The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Fear not: Use words to talk about Christ

I chuckled as I read Peter W. Marty’s conclusions on how to share the faith (August 2013, page 3). His suggestions are so Lutheran. We deeply fear offending others when we share our faith. Best not to use words, just help others, watch your language, act respectable and others will notice. Many people really want to know and talk about faith. They just don’t know how to begin. 

There are ways to share our faith that use words — really. I share these suggestions with congregations. People bring back stories of how they initiated a conversation about faith with strangers, friends, neighbors or family members. They report with pleasure and surprise that no one was offended. Rather, others often entered into the conversation with appreciation and enthusiasm.

10 ideas for talking about Christ

• Download a well-known sacred tune for your cellphone ring tone. “Amazing Grace” at the nail salon gets the conversation going.

• When a friend, co-worker or stranger tells you his or her troubles, say, “I’m going to pray for you.” People who believe and those who don’t aren’t offended by your prayers.

• When a conversation reminds you of last Sunday’s sermon or Bible study discussion, bring up what you heard, not in a preachy manner but as a way to consider the issues.

• Carry and share your pastor’s card with worship times printed on it. People hand out their business cards regularly. Pastor, hand them out as you greet people at the conclusion of worship. The following Sunday, ask for “card stories”: “Did anyone share a card this week? How did that go for you?”

• Hum a hymn. Try it in the line at the grocery store. I’ve often heard, “I know that song” or “I remember that hymn from when my grandmother took me to church when I was little.” Sometimes people begin singing the lyrics.

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