It's not always easy to talk about your faith. In fact, sometimes it’s downright intimidating.
You might be afraid of how people will react and you don't want to sound silly or be asked a question you can't answer.
Fortunately it doesn't have to be awkward.
Here are 4 practical tips that will help you share your faith without fear and make talking about your faith much less awkward!
1) Ask questions
Asking questions is a fear-destroyer.
A big hurdle to have a spiritual discussion with someone is feeling unsure what to say.
Even if you've read lots of books and know your Bible pretty well, that anxiety always seems to be there.
That is where asking questions comes in.
By asking questions, you shift the spotlight off yourself and onto the other person.
So if someone says they don't believe in God, instead of feeling like you need to give evidence for God at that point, try asking them WHY they don't believe in God.
Or maybe they say the Bible is untrustworthy; in which case you could ask them, “What led you to believe that?”
To be sure, asking questions isn't a get-out-of-jail-free card. The other person will probably eventually ask questions of you too, in which case you need to be prepared with an answer as well.
But asking questions gives you time to respond and also ensures that you actually understand the other person.
Sometimes we have a bad habit of lumping people, such as atheists, together into one big stereotype. But remember, everyone's story is different!
Speaking of stories, here’s one more example of a good question to ask.
Say someone says “I grew up Christian but now I’m a Buddhist.” Ask them, “When did you make the switch?”
Using “when” questions are great because it makes the conversation more personal. It invites them to share their story.
So don't feel like you need to do all the talking. Just ask basic questions to understand them better and you can be far more confident when you begin to share your faith.
This ties in very closely with the first point, but asking questions won't do you much good if you don't truly listen to what they have to say.
Sometimes in conversations I find that I formulate what I'm going to say next and then I'm so eager to give my response that I don't really listen to them.
I just wait for them to quit talking.
Believe me, a one-sided conversation puts you on the fast track to making the conversation awkward.
By listening, you actually get to know the person and understand where they are coming from. Proverbs 18:13 says “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”
Show that you're willing to actually listen to them.
This will usually make them less defensive and ease potential tension because you demonstrate that you aren't just trying to convert them. You actually care about them and what they think.
Our focus should not be on winning the argument, but winning the person.
Someone who's an agnostic once told me that the only time she's really considered becoming a Christian is when people took the time to build a relationship with her which showed they genuinely cared for her.
A big part of evangelism is shutting your own mouth and listening to what the other person has to say.
3) Do your homework
If you want to talk with someone about God, the Bible, or even a controversial topic like abortion, it will only help to have good understanding of the topic.
Think of it this way: When I was in the military they weren't going to deploy me overseas to a dangerous region on my first day.
I would need to spend months training, drilling, and preparing. Indeed, most National Guard and Army Reserve units find out they are deploying a year in advance so as to allow plenty of time for training.
I'd have to be in good physical shape, trained and proficient on different weapons and vehicles, and informed about the methods and tactics of the enemy.
We should prepare for spiritual conversations with a similar amount of focus.
First of all, know your Bible! Make sure you are reading, studying, and meditating on the word of God.
Prepare ahead of time by reading books and articles, watching videos, listening to podcasts, etc.
If you want to talk with someone about God, it's probably a good idea to study the different kinds of evidence for God's existence.
If you want to talk with someone about the Bible, you should first have a good understanding of the Bible yourself, but you should also study other things like why we can trust the Bible.
And just like soldiers learn about the tactics of terrorists, It's also a good idea for you to study the other side's arguments as well so you can anticipate what they may say and what kinds of objections they my bring up.
If we know what kind of questions people will ask, why not be prepared to answer them well?
Nothing helps slay fear like being prepared.
4) Stay humble and admit when you don't know
Even if you prepare diligently, there will come a time when the other person says something that catches you off guard.
Sometimes we let our pride get in the way and we try hard to save face by just saying any old thing. But Proverbs 11:2 says, “When Pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom."
Honestly, we would be better off just admitting “I’m not sure, I’ll have to look into that.”
If you do this, it shows that you are honest, humble, and not just trying to win the argument.
It’s also helpful for you because you don't have to feel like you need to know everything.
You can be confident
Evangelism and sharing your faith doesn't have to be awkward or stressful.
Your conversations CAN be pleasant, positive and productive.
You never know whose heart God has been preparing to hear the Gospel.
With a humble heart, a prepared mind, and ears ready to listen, you will be surprised by how easy it can be to share your faith without fear and awkwardness.
So with these tips in mind, think of who you want to share your faith with next.
Then do it.
What are you waiting for?
You might like these posts by Matt (Bio below)
Matt has studied Christian theology, philosophy, and apologetics on his own for several years now. He is passionate about sharing the evidence for the truth of Christianity and answering the objections of today's post-Christian culture. He hopes to someday earn a formal education in ministry and/or apologetics. Matt lives in Wyoming, Michigan with his wife Sara and Son Ezekiel.