Colossians 4:2-6, 1 Peter 3:15, Proverbs 15:1, Proverbs 25:11
One of the reasons some unchurched people feel weird during these conversations is because we use language that is unfamiliar to them. Phrases like 'born again,' 'grace,' 'righteousness,' etc. are probably all foreign language to someone who's never been to church. We even have some deceiving phrases in our church culture - here are a few of them:
1. I'll pray about it = I'll pretend to pray about it, but really the answer is 'no.'
2. We need to pray for so and so = Guess what I just heard?!
3. Bless his/her heart = What an idiot.
4. I don't mean to judge but... = I'm going to judge.
5. God wants me to take some time off from this relationship = I met someone else and I'm too coward to break up with you.
6. God told me that we are supposed to get married = Maybe you'll say yes if God is behind this.
7. I just want you to know that I'm fasting = Your spiritual life is miniscule compared to mine. Get at my level.
8. Take this with a grain of salt = I'm about to really offend you.
Most of these are meant to be humorous, but also to make a point. If we want our unchurched friends to understand what we're trying to say, we need to be careful of the language we use. Instead of using phrases like 'born again,' maybe we just explain what it means to meet Jesus and become a new creation. Use metaphors and words that would be familiar to them: the message needs to meet them halfway!
Practical Steps // Think of some phrases that might be confusing to someone who's never been to church and consider some alternative ways to say the same thing in a way that your friends or family would understand.
So what fears, worries, or anxieties do you need to let go of and give over to God so He can bear that weight for you?