This short paper is intended to help churchmembers know what to say to people who are interested in the Christian Faith. It is a simple method and the illustrations will help to remind people of the points that need to be made.
Pray for opportunities (and for specific people).
Try sensitively to make opportunities:
- Invite people to an appropriate church service or event, and offer to take them and sit with them (people are sometimes shy and afraid of going to church)
- Invite people to an Alpha Course (https://alpha.org.uk/try) (or the equivalent (and go with them if necessary – at least to begin with until they don’t need you to be with them).
- Ask people about their own church background and experience and seek sensitively to lead into a discussion about Christianity.
- Talk about the church and what it means to you, e.g.
- Inspiration through a sense of God’s presence.
- Fellowship, acceptance and community.
- Help to meet the challenges of life.
- Tell people: “I do pray for you.” (assuming you do!).
- Offer to pray for people if they have a special need or event (normally this would be praying in their absence but you might sometimes even be able to pray in their presence, but do be sensitive, ask their permission and don’t embarrass them. I say to bereaved families: “Would you like me to say a prayer with you now or do you want to leave it until the service?” Often they want a prayer there and then. You could say: “Would you like me to say a prayer with you now or just when I’m on my own?”)
- Comment on how your faith helps with life issues, e.g.
- Money worries
- Other anxieties
- Family problems
- Death and bereavement
You could say it helps:
- To pray
- To know you’re not alone (God is there)
- To have the support of the church community
- Tell your own faith story: how you came to faith and have grown in faith.
- Always try sensitively to move the conversation on to talking about your own faith, or the relevance of the church, etc.
Sooner or later such introductions can lead on to a more in-depth discussion about what it means to be a Christian, what Christianity is all about. Then you could make use of the outline of the Gospel in the next article in this section.
© Tony Higton: see conditions for reproduction