On a bit of a whim, I went for a course organised by Wesley Methodist Church on ‘How to tell others about Jesus’. It was a rather light course (about 2h long), and I appreciated that the speaker actually discouraged overt in-your-face evangelism (which I’ve always found rather ineffective), but rather encouraged laypeople to be ready to answer questions and be sensitive to situations where people’s curiosities might be expressed.
He didn’t recommend heavily using the Bible either, which I’ve always thought was a rather silly technique when trying to reach non-believers (especially lapsed Christians who already have some familiarity with it), and one that I’d encountered A LOT while I was in York. I can understand the optimistic belief that God’s word will never return empty (Isaiah 55:11), but at the same time I found it frustratingly annoying to be constantly quoted scriptural verses, such as the absolute favourite “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching…” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Hello? I’m telling you that I’ve got doubts about the validity of the Bible, and you decide to cite the Bible… in support of the Bible? Thankfully things worked out for me in the end, but I shudder to think how such inflexibility has actually hampered the spread of Christianity in these modern times.
I don’t think I’m really in any position to bring anyone to God, though. I’m happy to do whatever I’m able to, but after attending the course I find I still have many things to sort out before I’ll have useful advice for friends curious about seeking God.