Always More to Say

As a believer, I continually feel the pressure to explain more about the faith than time allows.  Recently I had the opportunity to speak to a group composed mainly of people who do not attend Church.  Many of them have no interest in faith, while others are negative toward people in the Church.  Let me ask, “What would you say to them?”

The temptation is to say everything you can about why you are a believer and why they should become one today.  While that method is sometimes needed, it is rarely effective.  You cannot take someone who is not interested in faith and make them a follower of Jesus with a 30-minute sermon on a random weeknight. 

My approach has always been simply to open the door to possibilities.  What if faith were true?  What if you need what Jesus has to offer one day?  What if Christians are people who want the best for others?  My goal is not to say everything about what I believe but to say one thing that might later connect to a deeper spiritual conversation. 

Every time I speak at something like this, inevitably, someone will get up and try to add to what I have said or fix it in some way.  They can’t handle loose ends and unanswered questions.  An old teacher used to say, “They like to hit the ball and then run around the net and hit it back.”

One of the things I see in the ministry of Jesus is that he told parables without explanations, asked questions without answering, and performed miracles without giving a sermon.  It is like he trusted the work of God in their lives without having to force it.  I believe that our job is to plant seeds and water them, and God will give the increase. 

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