Does sharing Jesus sometimes feel like a monologue?
You’re talking to your friend about faith only to see their eyes glaze over. You’re brimming with excitement as you explain the goodness of Jesus, and they are glancing at their watch. The truth is that people are most teachable at their point of need. If this is true, then the best way to spark interest in the Gospel is about connecting Jesus directly with their needs.
If your friend doesn’t understand their need for Jesus, they won’t be interested in hearing about him. Jesus demonstrated the importance of connecting need with the gospel during his lifetime.
Jesus Shows Us How to Share Faith
The Gospel of Luke recounts Jesus’ response to an unnamed woman with a medical condition that caused her to bleed. In the story, she struggles through the crowd to get Jesus’ attention. She does this finally by tugging on his robe and in response, Jesus heals her. It’s an incredible miracle, but the most amazing part about the story is that he calls her ‘daughter’.
Luke 8:48 says, ‘and he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”’
Why was this so amazing?
It’s one thing to heal a lifelong medical condition (that’s pretty amazing), but Jesus connected with another deep need. The woman’s condition meant she had to live far away from her family, friends, and community. By Law, she was “unclean”. She was an outcast.
In the face of her disconnected social position, Jesus calls her “daughter”. How long do you think it had been since someone called her that? Culture had cast her aside, yet Jesus accepted her as family. Society called her an outcast, yet Jesus called her daughter. Jesus knew her need and connected with it.
The gospel meets all of our deep needs, the challenge is discovering how. When you’re sharing Jesus with someone, speak to their needs. Find out what might be going on beneath the surface. Responding to their specific need turns a conversation about Jesus from a monologue into a dialogue.
Start With Listening
Understanding your friend’s needs starts with listening. As a principle, it’s good to listen more than you speak. Often when we think we’re listening, our minds are just busy thinking about what we’re going to say next. But truly listening means staying in the moment, putting aside your opinions and seeking to understand their heart.
Throw away the script. Don’t expect what worked last time to work this time. Every person is different and so is every need. Ask yourself, how does the gospel specifically meet their needs? Everybody needs forgiveness, love, acceptance, and peace. The unnamed woman wanted healing, but what she really needed was acceptance. What are your friends’ needs?
Spark interest in your conversations about Jesus: meet them in their need.
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