Moving to what matters most

Maybe like me, you love to befriend Muslims, but struggle to talk about deep stuff. How do you turn a conversation toward spiritual things?

Often when I think about this question I’m faced with the awkward realization that I’m not as spiritual as I wish I were. Which is quickly followed by, “What the heck am I doing even talking about stuff like this?!?” But I want to grow and maybe you do too. And one of the pleasant side effects of reaching out to others is growing spiritually yourself.

Here are three ways to turn the corner.

1. My Facebook friend Ginny is a treasure who talks to tons of Muslims. She says, “Let’s become ‘conversationally fluent’ with the Bible, knowing how to speak it into ordinary conversations, without long explanation or embarrassment.”

A specific way to do this is to springboard from topic of conversation to something Jesus said. “That reminds me of a story Jesus told.” Then tell it!

2. Ginny also says we can turn the corner by, “sharing what God has done and is doing in our life! We can know these things, but if we don't feel confident sharing them, we'll stay silent. It's critical for believers to develop this fluency with each other, to normalize it in conversation with other believers. We embrace a cultural belief that it's invasive, rude, or inappropriate to talk about Christ. We think there's some sort of complex dance leading to a conversation about Jesus. But that's not true about our own culture nor most Muslim ones.”

Particularly share how God relates to your pain. Everyone hurts. “I’m struggling with this, but God is helping me.” Or maybe I believe or am trying to hope God will help me.

3. Finally, ask how you can pray for your friend. Then do it. Hand on shoulder right here and now or awkwardly typed out prayers if you’re connecting online! This might deepen things in a hurry!

This article, written by Shane Bennett, was originally published as a blog post on Missions Catalyst.

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