Gospel Conversations Made Easier

Where are my Christian brothers and sisters? I pray that you enjoyed celebrating Easter—your gift of Salvation from our brother, Jesus, when he rose from the grave on the third day after his slaughter as the sacrificial lamb for our everlasting life. Our Christianity, a faith that embraces diversity and inclusion, invites everyone to believe. No one is excluded from the gift of grace. Now that is Good News worth talking about. So, brothers and sisters, when was the last time you shared the Gospel with an unbeliever?

I know, having a Gospel conversation can be uncomfortable, especially when you haven’t done it or it’s been awhile. Feeling a bit unpracticed? Feeling unskilled? You are absolutely equipped where you stand, because you are a Christian. Remember that you’re not responsible for bringing people to Christ, because that’s God’s job, but you are responsible for having the conversation and letting the Holy Spirit do His work.

I have a suggestion on how to have easier Gospel conversations. Be inviting and open so people will share their own personal struggles. You don’t have to have walked in their shoes, but you can share how the Gospel has changed your life as a way to connect. 

Start with a response with “Can I share with you something that helped me when I struggled?” Most people will give their permission. If paper and pen are available, use them, because pictures always help. If not, do the best you can to tell the story.  The conversation unfolds around 3 circles connected by 3 arrows.

Make the story your own but include the following points:

  1. God has a design (circle) for your life to bring all good things for you
  2. Sin (arrow) was created and takes us to our
  3. Brokenness (circle) which can manifest in addiction, anger, broken relationships, and despair
  4. When we repent and believe (arrow) in Jesus as our personal savior we live out
  5. The Gospel (circle) which allows us to
  6. Recover and pursue (arrow) all the God has for our lives and allows us to live out God’s Design.

Use your own testimony that follows this simple full circle process. Think through and practice your own testimony that brings the 3-circle methodology to life.

You can wrap the conversation with questions with “Is there anything that would prevent you from repenting and believing in Jesus as your personal savior right now?” Be prepared to lead them in the words to invite Christ into their heart. If they aren’t ready to make the commitment, let them know you are always open for another conversation.

Good luck and don’t be afraid. The Holy Spirit is with you.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in premarital/marriage, finances, ministry, and leadership. She coaches individuals and couples to find their purpose, be the heroes of their own life stories, and help them be a shining light in this spiritually dark world. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as you coach by reaching out to her at shinecrossings@gmail.com

What’s the Greatest Sin that Wrecks Relationships?

Judgment Free Zone

Sin is a topic that Christians love to debate. Everyone seems to have an opinion on sin. Is one sin worse than another? Are all sins equal? How will God hold us accountable for our sins when we get to heaven? How should sin be punished? Who should be the punisher? The list of “sinful” questions goes on and on?

I’ll admit two things about sin: (1) I have as many opinions on sin as you do, and (2) I also believe I’m probably dead-wrong about my opinions. Why? Because I believe that our human minds can’t comprehend the fullness of God, the dimensions of His universe, and the depth of His views on sin. We can’t escape sin, but we can do our best to identify it and understand how it shapes our worldview and impacts our relationships. Only then can we choose to do something about our sin.

Sin That Unravels Relationships

What’s the greatest sin that prevents or unravels connection with others? After much thought, I believe it’s the sin of Judgment. Sure, many things can undermine relationships such as one person cheating or abusing another. Most people would easily agree that these extreme behaviors are sins. However, your connection with your mother, father, siblings, children, co-workers, spouse, and friends are likely on a continuum of closeness dependent on the number and quality of your interactions.

What’s happening when you feel more or less connected? I’d suggest you feel closest when you feel accepted, regardless of whether the other person agrees with you and that you feel more distant when you feel judged. Judgment causes separation.

Judgment

How easy would it be for you not to judge someone? Difficult? We judge everything from (1) what people wear, (2) the tattoos, piercings, and education they have, (3) how they speak and the words they use, and (4) what type of car they drive, house they live in, and what job they hold. These are just a few areas of judgment. How often do you find yourself making unsolicited suggestions in how someone should change for the better? Even if you don’t say it, how often do you think it? Despite your honorable intentions, I bet he or she felt judged. The result? Likely more emotional distance between the two of you.

Can you accept someone without agreeing with them? Suspending judgment means you will still love and accept the person and be appropriately helpful even when you don’t agree with their opinions, decisions, and behaviors. I’m not referring to extremes, where severe personal boundaries and protection are needed, but in your typical relationships.

How to Get the Plank Out of Your Eye

If you want to grow closer to someone in your life, think about how the sin of your judgment is interfering with your relationship. Will you love and accept someone without judging them? One of my favorite Scriptures:

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5, NIV).

I keep this Scripture in the forefront of my mind, because I wrestle with this very sin more than any other. My husband even has permission to quote me that verse when he sees the judgment coming out, and he has said it a few times. All of us need a little reminding at least every once in a while.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership, premarital/marriage, finances, and ministry. She coaches individuals and couples to be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her at www.shinecrossingsministry.com