My best friend is a non-believer and it has been bothering me for a while now. I love and care for her a lot; I want her to have a relationship with God and experience His amazing love, but I don’t know how to approach her with this topic. I feel like it’ll be weird bringing this topic up out of the blue. Is there a way I can approach her about this without overwhelming her?
We often put pressure on ourselves to “witness” or “evangelize” every non-believer in our life. I would probably bet that you are already doing what you should be doing. In 1 Thessalonians 2:8 Paul says, “so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” Being friends with someone, and being involved in their life is witnessing to them.
That is not the whole thing, and Paul talks in that verse that they shared the gospel as well as their lives. You have the right instinct that just blurting out “so…ever thought about giving your life to Jesus?” at lunch is not a wise approach. In the course of being in someone’s life, the right opportunities present themselves.
As someone who knows Jesus, there is something different about you. Things outlined in Galatians 5 as fruits of the Spirit. There may come a time when your friend has a question or situation that feels too big for them and they will come to the person who is different than everyone else. In order to seize opportunities like that, you need to be involved, real, and attentive.
A nice step in between zero and a big conversation could be inviting your friend to something. This is best with something outreach focused, but could go for church or a small group. It doesn’t have to be a big, pressure filled thing. You can just say “Hey, I’m going to this thing tomorrow, wanna come?” You of course want to be honest that it is a Christian thing, but the invitation itself doesn’t have to be more intense than one for going to see a movie.
Reaching out to someone is not an all or nothing situation. Success does not mean getting them saved during the very first spiritual conversation you have with them. That is A) putting way too much pressure on yourself and B) a really creepy way to look at a friendship. Be in your friend’s life, be open about your faith, and pray for an opportunity to have a conversation. That is a missionary attitude and it allows you to enjoy your friendship instead of seeing it as a crusade.
-Matt from The Bridge