Conversation Starters posted by John Sorensen on Sep 10, 2018
When I was a child, my mom told me that there were three things that you could never talk to people about in public. Would you like to guess what they were? I’m sure, especially for those who are a bit older, the three came right to mind. Perhaps you were taught the same. You can never talk about money, religion, or politics in public without causing offense.
Later, I got involved in advertising. I’m one of those weird folks that turn down the program, and up the commercials. Well, one day I saw an ad that amazed me. There was a guy in a crowded restaurant, all around him was the walla of people talking. When he opened his mouth to speak, the whole restaurant went quiet. And people throughout listened in, trying to hear the words that he would say. All of a sudden, the announcer said, “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen!”
What was he talking about? Money!
So, what was different about what my mom told me (Never talk about money in public) and everyone wanting to hear what E.F. Hutton was talking about? Why didn’t he cause offense? Why were they so anxious to listen to him? Then it hit me.
My mom was talking about when people try to get money from others, almost against their will. Or they’re bragging about what they have to make others feel bad. What E.F. Hutton was talking about helped others.
So, you see the key, whether you are talking about money, politics or religion, is your attitude. Are sharing for yourself, or are you sharing for the benefit of others?
When you are talking about Jesus, your attitude makes all the difference in the world.
So, what about you? Are you able to talk to people with their best interest at heart? It was Albert Einstein who said, “We first start to live, when we live for others.”
John Maxwell once reminded me that the entire world, with one small exception, consists of others. So, here’s the question: How would you rate yourself at starting conversations that are aimed genuinely at benefitting others? Some people I meet are a natural at this. Others struggle. Here are a few tips that I hope will help:
- Ask good questions. My friend, Bobb Biehl, taught me some years ago that asking good questions is the key to getting good answers. Now that seems obvious, but apparently, most of us don’t know that.
- Make sure the conversation is “others” focused. So, your questions would be “What gives you the most meaning in your life?” Or “In your day-to-day living what keeps you going?”
- And third, and perhaps most important, listen. People who listen are the most interesting people in the world.
This is our topic this week at Evangelism Explosion, because of this key truth: if you can’t start a conversation, you’ll never share the Gospel!
We have a small booklet called, Partners in Friendship, that helps with this process of building relationships over which to carry the Gospel. I’d love to send you one. Just go to ShareLife.Today and look for the link to request yours.
Have a great week in Christ!