Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sandy Grant on a cure for gospel tongue-tie

I want to share a comment from Sandy Grant which I received on my post A cure for gospel tongue-tie at Sola Panel yesterday. What he says is so helpful that I'm going to add part of it to yesterday's post, with thanks to Sandy, for anyone who's trawling through this blog for posts on evangelism.

He inspired me to follow up on those conversations when I go away thinking, "If only I said ...". I follow up on unresolved issues when I lead Bible studies or mentor someone, so why not with my friends who don't know Jesus?

He says:
Asking questions and being genuinely interested is absolutely right.

I also think practice - rehearsal even - is a key point. Chappo made this point somewhere, when he explained that for a year, as a younger man, he and a friend had read the editorial in the daily paper and rung each other and discussed whether either could think of anything Christian to say about the topic of the day. This meant they were more likely to be ready for topics that were likely to be under current discussion. It was a form of rehearsal.

Col 4:5 says (in the NIV) to “make the most of every opportunity”. I have tried to make the most of every missed opportunity, and like you, there have been a few!

If you postmortem what you could have said, then you are more ready for next time a similar thing is said.

But I would add an extra step. Sometimes it will be appropriate to go back to the person and say,

You know what you said about X the other day, I didn’t know what to say, but I couldn’t get it out of my head, and here’s what’s come to me since.

I was thinking more about what you said yesterday, and here’s something I’ve found helpful [or my minister or friend recommended] in reading on the topic… Are you interested in having a copy?

It won’t always be suitable, but going back to the person shows you really take them seriously and they got you thinking. I suspect many people will respect that. (But don’t over do it!)

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