Weʼve all been there, the conversation is going ﬁne – and somehow, someway the conversation turns to Jesus. While the conversation was on the last topic, you were ﬁne, you were laughing, you were yourself, you were having fun… but suddenly when it turns to Jesus, you get weird. You get tongue-tied, cottonmouth, you start breathing heavy, you get very serious – almost cold. Any hint of joy is gone from your demeanor, and you begin to talk to them about the Greatest News Ever.
Do you see the contradiction? When talking about anything else youʼre ﬁne. But when you talk about the Gospel, your demeanor betrays your message. The Apostle Peter instructs the early Christians in their conversations with those outside the faith, by saying, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15). Do you see what he said there? In your hearts, regard the Christ the Lord as holy; always be prepared to make a defense… always. We always need to be ready to talk about the hope that is in the gospel. You never know when the Holy Spirit is going to give you that moment. You need to be prepared. Usually that is the issue why you get weird; youʼre not prepared. Start by preaching the Gospel to yourself. Read passages about the Gospel. Listen to how your Pastor talks about the Gospel, and be ready. Even if you donʼt have all the answers to their questions, you can say something like “Iʼm not sure, Iʼll have to look into that.”
Donʼt get weird, donʼt get defensive, and donʼt get frustrated. If the Gospel is true, and of course we believe it is, then we should have no insecurities talking about it, just like we would talk about anything else that is true. This passage tells us Christ is Lord. The one with the power to draw people is the Lord of your conversations and interactions with those who donʼt believe the gospel. Relax.
Some of this purely comes down to reps. The more you talk about Jesus, the more comfortable you are going to be with these types of conversations. The Apostle Peter begins this instruction by saying, “In your hearts regard Christ the Lord as Holy”. In your hearts, always lift up Christ, always submit the conversation to Him, and trust Him! Ask the Holy Spirit to ﬁll you up. When you do it, “do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience (1 Peter 3:15-16). After the conversation is over, trust Jesus for the effects of the conversation. Ultimately you are the messenger of the Gospel, not the Message. God is the one who ultimately evangelizes them.