How you start your witness will probably vary greatly, depending on how well you know the person, the immediate circumstances, whether you’ve talked with him or her about the Lord before, and so on.
As in every aspect of witnessing, the most important thing to remember to do is pray. Send a quick prayer up to the Lord, asking Him to show you the best way to strike up a conversation with the person you want to meet and witness to, or, if you already know the person, how to begin talking to him or her about the Lord.
Getting started can be like standing on the high diving board, preparing to take the plunge: Worries and fears that weren’t there a moment ago are suddenly very present and very real. Will the person think you’re being too forward or even a bit weird, or that you’re after something? What you need to remember is that the Lord has the key to that person’s heart. He knows exactly what he or she needs, and how He and you can best meet that need. Pray and keep praying, step by step and moment by moment, and the Lord will give you the right words and guide the conversation.
For some people, the most difficult thing about witnessing to people they don’t know is how to start a conversation. Here are a few tips: Greet them with a smile and a cheerful word; pay them a compliment; offer a helping hand if you see they need one; ask for directions; comment on the weather, an item in the news, or something else you have in common. Help the other person relax and warm up by asking a few simple questions-the kind that you would probably think too trivial or obvious. With someone you already know, it’s usually easier. Even if you’ve only met the other person once, you already have something in common that you can use to open the conversation-your first meeting.
So many people are searching for love-some little ray of hope, some salvation, some bright spot, some relief. If you can show them that love exists, then they can believe that God exists, because God is love (1 John 4:8). So the first and most important thing to show others is that you love them.
Even the little things you do can mean a lot. A little bit of love can go such a long way! The light of your smile or the kindness of your face can have an amazing effect on people you might think would be the least likely to be impressed. When they feel your love and you tell them it’s God’s love, they feel like, “Maybe Somebody up there does love me!” It can change their whole outlook!
You can’t judge people by their outward appearance or personality. The Lord doesn’t judge us by our past sins or even by our present ones. The Lord looks at the heart, and so should we.
Witnessing needs to come from the heart, out of love and concern for the other person. Start there, and the rest will follow.