We’ve been talking about God Space: Where Spiritual Conversations Happen Naturally by Doug Pollock. We’re using the first 5 chapters to guide us and equip us to have a genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of people around us.
In Chapter 2, the author points out 10 ways Christ-followers kill spiritual conversations. He begins the chapter with a favorite passage of mine, but he uses the Message to convey an interesting point.
Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. Colossians 4:5-5 MSG
What does it mean to you to be gracious in your speech? Do your workplace conversations bring out the best in others?
The first spiritual conversation killer mentioned by the author is our own unbelief that others are interested. Many people have a nagging question in the back of their mind. They developed a world view based on the information they have. But if our friends don’t follow Jesus, they either haven’t considered or they’ve discarded things we know and value. Their worldview is based on their values and information and it makes sense to them.
Historically, Christians would start off with a Gospel presentation, assuming our friends want to know more about Jesus. In recent years, instead of searching and admitting to not knowing, more people make a decision and choose a worldview based on the their own values or information. For them to change direction and follow Jesus, they must admit to being either ignorant or wrong. Most people aren’t willing to accept either possibility, especially when suggested first by someone else.
What if you’re the one who’s contributed to someone’s negative perception of Christianity? – Doug Pollock, God Space: Where Spiritual Conversations Happen Naturally
The author lists nine other conversation killers. Depending on your past, each can also be very convicting. The author cautions against skimming this chapter. Read the chapter and ask God to show you the places where you kill spiritual conversations. Maybe you kill those conversations because of your own pre-conversation history, or your use of “insider jargon.” Or maybe you kill them by steering the conversation or monopolizing the conversation.
Ask God to show you where you have contributed to the problem and courageously ask the Holy Spirit to change you. Then spiritual conversations will happen more rapidly.
This is the second post on how we sabotage spiritual conversations. The first post is here. Our God Space study is part of our preparation for a MarketPlace Mission Trip. A MarketPlace Mission Trip will equip you to go to your workplace as a full-time missionary. Check out the MarketPlace Mission Trip outline and join us!