Amy and I had an opportunity to share the gospel with a fellow passenger on our way home from Atlanta last Thursday. Since lightning struck the tower and caused a fire, we didn’t go anywhere for 2 hours after boarding. The woman sitting next to us was very loquacious and brought up some topics that made it easy for a gospel transition.
Two things that stood out from our time sitting at the terminal:
1.) If you hear another couple engaging in gospel conversation behind you, don’t turn around and interject, and proceed to give a canned gospel presentation of stuff you think may have been left out. One lady did that, and later our new friend joked that she felt we had “ganged up on her.” She joked, but she wasn’t entirely joking. Amy and I spent a lot of time-which we had plenty of-asking questions, listening, and responding at appropriate times. The best thing would have been for this lady to pray for us. We needed it.
2.) When in doubt, go for the Prodigal Son story. For a long time in our conversation, it felt like we just couldn’t get across to our friend that the gospel was something entirely different than any other religion. It wasn’t just the same religion or the same thing she believed with a different “label.” So following Keller’s example, I used that parable as a lens to view Christianity. It was so appropriate because Jesus told that parable when he confronted people who were confident in their own goodness. After the story, she began to see that the gospel was something entirely different. We worked so long just to get to the point where we could say, “There is a fundamental difference in what you and we are espousing.”
It was her goodness just as much as her badness that got in the way. It’s sad to me when people don’t realize how much they desperately need a Savior. But it’s also sad when that someone is me.