I thought using a gospel tool would feel weird


Hi, my name’s Ross. The conversation I remember is when I met a guy on a train years ago.

The day I met him he had actually been released from prison. He was on his way home after serving eight years in prison, and so I was asking him questions and just trying to be curious about him.

We talked about the fact that I was a Christian. I asked him what he thought about spiritual things and so he tried to explain that. As we talked I realized nobody had ever actually explained the gospel to him. He didn’t really know what the gospel message was.

I had a Knowing God Personally booklet in my pocket at the time because there was no GodTools app then. I thought to myself “I don’t know how long I’ve got left on the train with this guy. If I’m going to explain the gospel I need to make sure that I’m clear and concise so I’m able to get through everything that I want to before he gets off the train.”

So we looked at this booklet together. We read a page then talked about it. And by the end of the train journey, right before he got off at his station, we’d read the invitation to actually become a Christian at the end of that as well. So he’d understood the whole gospel and what he needed to do to respond to it.

I think what I learned from that was a couple of things:

One was that just because you’re using a tool to explain something doesn’t mean that you’re wedded to it. You can still have a really natural conversation. You just have a point to come back to every time you need to.

The other thing was that using a tool wasn’t as awkward as I imagined it was going to be.

All I had to do was say, “Hey, I’ve got this booklet. Do you think it would be useful if we looked at this as we’re talking?” He said that made perfect sense.

Sometimes the things I expect to be awkward when I’m having a conversation about my faith just aren’t. And so I had an amazing conversation with this guy that day.