Have you ever purchased a hat or other piece of clothing that said “One size fits all” on the tag? The idea is that by using a material like elastic one size can fit most, if not all, of the customers. Yet the same is not true for how to have a spiritual conversation with someone.
No method of talking about God will be effective in each culture or with every person. That’s why it’s important to understand the person you’re talking with and match your approach to them. At the same time, your method also needs to fit with the unique person God has made you to be.
So here are two things to keep in mind when you think about how to have spiritual conversations with the people in your life.
1. The people in your life are both unique and shaped by their culture
A person’s cultural context — mainly their family and community — helps shape their beliefs about God and how they view the world. We’re all influenced by culture and by cultural influencers, so understanding a person’s context will help you better understand that person. You can learn a lot about someone simply by asking questions about their family, where they’ve lived and what communities they’ve been a part of.
Still, every person in your life is unique. Though two people from the same culture will have things in common, no two people have the same personality or the same exact experiences. So we need to understand not just a person’s cultural context but in what ways that person agrees or disagrees with their culture. As you learn these things, it will help you customize your method of talking about the gospel with that person.
2. God uniquely created, gifted, located and positioned you to share about Jesus
God loves you, and he wants to include you in his good work of grace and forgiveness. That’s part of why he created you the way he did and gave you the skills, personality and interests you have. That’s why he put you in a certain neighborhood or gave you a certain position at work or in your community. He made you unique so that you would be the perfect person to talk about him with the people he puts in your life.
That doesn’t mean you will always feel like the perfect person to talk with someone about God. You may never feel fully prepared for the vast experiences or complicated viewpoints the other person has. But you have experienced God yourself, and that is more than enough to talk with someone about him.
That experience of God is your personal story. And He wants the people He put in your life to hear it. Telling someone how the gospel changed your life is a story only you can tell with the same passion and joy you experienced while it was happening.
So find a way to talk about Jesus that matches who the other person is and who you are. There is no “one size fits all” way to talk about God, no right way to have a spiritual conversation. Try many different methods, from asking good questions to offering to pray for someone, from inviting someone over for dinner to using a gospel invitation tool in GodTools. As you get to know new approaches you’ll start recognizing which may be the most helpful for you and the people God has put in your life.