How to Turn a Conversation

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Max wanted to meet with me about his new blog. He needed help in fleshing out his concept and practical perspective on reaching his audience. Max is a student from the youth ministry that I had pastored for four years.

We met at a café and went to work on his blog. I pointed out some practical components he needed in his right sidebar and explained the importance of leveraging social media. We talked about networking with people along his niche. I encouraged him to buy Michael Hyatt’s book Platform.

Then the conversation took a subtle turn to discipleship. “Max, how are you going to introduce the gospel into your blog?”

This took him by surprise. I reminded him that as he builds a platform, he extends God’s platform. Every post about music is an opportunity to let the gospel shine. As Tim Keller points out, there are diverse ways to let the gospel shine in your work or writing. We don’t have to tag every post with Jesus.

From here the conversation sprang into “burn out” on church. We discussed how to respond to someone who’s been “hurt” by the church. We talked about the book Embracing Obscurity and how he ought to read it in tandem with Platform. I shared about the impetus behind my blog and writing ministry. All through our discussion, I interlaced gospel threads.

These conversations happen with Christians and non-Christians alike. When this occurs, we must always remember that there is a dance between what we can do and what the Holy Spirit does in people’s hearts. We need to first rely on the Holy Spirit and look for his prompting to take a gospel turn in our conversations. In an instant, a person’s heart and mind can unexpectedly open to hear the gospel story. But how do we prepare ourselves to take these gospel turns? What are natural segues into gospel conversations? What do we do if someone is reluctant to take the turn with us?

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