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  • Writer's pictureKeith Haney

Are Young People Open to Faith Conversations?

I am passionate about Christians sharing their faith with those outside God's family. I am not a big fan of doing that without forming a relationship with people. I am not a fan of individuals pushing Jesus on those outside of God's grace because I think that just turns people off to Jesus and paints Jesus and Christians in a negative light. And believe me, we do not need any more negative impressions.

Let me share a real-life story with you. I am standing in Wendy's line with a friend in Glendale, AZ, when a person I have never met, nor someone who even took the time to talk with me, reaches over and hands me this pamphlet. The question on the form in size 24 font reads: Are you 100% sure you will go to heaven? There is no soft shoe approach here. Let's just get right to the heart of the issue. Skip the niceties and attack most people at their most vulnerable core.

We need to address the elephant in the room. Times are complex, and fewer people are willing to have a faith conversation. We see more and more people drifting away from the church. And the other elephant in the room is, shouldn't this be left up to the paid professionals? All valid concerns; however, let me address the first one. Are people, especially young people, even open to a conversation?

How sure are you that you are going to heaven?

It depends on the day. Some days, God and I are rocking and rolling. We are gelling at times. I know exactly what God is thinking and feel God's presence clearly. On other days, not so much. There are times when God feels distant. It is usually those days when sin gets in the way, and I am wrestling with something I have done to offend Him.

Maybe I was rude to my kids because I was stressed by a major decision coming up, and there were no clear answers. Or it was just one of those days where everything that could go wrong did, and that was all before noon.

Things just went downhill from that point on. So, the heaven question just bugged me. Why would you start there? Did you plan on my vulnerability? You could have eased into a profound faith conversation. Are you trying to scare the Hell out of me, literally? The question is all about how afraid of Hell you are? Enough to follow the seven easy steps to welcome Jesus into your heart on the following pages? Faith is a challenge. I would encourage every Christian to go to Office Depot and print out thousands of these magical pamphlets, and we can change the world.

What he failed to address before handing me a pamplet and running off is my salvation is not dependent on me, or how I feel? It is based on faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus, which he failed to mention? He missed a valuable opportunity.

Sharing your faith starts with a relationship this man never wanted to engage in with me. He sat next to me for lunch and never stopped to come over and ask," Do you have any questions about what I gave you?" This might have been a divine appointment set up by the Almighty Himself, and I was ready to take that leap of faith. However, he never took the time to explore that possibility. No one was there to help me jump and provide a soft landing. All I could think is, what about me looked lost? What about me, appeared that It I needed Jesus?

Now I have been places where people are struggling. They seem to be having a really rough day, week or year and wondered how is their faith life? Do they have a connection to Jesus who puts all these earthy challenges into perspective? And I am sure like you have been hasitent to engage. Do people really want to hear about Jesus in today's culture? Well this new book from Barna gives us a bit of good news.

The Temperature in Society.

Barna's new Book Spiritually Open says that "Relationships between Christians and people of no faith are fairly common—and they often involve talking about Jesus. In fact, 65 percent of people of no faith personally know someone who follows Jesus, and 45 percent say such a peer has talked with them about their Christian faith." Our encouragement here is that these conversations, even in this post-Christian age, are still somewhat familiar. Here is the kicker: What do these conversations look like? Are they like my uncomfortable attack in Wendy's food line?

The book goes on to explain.

"The top thing people look for in a conversation with a Christian is that they 'listen without judgment.'" People of no faith also hope for honesty about questions and doubts and don't want forced conclusions. The best learning environment, they express, is one marked by care and consideration."

Faith Conversations are about Relationships.

Faith conversations are all about relationships that take time to nurture and develop. I love the story of Philip in Acts. While it was a short-term connection. Philip started the conversation.

As an angel of God moved him, he went out from Jerusalem to Gaza and ran into an Ethiopian eunuch. Here is the story.

"And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet, Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, "Go over and join this chariot." 30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" 31 And he said, "How can I unless someone guides me?" And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him…

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture; he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?" Acts 8:27-31, 35-36

Philip shows us that sharing your faith is about opportunities and Barna's new book would add it is also about listening. Opportunities can lead to long-term relationships. Relationships lead to faith journeys. It is about walking alongside, answering tricky questions, and being open to the Holy Spirit's leading. My encounter was an opportunity missed. How is your life? Is God asking you to be a Philip? Pray for the chance to build a relationship and get the opportunity to be a faith-sharing blessing to someone.

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26 Jul 2023

How does the TRUE CHRISTIAN accept the 29% allows others to draw their own conclusions. Christians are just to tolerate a one time loss to satan, so we never try to get truth through to the lost sole. Here is a little factual history of the republic in 1787 when the Constitution was written.

  1. The nation was dedicated to the Eternal TRIUNE GOD.

  2. . Only Christians had the vote; while all residents had rights to ever other right of citizenship.

  3. 3. Chief Justice John Jay designed court system that was flawless for CHRISTIANS ONLY; and is made a mockery in the 21st century by secularists.


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