When you read the title, you might respond, “You don’t.” After all, we can’t force our faith on others.
I have learned, however, that those we think are not interested are often the most responsive to the Gospel, if approached correctly.
Understand why many are not interested, or appear not to be. Some have been witnessed to before by people they want nothing to do with or be like. Many have seen hypocrisy among professing Christians and it has turned them off. Others just assume they know what Christians believe and don’t want to hear about it. And then there are some who, down deep inside, feel guilty about their lifestyles and don’t want to feel uncomfortable by talking to a religious person about things that make them feel more guilty.
But those are all misconceptions of genuine Christianity and the nature of the Gospel. If you work with people or have relatives who seem to fall in this category, there is more hope than you probably realize. Many people now in our church were at one time considered, “uninterested,” or “unlikely to respond to the Gospel.”
But they became interested and they did respond.
Here are some helps.
- First and foremost, live the Gospel. If you are not going to live like a follower of Jesus, please, keep your mouth shut. Nothing has caused more harm to the Gospel than outspoken, opinionated, professing Christians who live like hypocrites. If Jesus is real in your life then let him be evident in the way you talk, the choices you make, and the life you live. Be humble and consistently Christian!
- Second, pray for those God has in your world. God answers prayer. He really does. Put them in a list and pray for them daily. Ask God to give you wisdom in how you interact with them.
- Love them. You know the old saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Involve yourself in their lives and genuinely care about them. When you care sincerely, it shows with the questions you ask them and how you interact. They’ll know it, and that alone gets their attention.
- Look for opportunities. God has a way of bringing opportunities along. It might be an open door in a conversation, or an appropriate place to insert just a small part of your God story. If you are living your faith and loving them, those open doors will present themselves.
- Invite. Research shows that after relationships are formed and trust is gained, even the most irreligious people are likely to respond favorably to an invitation (82% say they would come to church if invited by someone they trust). So don’t be afraid to ask someone you are invested in to come and check out your church. Usually, they are pleasantly surprised.
Remember this, the Gospel is not something we are trying to sell. We have an unseen supernatural force who is working on our behalf. The Holy Spirit speaks into people’s lives when we live genuine Christianity before them and graciously share with them God’s goodness. So trust him to work, while having the courage to speak up.