Engaging People Around You With the Gospel

running feet on a path in a grassy park

Engaging People Around You With the Gospel

Engaging People Around You With the Gospel

I was driving to work early one morning when a few words from Jesus that you may be familiar with came to mind. “Go into all the world and proclaim The Gospel to the whole creation”  (Mark 16:15). The idea of telling people about Jesus is something that weighed heavily on my heart. I wanted to share the incredible hope that I have in Jesus with people around me; I just didn’t know how. Don’t get me wrong, it was not that I didn’t know The Gospel. It was that I didn’t know how to get into conversations about The Gospel. 

Maybe you can relate.

Later that same day, I went for a run on my lunch break. Frustrated that I left my earbuds at home and couldn’t listen to music, I decided to spend the time praying as I ran. At some point during the run, I was waiting for a stoplight to turn green so that I could cross the street when another pedestrian struck up a conversation.

“How do you run without listening to music or anything?” he asked.

“That’s a great question,” I replied. “It’s not intentional. I left my earbuds at home today so in an effort to pass the time as I run, I’ve been praying. It’s actually helped!”

“Oh,” he said in return. I then asked him, “Do you ever pray? Or do you have any beliefs about God?” This led to a 15-minute conversation that only Jesus could orchestrate.

Talking to people about Jesus in everyday moments of life feels like a daunting task until you actually do it. Here are a few practical tips that can help you engage in Gospel conversations:

Live out your purpose.

To live out your purpose, you must know your purpose. We exist to know Jesus and make Jesus known. We see this in 2 Corinthians 5. God reconciles us to Himself and then He gives us the ministry of reconciliation. We are to go out and proclaim the hope of The Gospel so that others can know Jesus and be reconciled to God.

Each of us wakes up with an agenda that contains a to-do list each day, but what if making Jesus known is the agenda and the things on our to-do list are avenues in which we get to live that out? At that point, work is more than just a means to earn a paycheck; it’s an opportunity to build relationships with coworkers and tell them about the hope we have in Jesus. A recreational sport is more than a hobby for our kids; it’s a way we can meet other families and point them to Jesus.

Live out your purpose and you’ll see the places you go as a mission field and the people you meet as those who need Jesus as much as you do.

Pray for opportunities to share The Gospel.

I sat in my car that morning and asked God to teach me to see and take opportunities to talk to people about Him. I had no idea that He would answer that prayer within a matter of hours. But He did.

David says in Psalm 5:3, “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning, I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” God not only hears our prayers, but He responds. As we pray for opportunities to tell someone about Jesus, we can wait expectantly, knowing He will respond.

Turn everyday conversations into Gospel conversations.

We talk about the things we care most about. Whether it’s sports, kids, or any other important part of our lives, we can find ways to talk about them. With the slightest amount of intentionality, the same holds true for conversations about Jesus and the faith we have in Him. Here are a few example conversations:

  • “What did you do this weekend?
  • “I hung out with my family and on Sunday I went to church. Do you have a church you go to?”

  • “It’s been a tough day.”
  • “I’m sorry to hear that. I’ve been there too. How can I pray for you?

  • “Do your kids play sports?“They do. One plays baseball and one plays softball.“
  • “It’s fun to see kids on their team from the school they go to and the church we go to. Do you go to church anywhere or have any spiritual beliefs?”

The key to getting into a Gospel conversation at any given point is listening, asking questions, and finding a bridge to connect your faith in Jesus with what you are discussing. After all, isn’t He who we care about most?

I’ll never forget the conversation that took place while I was out for a run during my lunch break that day. After asking the person if they ever prayed or had any spiritual beliefs, they began to share the struggle they had with believing in God due to life circumstances. This opened the door to discuss ways I could relate to the brokenness we encounter in life and how Jesus is the only hope through it all.

It may seem intimidating to think about having Gospel conversations, but when you see Jesus show up and give you the words to say, you will see that it’s worth it. Be ready, be willing, and watch Jesus do what only He can do through you.

About the Author

Catherine Renfro
National Director of Women's Evangelism, NAMB

Catherine Renfro is a church planter’s wife, a mom and serves as the National Director of Women’s Evangelism for the North American Mission Board. She and her husband, Chris, have two awesome kiddos. Catherine graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2010 with a master’s in Christian Education and Biblical Counseling and has served in full-time ministry ever since. She is passionate about seeing lost people come to know Jesus and believers living out their purpose of making Jesus known.

More About Catherine Renfro
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