By Jimmy Scroggins
You have the desire to tell others about Jesus. You want to do what Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:19-20, but do you have the confidence to do it? This is a hurdle most believers can’t overcome because they’ve either never done it or haven’t done it enough, which makes training to do so essential. We all know that the more experience we have doing something the more confidence we’re going to have in our ability to do it. This is true in every area of our lives, whether we are playing a sport, cooking a meal, or giving a talk. We need repetition. The more we do it, the better we get, and the more confidence we have.
Three Hinges in Conversations
In the same way, you can train to turn everyday conversations into gospel conversations. There are three hinges that can turn a conversation into a gospel conversation: transition, a gospeling tool, and invitation.
The first is the transition. You need a well-planned and well-practiced transition statement. A strong transition statement connects with the brokenness a person is expressing. Even if you aren’t in their exact situation, you can usually relate. Ask for permission to share something that has helped you then talk about how the gospel helps you live according to God’s design.
The key to successfully transitioning a conversation is having a statement that works for you. It has to be something you’re comfortable saying and sound like you. Once you have your statements, you need to practice. The more you practice with like-minded people, the more comfortable you’ll be when God gives you opportunities to transition conversations to the gospel.
2. A gospeling tool
The second hinge is a gospeling tool like the 3 Circles diagram. For this part, you’ll need something to draw on. I usually suggest a napkin! You will draw each component of the 3 Circles diagram. Using this tool, you will walk through God’s design, our brokenness, and the gospel. During this time, you help a person to see that though our sin separates us from God, He sent Jesus Christ to die in our place. If we believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and raised three days later and if we repent from our sins, we will recover and pursue God’s design for our lives. Again, the more you practice drawing the 3 Circles diagram, the more comfortable you will be when using it.
Finally, you issue the invitation and ask the person to respond to our 3 Circles diagram. It’s not just enough to share the information. You have to issue the invitation. After you draw it out, ask the person to identify where they see themselves in the diagram. More often than not, they will point to the circle of brokenness. The reason they do this is because we originally got into the conversation over a problem, issue, or concern. They know something is broken and they’re looking for a way to fix it. Then we boldly ask them this question, “Is there anything that would keep you from repenting and believing the gospel right now?”
There are three responses to this question, according to Acts 17:32-34, “When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some began to ridicule him, but others said, ‘We’d like to hear from you again about this.’ So Paul left their presence. However, some people joined him and believed.” The person may mock or ridicule, the person may want to talk more, or the person may repent and believe!
Remember that no one comes to the Son unless the Father draws Him. We aren’t alone in the work Jesus gave us to do. Jesus said He would always be with us. It’s the indwelling power and boldness of His Spirit that enables us to do this work. This is why focused prayer must precede any effort to turn everyday conversations into gospel conversations. Commit to praying for people you know who are irreligious or far from God in your life and depend on God to use you to make His appeal to them. You never know when He will call you to turn a conversation into a gospel conversation!
Adapted from Turning Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations. Check out this FREE Ministry Grid course here!