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Engage exists to provide perspective on culture through the eyes of a Biblical worldview, showing how that worldview intersects with culture and engages it.

We are a team of 20-somethings brought together by a common faith in Jesus Christ and employment in our parent organization American Family Association.

Pitfalls to Avoid when Witnessing

Maddie King
Writer for Engage

We have to be careful about how we witness to unbelievers. Many times, the people we witness to will already have their minds made up about what they believe and that the Christian religion is either one of many options of belief or that it is untrue. Often, they will try to engage in a debate about our different beliefs. Christianity welcomes debate, but we have to make sure when witnessing we don’t allow arguments to get in the way of our message.

The Pitfall of Arguing

We do not want to argue someone into salvation. Honestly, arguing will turn the conversation into a competition, with each person trying to prove why his or her side is better. This usually results in unnecessary conflict and may even cause the person you are talking with to go even further away from becoming a follower of Christ. 

In the words of the Apostle Paul, “Keep reminding God's people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling (arguing) about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen” (2 Timothy 2:14).

Be Willing to Listen 

Arguing with someone and having different perspectives can be different. Make sure you listen to their side and then explain why you believe what you believe. It will make your witnessing all the more powerful if you present yourself as someone who is firm in what they believe but is willing to hear the other side. We must give the other person in the dialogue the same attention we expect them to give us.

If they interrupt you, do not blow up; what they have to say may introduce a new opportunity for the truth. If the other person becomes worked up, keep the conversation casual and calm. Answer them peacefully and without strife

We have to be careful about how we assess the situation in moments like this. These are moments where our attitudes and tempers will truly be tested. We just have to understand that we are doing this not for ourselves, but for God and the person we are talking with.

If they still refuse to listen to what you have to say, just tell them you will be praying for them. They may still be resentful toward that, but at the very least you left the discussion in a peaceful manner instead of a hostile one. Be firm and confident when you speak, but not overly argumentative. As the verse above says, it is of no value.

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