Reflecting on practical wisdom from Sam Chan’s new book.
(Read time 3 minutes)
People are hungry for relationships! COVID has made it a difficult year for connecting with friends. Crummy wifi has kept us from family. Cancelled groups like Parkrun meant not seeing familiar faces. We’ve had Closed schools, closed churches, and …well closed everywhere! Either we have been kept from keeping in touch or it’s been hard work and even then it’s not been the same.
I believe that we have a unique opportunity for a season where people will be especially hungry for real connection, deep relationships. This is a real opportunity for evangelism.
In a recent FIEC interview the evangelist Jeremy Marshall said this:
“This is the greatest hour for evangelism in our lifetime, we have never had such an amazing opportunity. Because people are preoccupied with three topics that are right up the christians street – Death, suffering and bereavement. And we have something amazing to offer which is hope in the face of death.”– Jeremy Marshall
Not only are people hungry for relationship they are hungry for a bigger story about life that can handle these big realities of life. This is an opportunity we can’t ignore. We have a saviour who satisfies these longings at their deepest level.
If we’re honest, we all feel like we need a bit of help introducing people to Jesus. Recently, to give myself a bit of help, I read How to talk about Jesus without being that guy . I found it really insightful and filled with practical wisdom to make evangelism part of our lifestyle.
This is the first of 4 short blogs reflecting on some of his top tips. I will only cover a few of his tips, but if you find them helpful let me encourage you to buy his book.
In part 1 we will begin thinking about how we create meaningful relationships.
Most of us enjoy some level of meaningful relationships already, what I’m talking about is relationships where it is natural to talk about the meaningful things of life.
Sam makes the case that most of our friends aren’t ready to be invited to things, often when they do come along they aren’t prepared to hear what is shared. Our culture has moved away from the big Billy Graham type crusades, where attendees were largely already “Christianized”. Today, most of the people we know wouldn’t be able to tell you what the Christian message is, let alone believe that it has any relevance to their lives.
Chan’s response is merge your universes. What he means by this is creating opportunities for the people you spend time with to get to know your Christian friends. Friendship has the power to undo this false perception about Christians being weird or oppressive. It also has the power to reveal the plausibility of what we say about Jesus and the gospel.
Christianity feels more believable if they meet others who share that same belief. Not to mention it is much much easier to share your faith if you’re not just the one christian friend in your group.
So, merge your universes! Your universes might be….
- Your hobby group like a running group or gardening society
- It might be the parent friends you meet at the school gate or at your child’s sports games
- Neighbours who live locally
- Friends from a place where you volunteer
- Work friends
Paul says “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” (1 Thess 2:8) It was Paul and his christian mates who were spending time with those who weren’t believers. This isn’t new but it can be revolutionary.
Have a think:
1. What are your universes?
2. What creative ways of hospitality could you use to bring these universes
– Summer garden party, where your neighbour and church friends are invited.
– Picnic + games at the park with families from school and christian friends.
– BBQ for your hobby friends, their families and your christian friends.
– Indoor hockey, for whoever wants to join you and some mates from church.
 How to Talk About Jesus without Being THAT Guy – Sam Chan
Book cover image – https://www.10ofthose.com/uk/products/27178/how-to-talk-about-jesus