Christmas brings many natural opportunities for God-conversations to take place, from the work parties to school break ups, club dinners, sports presentations and family celebrations, all of us will be with people at some stage during this Christmas season.
These occasions are times when God wants to use you to engage in intentional gospel conversations. You don’t have to be with people very long at this time of year to get an opportunity to start a conversation that God can use to draw people one step closer to him.
Have you noticed Christmas lights going up in your neighbourhood? Do you see people buying Christmas hams? Has someone asked you what you would like for Christmas or commented on what they are buying for a loved one? These are all indications that people are preparing for Christmas and have Christmas on their mind. So how can you start a natural Christmas conversation with them that is meaningful?
Make a point of attending your local “Carols in the Park” event. Try to sit with some of your non-churched neighbours (or even go together to the event). When there is a reference to Jesus, why not turn to them and ask, “I’m interested, who is Jesus to you?”. Or when you’re out with family who don’t know Jesus, looking at Christmas lights, and there is a nativity scene, why not stop and ask, “When you think about baby Jesus—who do you believe he is?”
Now, these questions may sound a bit too direct to you as a Christian, but for the non-believers in your life who know you’re a Christian and who love celebrating Christmas, this is a reasonable question. From my experience, if you ask these questions with an enquiring heart, trying to listen to their response they will happily engage with you in conversation at the level they feel comfortable with.
When I’ve asked this question, I’ve had varied responses. One man replied that he thinks all the religious figures throughout history are very similar and compared Buddha to Jesus. Another person said they respected Jesus for his moral teaching but believed he was just a guy that had profound influence, while another guy couldn’t give me an answer because he really didn’t know if Jesus was real or not.
In all of these situations these people happily engaged in conversation with me about who they thought Jesus was. Each person was also interested in who I thought Jesus was, to which I simply explained that I believe what the Bible teaches, that Jesus is God who became a man and lived among us. Interestingly, each one of these people have initiated further conversations at other times about beliefs, Christianity, faith and Jesus.
People are interested in talking about Jesus. This Christmas season, pray God will open the hearts of those you know who don’t know him. Pray for opportunities, pray for boldness, and watch God work through you!