Having Deeper Conversations
Do you find yourself wanting to go deeper in your relationships but feeling like you don’t know how? Are you convinced that your non-churched friends don’t want to talk about God? Are you afraid of being labeled as an “evangelical” amongst your co-workers, neighbors and friends?
If we are all honest, these are questions that hinder all of us from having integrated lives as Christians in a secular world. These doubts and wonders can tend us towards separating our lives into sacred and secular spaces, and ultimately bottling up the power of God that was meant live without bounds in our lives because of the gospel.
Cru has recently finished up study on qualitative research that sought to understand how people from a broad spectrum of spiritual interest (from atheist to engaged Christian) respond to Christians when they bring up spiritual things and talk about their beliefs. What we found was very exciting! From a group of 400 diverse city dwellers across the US, 85% said they would agree to talk about Jesus with Christians if they agreed to communicate in a conversational manner. There are 5 elements to this type of communication:
Be Present and Listen: Follow the conversation
Talk like a real person: Use words meant for people
Find Common Ground: Build a relational bridge
Walk in Their Shoes: Understand their story
Create a Better Story: It’s about sharing your faith that makes a difference in this world
What this research showed us was that, in general, non-Christians don’t trust Christians to communicate in a way that allows for two parties to have a free exchange of ideas. But, 85% of those surveyed said that they would be willing to talk about Jesus if these elements were present. I think this is doable. What if we found ways to preach the gospel and make Jesus known as we maintain this type of posture? I think more people would come to know Jesus. It make take more time, and it may require us to be steadfast in prayer and in relationship, but that also just might make us more Christ-like in the process.