Engaging Receptivity to Matters of Faith at Easter
LifeWay and the North American Mission Board recently asked 15,000 people when they would be open to considering matters of faith. As the graphic below illustrates, Christmas and Easter were the times people were the most receptive to faith.
Since these people—whom I sometimes tongue-in-cheek refer to as the “holly and lily crowd”—are open to considering matters of faith during Christmas and Easter, we should be even more prepared than usual to reach out to others during these times.
This Sunday, my family is hosting a come and go brunch replete with an Easter egg hunt and sidewalk chalk drawing contest. Here’s what we are reminding ourselves during this time:
- Adjust our mindset. We need to view others as potential friends. We are all children of God; it is simply a matter of seeing others as God sees them—loved for who they are. The goal is to see others as potential friends—with no strings attached.
- Create opportunities for conversation. Making disciples is not an event; it is a process. However, if we offer an Easter egg hunt, barbecue or meal we will have time to engage in meaningful discussions. We are not viewing this as an event as much as an opportunity to creating space for conversations to occur naturally.
- Listen. Engaging in conversation with unbelievers does not mean lecturing to them. We need to listen. When I asked people what influenced them to begin a discipling relationship with a believer, one person said, “He listened to me”. When we genuinely listen to others, they will open up to us. Listening lets them vent their frustrations and fears and it encourages spiritual dialogue. Deep conversations lead to discipleship.
- Have fun! We should not be so concerned with hosting something and taking care of all the details that we forget to enjoy ourselves. We need to be like Jesus and “bring the better wine” to parties.
Obviously, these tips are just the tip of the iceberg in making disciples. This is a process that takes concerted effort, patience, and intentionality.
How else might we reach out to others this Easter?