At Cru we think a lot about evangelism, relationships and culture. Our dream is see every follower of Jesus unleashed to express and proclaim Jesus in their unique sphere of influence. We’re a work in progress in the lab of Portland, but here’s some current thoughts/tips that might be helpful as you engage your natural sphere of influence in relationship. We would love your feedback as we continue to develop tools and resources.
#1 – Distinguish yourself in the workplace (or neighborhood) with excellence, integrity
- Position yourself as a safe, approachable, accepting, honest and authentic person. A person that people know and have access to.
- Listen – ask questions seeking to learn and understand.
- Don’t fix or speak in platitudes. Life is nuanced.
- Work for excellence out of your identity in Christ
- Have integrity in the little things.
- Be apart of making all things new in your context, city, neighborhood.
#2 – Give people access to your life. It’s in these moments that trust is built. Extend invitations and show up in third spaces and meals with people that don’t know Jesus – watch football, enjoy happy hour, go to coffee. (Warning: don’t settle for beer and pizza friends)
All you have to do is ask. “Would you be up for grabbing a coffee/Le Croix/beer sometime? I’d love to hear more about what’s going on in your world.”
- Learn their story – ask questions and listen. Be present!
- Pay attention to things that are said that are openings to deeper things of substance and ask follow up questions.
- Begin to identify how the gospel might be good news to them (see #5).
- Exercise the appropriate invitation (i.e. risk) for the amount of relationship you have with the person.
#3 – Go deeper (and spark curiosity) with a transition statement like… (similar to how Jesus sparked curiosity)
- “ I know you probably don’t have the same faith background as me, but when _____ happened the only thing that sustained me and gave me peace and hope in a situation like yours was leaning into my faith”
- “ I don’t know what kind of faith background you have, so I’m curious in how you deal with that stress or pain or loneliness?”
#4 – Prep for the next convo – If your conversation is cut short, in future contact remind them that you were paying attention and care about them by asking a follow up question. —- “how’s it going with your Dad who is struggling with health”
#5 – Be a messenger of a better story– Talk about what is good news to them. What element of the kingdom of God and the work that Jesus has done is good news to the person you’re talking to.
- There is profound acceptance
- That there is the possibility for healing
- That your identity doesn’t have to depend on success at work
- That there is hope that things are going to get better
- That you are uniquely made
#6 – In light of the trust and relationship you have ask for their thoughts/response and ask for permission to share more.
Do you have a faith journey?
What do you think about Jesus or God?
Sometime I’d love to share what’s gone on in my life. Would that be alright?
#7 – Get personal. Share your story, 2-3 sentences that points to the good news of Jesus and his kingdom. Avoid words like gospel, sin, church, lost. Use words like purpose, peace, hope, healing, made whole, following Jesus. Look for opportunities to share a broader understanding of the story of the Bible.
- Discuss the 4 chapter gospel – The world was good, it was broken, Jesus made a way for it to be healed and one day it’ll be fully restored with no more pain and no more brokenness.
- Make it relational – limit your dependence on a booklet, talk like a real person, do it by drawing it if needed.
- Invite them to respond – is that something you’ve ever considered. What do you think about this?
Paradigm #8 – Invite them into a safe space with other believers
- These are not meant to be only linear
- Trust is important, but trust can be built fairly quickly
- Lead with love