It's uncomfortable, isn't it?
The worry. The unknown possibilities of being misunderstood or rejected.
"What do I say?" "Will they relate to this at all?" "How can I talk about Jesus without making things awkward?" "What if they have a question I don't know the answer to?" "What if I mess up?"
Talking about Jesus can feel difficult. But it doesn't have to be. How can we talk about Jesus easier?
Starting and sustaining conversations about Jesus shouldn't be a hurdle we can't surmount; it should be an overflow we can't suppress.
So how can we practically start to have confident and compelling conversations about Jesus?
1. Find motivation by recognizing the fullness of life Jesus offers.
John 6:35 says, "Jesus replied, 'I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.'" (NLT).
It's important that we understand the full weight of what Jesus is teaching here. The Greek language spoken at the time was known for its detail. In this verse, Jesus refers to "life" as "zoe" which means, "possessed with vitality; comes from and is sustained by God's self-existent life; looking to the fullness of it."
When Jesus said that He was the bread of life, He was trying to tell us that He is the fullness of life, not just the basics of it. This life is everything we could need and want.
And if that wasn't enough, it's not just about completeness, but also companionship--the deepest experience of being fully known and fully loved. We were made for companionship with God. This companionship gives us 100 percent unlimited access to the full life originally breathed into us. And it's ignited by believing, loving and living in a relationship with Him.
When we recognize that this is the life promised to us, we can't help but want this life for ourselves and for others. Recognizing how good the gospel is--the reality that in love Jesus, the Son of God, was sent to earth, full Deity clothed in humble humanity, to pay the price for the sin we couldn't escape, died, was buried, and conquered death three days later so we could reunite with our Father and Creator--becomes fuel for faith-filled conversations. This motivation gives us perspective to find the words to say.
2. Find the words as you listen and match the needs of others with the endless capabilities of Christ.
The most effective speakers are the most intentional listeners. Before a word of encouragement or instruction ever leaves their lips, they have actively listened and identified the real need of the person they're speaking with.
We see this practice echoed in Isaiah 50:4, "The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught" (ESV).
Now that you have found your motivation in connecting others' hearts to the satisfying and full life found in Jesus, listen for the needs that are keeping them from seeing or living in it.
There isn't a need that Jesus isn't capable of satisfying. He is I AM--the One who is being, has been and always will be. In the Gospel of John He identifies Himself in this way seven different times.
"I AM the bread of life" (John 6:35).
"I AM the Light of the world" (John 8:12).
"I AM the door" (John 10:9).
"I AM the good shepherd" (John 10:11).
"I AM the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25).
"I AM the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6).
"I AM the true vine" (John 15:1,5).
Are you hearing that someone needs to be renewed? Show them how Jesus is the resurrection and life. Are you sensing that someone needs guidance and direction? Tell them how Jesus is the way.
You are a walking review of what life with Jesus is like. Your experiences with Him are meant to glorify God, demonstrating His grace in the best moments and worst ones. Use your story as a tangible tool to explain a spiritual reality. Coupled with His Word and the motivation from the life He offers, you will find talking about Jesus getting easier and more effective as you practice.
3. Find confidence in Him by remaining patient, persistent and practiced.
Only the Holy Spirit can intimately know the condition of the heart. Your conversation could be perfectly crafted. You could have accurately identified someone's real need for Christ, and spoken directly to that need. But in the end, it is not your responsibility to determine their reply.
Your responsibility is to be obedient to Christ--to fulfill the Great Commission by bringing the gospel to everyone, everywhere (Matthew 28:19-20). Leave the results to God.
Obedience isn't an obstacle when you love and trust the One asking you to fulfill the task. Remember that full life that Christ offers? He wouldn't ask you to collaborate in the Great Commission unless He intended it to give you the full life He offers.
Your patience and persistence will speak louder than your words. But, while your persistence will be louder, your practice will be lasting.
One way that you can practically remain patient, persistent and practiced is by using a tool that allows you to have these conversations in a safe space, as you learn what it means to follow Christ and explain these core beliefs in a compelling and effective way.
The Voke app from Jesus Film Project® is one of those tools. Voke is built on adventures. Imagine an original video series attached to direct messaging and that's how a Voke Adventure starts. When you choose a Duo Adventure, you can go through it with any friend you choose. But like levels in a game, each video in the series is only unlocked once your friend has watched the video and replied to you. The short videos in these adventures inspire conversations that matter, lead you through the core conversations on following Jesus, and eventually to an opportunity to respond to Christ's calling. It's a safe place for you to be patient, persistent and practiced in talking about Jesus.
Having conversations about your faith doesn't have to be an uncomfortable, fear-filled experience. The questions of "What do I say?" or "Will they relate to this at all?" don't have to be intimidating.
When we recognize the fullness of life Jesus offers, we find the motivation for our conversation.
When we listen and align the needs of others with the endless capabilities of Christ, our words emerge from His Word.
When we remain patient, persistent and practiced, we find the confidence in Him to fulfill the commission He has called us to.
And soon, sharing our faith won't be an obstacle we can't get around; but an overflow we won't be able to stop.
In the comments below tell us what Jesus means to you, and how can you use that to spark compelling conversations about Him.