Pets. Try animal talk to reach the hearts of pet-lovers. I often share this thrilling fact: “In the original Hebrew, the book of Genesis uses the word nephesh, or ‘living soul,’ for both man and vertebrate animals. Does this mean our pets have souls, according to the Bible? And might that in turn mean that they may go to heaven?"
Prophecy. Turn the topic to current events in Israel, and you can drive it to God’s word. Chatting with a long-retired general and lifelong agnostic recently, I showed him what the 2500-year-old book of Ezekiel says about Persia conspiring against Israel in end times. “Persia is Iran,” he said, obviously stunned. “And Persia was always a friend to Israel.” He looked at me through tears. “Until now.”
Opinion. To cut to the chase, try this: “I’m doing an informal survey. Could I ask you what you think it takes to get into heaven?”
Awe. Start collecting and sharing God-glorifying facts. Here’s a gem I’ve used to get people thinking about our origins: “Did you know that all the DNA in your body could fit into an ice cube, but if you could stretch it out it’d reach at least 10 billion miles? Talk about evidence for intelligent design!”
Culture. Our culture may ignore the Lord, but you can use it to glorify Him. I recently saw a dreary but acclaimed movie about Alzheimer’s. The theme? Our utter hopelessness. I now share the story with local nursing home residents, emphasizing that for the Christian, just the opposite is true: A joyful eternity awaits born-again children of God!
Once you start looking for potential icebreakers, you’ll find them everywhere – in the books you’re reading, in the creation around you, in art and music, history and science. In short, everywhere.
And once you start using them, you’ll become adept at steering conversations straight to the Gospel whenever you have a receptive audience. For instance, the pet example could lead to something like this: “Of course, we have to make sure we get there ourselves. Are you certain that you’ll go to heaven when you die? No? Have I got good news for you!”
Originally posted 9/9/13