Getting Started

How you start your witness will probably vary greatly, depending on how well you know the person, the immediate circumstances, whether you’ve talked with him or her about the Lord or spiritual matters before, and so on.

Many of the people you will witness to are most likely known to you, either immediate family and friends or at least acquaintances. With these people you already have points of common interest with which you can begin. Nevertheless, as in every aspect of witnessing, it is important to ask the Lord to guide you as to what to say or not to say. Bringing your conversation around to spiritual things can sometimes be a challenge, but often something that the other person says in the course of the conversation can be used as a springboard to take it to a spiritual level. If that doesn’t happen, then even a seemingly out-of-context reference to God or Jesus or spiritual principles can change the conversation from a superficial level to a deeper one.

If the person is not well known to you or even a stranger, this presents different challenges. The most common one is how to get started. It can be like standing on the high diving board, preparing to take the plunge: worries and fears that weren’t there a moment ago are now very present. Will the person think you’re being too forward or even a bit weird, or that you’re after something from them? But don’t panic. The Lord has the key to that person’s heart. He knows exactly what he or she needs, and how He and you can best meet that need.

Here are a few tips to get started: Greet them with a smile and a cheerful word or two; pay them a compliment; offer a helping hand if you see they need one; ask for directions; comment on the weather, an item in the news, or something you see you have in common. Help the other person relax and warm up by asking a few simple questions. Once the conversation is started, the rest will flow with relative ease.

The search
So many people are searching for love—some ray of hope, some salvation, some bright spot, some relief. If you can show them that love exists, then they can believe that God exists, because God is love.1 So the first and most important thing to show others is that you love them.
Even the little things you do can mean a lot. A little bit of love can go such a long way! The light of your smile or the kindness of your face can have an amazing effect on people you might think would be the least likely to be impressed. When they feel your love and you tell them it’s God’s love, they feel like, “Maybe somebody up there does love me!” It can change their whole outlook!—D.B.B.
You can’t judge people by their outward appearance or personality. The Lord doesn’t judge us by our past sins or even by our present ones. The Lord looks at the heart, and so should we.—Maria Fontaine
Witnessing needs to come from the heart, out of love and concern for the other person. Start there, and the rest will follow.—Francisco Lopez
1. 1 John 4:8
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