As a pastor, I’m often asked by folks what is the best way to reach their friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
While there are many good things you could do, the best way to reach another person with the gospel is this: Be their friend.
People are not projects; they are people. As living, breathing people they have hopes and fears, dreams and aspirations. Depending on their life stage, they will have questions about how to raise their children or navigate the waters of divorce.
As a Christ-follower, the best gift you can give them is a redemptive friendship. But what does that mean?
That means … since the grace and love of Jesus has changed your life, it ought to change the way you do relationships as well. As a redeemed person, part of what it means to be follow Jesus is to bring his redeeming qualities to life in your life.
When people believe you truly have their best interest at heart, it’s amazing what they will tell you. It’s also humbling what they will entrust you with.
Often the most life-changing conversations are not planned or well-scripted. They happen over coffee or in the car on your way to a concert. It is the friendship itself which allows these conversations to occur naturely. And a natural conversation is always more effective than a forced one.
If you want a neighbor to have what you have found in Jesus, start with being their friend. Isn’t that how God started with you?