By Derek Baker, SEND North — How easy is it for you to share your faith with your friends and neighbors? Though some people share with ease, many of us struggle to start a conversation that won’t offend. This is especially true when you share with friends from a different culture and you don’t want to be misunderstood.
Spiritual hooks are a great way to circumnavigate this challenge. It is NEVER too early to plant them into conversations. These simple statements:
- Point to your relationship with Jesus or to spiritual realities.
- Ask nothing of the listener but create an opportunity for a response if they are interested.
- Give you an opportunity to see where God is working naturally.
This way of sharing your faith is especially helpful when you are new to the mission field and don’t yet know the culture. Over time, as you better understand the culture and people, God will prepare you to share more overtly. Even if you aren’t a cross-cultural missionary, speaking straightforwardly about your faith may come as you build deeper relationships with your friends and neighbors.
But from day one of a relationship, we all can overcome any fear of evangelism by weaving spiritual hooks into our conversations. Here are a few examples that SEND North workers might use in our remote communities:
- I love the beauty of the land here. God is a magnificent creator.
- I am so sorry to hear about the way your mother treats you. You are God’s precious creation, and it is not right that you were treated that way.
- I understand you are angry with your neighbor for taking something from you. I have found the only way I have overcome my anger and bitterness is through God’s help. (Tell a story of how you were angry, and God helped you through it.)
These comments might not work in your setting, but other spiritual hooks will suit your situation. Take a moment this week to write out a few that you can share in your everyday conversations, and then watch what God does as you faithfully go out as a “fisher of men.”
Feel free to share some “spiritual hooks” that have worked well in your life in the comments!