Yesterday, I enjoyed a personal day with my family and a few friends.
We checked out of life, drove to the beach, and stared at the ocean for hours, while our children dug the proverbial hole to China.
The conversation among the adults was awesome, as relationships were being strengthened as our families continued to learn about one another.
In those hours we talked about:
- Memories of similar beach trips
- Vacation experiences
- Words with Friends
- Plans for dinner
- Our different work experiences.
Praying for an opening
I have been praying for our friends, asking the Lord to provide
- conversational opportunities for me
- evidence of their spiritual thirst.
I know that God’s sovereignty will provide the opportunity.
At one point in the discussion on parenting, my friend made a point about a particular aspect to parenting:
That is the most important thing in life.
In my mind, I quickly responded:
No, that’s not the most important thing, would you like me to tell you what is?
I’ve had a lot of training in sharing the gospel, and teach a lot of different methods as well.
Many methods teach to look for the conversational opportunity and steer the conversation to Christ.
But in this moment, I chose to remain silent and let it go.
The obnoxious transition
The conversational context would have been entirely inappropriate for this radical departure from the topic at hand.
I would have forced the person into my conversation, rather than continue on the theme we were addressing.
This is the obnoxious transition in evangelism.
It would have been an obnoxious left turn in a otherwise profound conversation on parenting.
In my early zeal, I used to seize any opportunity like this opening in the conversation.
The end result was people got defensive and closed that door.
My forced transitions were obnoxious.
Not a spiritually active moment
A key part of my evangelism teaching on conversation skills is watching for the activity of the Holy Spirit.
When the Holy Spirit opens the doors, transitions to spiritual things are appropriate.
When the Holy Spirit is at work in the conversational moment, a conversational transition is easy to make.
Conversational transitions at this point are not obnoxious.
This conversational moment at the beach was not one of those moments.
I didn’t sense any activity of God in this general life conversation.
Had I forced the conversation with my obnoxious left turn, I would have stepped into my agenda rather than God’s agenda.
I have a DVD set that focuses on a conversational style evangelism that would help you with:
- casual conversation between friends
- causal conversation between strangers
Read more about the Effective Evangelism Conversations in the store. It is a recording of a live seminar I gave in 2012 and is available on 3 DVDs.