In these series of posts, I’m trying to move from lecture to lab. As Christ-followers who love Jesus and care about people, how do we effectively help our disconnected friends find their way back to God?
Part one was to “think like a bridge.” In other words, how can you move people one step closer to God? Our actions either encourage people to move towards God or away from God.
Part two: walk on common ground.
“Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.” (Colossians 4:5)
Unfortunately, some Christians are known for what they are against. This antagonistic relationship with culture creates an “us versus them” mentality. Rather than see people far from God as people to be engaged, they are seen as people to be avoided — or, even worse, as people to be defeated.
The antagonistic perspective isn’t focused on finding common ground but on taking ground.
But not all Christians are antagonistic towards their non-believing friends. They just don’t have many non-believing friends. The longer a person has been a Christ-follower, the more likely it is that most of their friendships are found within the community of faith. In some respects, they feel like a foreigner when in the company of people who are far from God.
So, what to do? The apostle Paul tells believers to “live wisely among those who are not believers.”
Part of this, I believe, is to find common ground. People are more likely to be open to your faith if they believe you understand where they are coming from. There are things that are universal to the human experience:
- Raising children
The Christ-follower who is seeking common ground looks for what they have in common (sounds simple, doesn’t it?). Common ground is established with sentences that begin like these:
- “I remember when I used to …”
- “That reminds me of a time …”
- “I know what you’re going through because …”
Focus on you have in common and you will find people who will be more likely to listen.