Thursday, July 25, 2013

Coffee Shop Conversations

This book was not what I was expecting.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, I guess.  The book is over 200 pages long, and I was expecting it to be filled with stories and ideas about sharing your faith in a more natural way.  Sharing it in such a way that people will listen.

And it is that.  Don't misunderstand.   The authors, Dale and Jonalyn Fincher, spend a lot of time telling their stories.  They talk about their successes, and they talk about their failures.  In fact, they are brutally honest about both, which is pretty hard to read at times!  It can make you cringe, especially when you realize that they aren't just talking about themselves, but also about you.  They do a wonderful job showing how to have great conversations with people from all different backgrounds and beliefs.  The stories are great.

While doing this, they talk about different methods of sharing our faith.  They give questions you can ask, ways to help you more naturally bring Jesus into conversations, and show you how people might respond when you bring up different subjects.

It's just that it's more than that.  Way more than that.   Their first section is all about spiritual small talk, but as they move on, it becomes less about how I talk, and more about how I think.  They examine what we believe, and how that drastically affects the way we share the gospel.

Their third section was particularly striking.  They talk about things we make too much out of (creation/evolution, hell, etc), and things we don't make enough of (loving gay people and how we are often hypocritical).  These were helpful.  Mind you, there were some things I didn't necessarily agree with them on, but I'm convinced yet again that our conversations are much more important than we think.

Of course, most of us don't want conversations.  We just want to tell people what we believe, and therefore what they should believe as well.  They say "Sometimes we forget we're inviting people to Jesus and not to our brand of Christianity."  Ouch.

Anyway, I heartily recommend this book.  If you're looking for a book which will help you share your faith, this could very well be the one for you.  It isn't about methods, but about people, perceptions and the daily call to live like Jesus.

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