Some Christian women feel confident in their ability to have effective faith conversations. If you’re not one of those women, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re in the majority. 64% of American Christians do not feel comfortable in their ability to effectively share their faith. 74% of Christians are
You don’t have to know all the answers to tough questions in order to effectively share your faith. You simply need to be willing, prepared, and compassionate. Here are a few tips to help you feel more confident in your faith conversations.
Feel more confident in your faith conversations – and freak out less
I hear from so many Christian women who say they just do not feel confident or effective in their faith conversations. They tell me they feel awkward, nervous, and even scared. Some are scared of dealing with hate from skeptics, while others are concerned they will come across as offensive.
But Christianity needs women to be bold and fearless for the Gospel. We are spreading Good News, not a disease. In today’s Christianity, regular church attendance is dropping, more Christian women than men are in church regularly and more of our children are religiously unaffiliating themselves at faster rates than previous generations. So what do we do about it?
Here are 4 quick tips to instantly help you relax and feel more confident in your next faith conversation.Christianity needs women who are bold and fearless for the Gospel. We are spreading Good News, not a disease. #Apologetics #rGoodNews #FearlessForTheGospel Click To Tweet
4 quick tips to immediately feel more confident in your faith conversations
Christian women are busy people who don’t have time to waste. You have kids to raise, jobs to work, and homes to run. You need real, practical solutions
Here are 4 short, quick tips to keep in mind the next time you’re put on the spot at those awkward family gatherings. Or work. Or Wednesday night dinner.
1. You don’t have to have an answer for everything
This first tip
There seems to be this pervasive mindset that Christians must answer every question, and every truth claim. We must answer it perfectly, and we must answer it now. As if we are contestants on a game show and we have just staked all of our winnings on door #1.
Instead, I propose you don’t. Do not immediately jump to answer. You are not on trial. Take a minute to think about the specific words they are using, the specific claim they are making or the specific question they are asking. Thoughtfully consider what has been presented. Rushing to answer just makes you look like a know-it-all, anyway.
Give yourself permission to take a moment to actually think about what the person is saying and asking. If you’re not certain of what is being asked of you, see the next tip.
2. Ask questions instead of giving answers
Part of having actual conversations with people is listening to them, and asking them questions.
We are not here to lecture people, or to pose as the expert authority on all things Christianity. That would be d
Your unbelieving mother doesn’t really care what Matthew Henry or any other person thinks. They want to know what you think. They are asking you, not your pastor.
So cut yourself a little slack. Ask them why they believe what they are saying is true. Ask them what evidence they have looked at that helped them to reach their conclusion, or how they reached their conclusion. Asking questions helps you understand their point of view better so you can give a thoughtful response, and also gives you some mental “breathing room”.
The one who has knowledge restrains his words, and one who keeps a cool head is a person of understanding.Proverbs 17:27 (CSB)
3. Listen more than you speak
Our 3rd tip lines up nicely with numbers 1 and 2 – listen more than you speak. Remember how your teacher (or mom) used to always say, “You have 1 mouth but 2 ears”? When you ask questions about why people believe what they do, or how they arrived at their opinion, listen to the answers.
My beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger,James 1:19
James instructs us to be quick to listen and slow to speak. So be quick to listen! Instead of feeling pressure to answer immediately, ask some questions to help you understand better where they are coming from, and listen to the answers.
Then, if you need additional clarification, ask more questions based on the answers they give you. Apologetics is about giving logical, reasoned answers for why you believe what you believe. You can only give reasoned answers if you take the time to understand why they believe what they believe.
When words are many, sin is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.Proverbs 10:19 (BSB)
4. Be willing to learn in the areas you fall short
So you’ve put into practice the steps I outlined above. You’re not immediately answering the question or claim. You’ve asked some clarifying questions about what believe so you can understand. Then, you listened to their answers and asked more questions to help you listen more and speak less. But you’re still not sure how to answer them.
It would be tempting at this point to want to panic. Don’t panic! It’s ok to not be sure. It’s ok to even say you’re not sure how to answer their question thoughtfully. It is perfectly reasonable to say, “You know what? That’s a great question. I’m not sure I know how to give you the best answer for that right now. Let me think about what you’re saying, do some research and get back to you”.
Researching, studying, and learning is a never ending processing. You will never “arrive” at a place where you know enough, because you will always be surprised by questions you don’t know the answers to. This is the grand adventure! Embrace it, and dedicate yourself to being a life-long learner. I have some resources to help you in the areas you might need to spend more time in study.
You have effectively just neutralized what could have turned into an emotional conversation. (Because you were stressed out about giving the “right” answer). You have demonstrated your willingness to listen and allow the other person to be heard. Following these steps demonstrates you actually care about their point of view and are willing to take it into consideration.
You’ve also just shown them you are not interested in being a know-it-all but are willing to learn. You’re not there to lecture them, you’re learning along with them. Make sure you do give their points some thought and do your research if you’re not sure how to answer them. Follow up with them.
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupidProverbs 12:1 (NIV)
Christianity is in dire need of women to be fearless for the Gospel – with our children, spouses and the other important people in our lives. It takes time, study and a willingness to humble ourselves to feel confident and effective in our faith conversations, but there are steps we can take today to immediately put into action.
The next time you find yourself in a sticky situation take the time to pause and think about what exactly they are saying, ask them questions to help you understand them better, listen to their answers and ask more questions if necessary. Be willing to admit you don’t have all the answers. Study up and follow up with them.
I’d love to hear what you think
When was the last time you were in a sticky faith conversation and felt that panic button go off? How did you handle it? What could you have done better? I’d love to hear what you think!
Resources I Recommend:
If you’d like to learn more about how you can develop a more confident faith, I recommend Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions by Gregory Koukl because you’ll get solid strategies to keep your faith conversations moving forward in constructive and gracious ways.
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