I am a Christian and have difficulty communicating with people, even with those whom I know well, and sometimes I do not know how to talk to others. This also influences how I witness to others about Christ. This bothers me so much, and sometimes I end up losing sleep over this problem. Do you have any advice for me on how I can overcome this shortcoming and speak to people boldly about Christ? Thank you
Everyone experiences difficulties in communication. We communicate well with some, while with others, it is more difficult, almost like dragging every single word out of the other person’s mouth. We like to communicate with those whom it is easy and we tend to avoid those with whom communication is difficult.
1. Pray and ask God to give you boldness and the necessary words to say
This is what the early believers did and we should do the same. Even when the early believers were threatened and told no longer to speak about Jesus Christ, they prayed and begged God for boldness to testify. After Peter and John were arrested and threatened by the Council to no longer preach Christ, they were released. As Peter and John joined the rest of the believers, they discovered the other disciples praying for them, not knowing that Peter and John had been released. Peter and John shared their testimony with the other believers, how they were threatened for preaching Christ and told to no longer proclaim Christ. The following is the disciples’ response to this testimony:
And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, “O Lord, it is You who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, ‘WHY DID THE GENTILES RAGE, AND THE PEOPLES DEVISE FUTILE THINGS? ‘THE KINGS OF THE EARTH TOOK THEIR STAND, AND THE RULERS WERE GATHERED TOGETHER AGAINST THE LORD AND AGAINST HIS CHRIST.’ For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. “And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” (Acts 4:24-30)
Now, let us pay close attention to the results of their prayers:
And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:31)
You always have to pray and ask God for boldness to proclaim His Word and He will fill you with the Holy Spirit and give you the courage and the words to say in every circumstance.
2. Prepare for your visit in advance
Before a visit, try to find out as much as possible about the person(s) you are about to see so that you can ease into a good conversation right away. Find out who they are, what is their profession, what their interests are, what they like to talk about, so that you can begin your visit with those topics and make the conversation easier. It is also helpful if you share some interesting facts regarding the subjects that interest them.
3. Always ask questions
Many times, unfortunately, people are not willing to take time out of their busy lives to inquire about others, their lives, interests, hobbies, etc. And most, usually, do not even go much beyond “How are you?” Sadly, many do not really want to listen if one begins to answer the “How are you?” with actual details. When you visit with someone, train yourself to ask lots of questions and learn to listen to what that person has to say. This will help you establish good communication and you will be able to proclaim the Gospel to that person.
4. Speak boldly about your faith in Christ
With all boldness, tell people that you are a Christian, that you read and believe what is written in the Bible. Tell them what you have learned from the Holy Scriptures and tell them about your church. But above all, tell them about the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for them.
I would also like to recommend a few Inductive Bible studies for you. These studies will help you learn how to proclaim the Gospel with boldness. One of these studies is “God, are you there?” by Kay Arthur, a study on the Gospel of John. Another one I highly recommend is “How to have a real relationship with God?” by the same author. This study will help you understand how to systematically present the Gospel.
In the Bible study “Marriage without Regrets” lesson 6 is entirely devoted to the topic of communication, offering biblical principles for effective communication. This course will be very useful to you if you were to study it in its entirety.
I recommend that you to go to www.eurasiaprecept.org and see where the “Evangelism and Discipleship” session will be taught near where you live. Sign up quickly for this session because while there, you will learn how to evangelize practically.
One of the students, Irina Komarova from Sankt Petersburg, Russia, had never led a person to Christ until she came to study at the Inductive Bible Study Institute. When she came to the first session, she received a practical assignment on how to present the Gospel to strangers.
After her first session, Irina went home to the apartment building where she lived and tried but was unable to share her assignment with anyone. Communication was very difficult for her at that time and this assignment revealed the difficulty. Irina did not give up instead she persevered and went out in search of other people and do the assignment she received in class with them, and as a result had enough people to start a small group Bible study. Then, she continued to invite more people. To this day, Irina has led more than 200 people to Christ using the Inductive Bible study method. Out of 200, 75 came to Christ via the Bible study course “God, Are You There?” When Irina was sick with cancer, she spent a lot of time in the hospital receiving chemotherapy. While going through chemo and sitting in the hospital room, she told all the people there about Christ. Because of the desperate situation of many of the patients, Irina was able to lead many of them to Christ. This is the boldness that God gave to this woman through His Word and prayer. I pray that the Lord will give you the same boldness.