As a follow up to my unChristian post, consider this short dialogue with outsiders (A.K.A. “lost,” “unsaved,” “unbelievers,” “Non-Christians.”) It may help us as Christians to be more effective in our conversations with those we’re called to share the Gospel…
Did you catch a few phrases?
In answer to the question about being saved, one responded… “I’m trying.” This is great insight! Salvation is a process that results in an event (Think about that). Most times people are “in the process” of being saved. Thus we must be sensitive to where they are at the moment and relate to them in that context.
In answer to the question, “Do you feel lost?” one responded… “I feel confused, not lost.” Thus the need for Christians to be patient as people are trying to work things out in their faith. It also reveals that our terminology can be offensive and become a stumbling block for some.
Another comment was, “Christians are closed minded… a little pushy… not willing to converse… they talk to you… not willing too much to listen.” Wow! Maybe we need to be more respectful (Imagine that!)? Maybe we need to be more transparent… more patient… more merciful and gracious? I’m afraid that too many times we offend and make enemies of those we’re called to reach.
The last comment of interest about conversations with Christians was, “Nothing I could say was important.” Ouch! Many people are “trying,” seeking and searching. The worst thing we can do in conversing with those who aren’t Christians is to offend them by our arrogance and condescension. We cannot, and must not, make enemies of those we’re called to reach with the Gospel!
So how then should we conduct ourselves to outsiders?