bible, the more variety of stories you will have to share on different occasions and topics.
Meet your other Christian friends
Even if your friend is not interested in hearing the Gospel from you, perhaps they would be willing to listen to someone else. Different people response to different types of personalities. Try to make opportunities for your friend to meet your other Christian friends or church members. This could be at a church event, but it doesn’t have to be. It could be fun gathering at your home, someone else’s home, or around town. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to invite your friend to church too. If they say “no,” don’t worry about it. Often times, as long as you are not pushy about asking them to go to church, it won’t ruin your relationship if they don’t accept your invitation. Look for other opportunities and pray for openings for you or someone else to talk with your friend about spiritual things and see where the conversation leads.
Every situation will be different because every person is different. And people change over time. So, pray for your friend, and keep praying. They may not be interested today, but next month or next year might be different.
Be a friend. Ask Questions. Listen. Love. Pray. Persevere. Point to Christ with your life, and words when possible. Trust in God. He is in control and He is even more concerned about your friend than you are.