window.addEventListener("load", (event) => { ClientPoint.init(); }); Friends Helping Friends Follow Christ : Eternally Significant Conversa


Leadership Books

Main Navigation

Friends Helping Friends Follow Christ : Eternally Significant Conversations

Friends Helping Friends Follow Christ : Eternally Significant Conversations

Core Value 1:Evangelism occurs primarily in relational contexts in family, work, neighborhood, and community settings and secondarily in outreach events that are easily accessible to seekers.

There are some questions that pop up in life that you may not be prepared to answer right away. Like when your teenager comes home from school frustrated with his biology class and asks you to clearly explain the process of mitosis. Or when a coworker asks you if you know of a place that repairs 8-track players. Or when someone asks you to talk about the ten most formative incidents in your life—and how each one affected you.

Then there are other questions that you’re always prepared to answer:

  • Where’s the nearest Wal-Mart? Oh, just drive up the highway…
  • What movie have you seen the most times? Star Wars.
  • What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Chocolate. Serious chocolate.
  • You seem like a hopeful person. How do you stay so positive? Uh… hmmm…well, let me tell you…uh…I guess…uh…Jesus…yeah, Jesus has a lot to do with it…uh…He…well, He just…

Okay, so maybe some of us need a little work on that last one. Here’s the challenge that the New Testament gives us in this regard:

But in your hearts, set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15-16, NIV)

CVC exists so that people can find the hope that is in Jesus. But CVC also exists to grow believers whose lives are so anchored in that hope that 1) people in their sphere of influence start to ask about it, and 2) they are always prepared to talk about it when people ask. CVC wants to create an environment where conversations of eternal significance can take place—whether on church property in the context of a church event or off campus in the context of CVC members’ relationships.

So what’s the key to having those conversations? Maybe you’d be happy to memorize a script, but the questions never come at you the same way twice. Maybe you’d be happy to walk through the open door of opportunity, but half the time, you don’t recognize it until it’s closed. Maybe you’d be happy to talk about Jesus, but every time you get the chance, you get tongue-tied.

Well, I don’t know that there’s a single key. But here are some ideas that might lead you in the right direction.

1. The Fresh Factor: Before the 1 Peter verse talks about “giving an answer,” it talks about “setting apart Christ as Lord.” It implies a vital, current, fresh relationship with Jesus. So, check your heart status. Is your faith fresh? What has God taught you lately? What have you seen God do in the last week? What are you thankful to God for right now? If you’ve stumped by those questions, spend some time alone with God. Freshen up. It’s easier to talk with people about what’s new and current in your life than it is to try to breathe life into yesterday’s news.

2. The Deep Factor: Sometimes we get nervous talking about something that’s important to us. If you feel your heart racing and face flushing anytime you talk about Jesus, that might just be an indicator that Jesus is really important to you. But do a bit more investigation: it might also mean that you’re out of practice talking with people in your life about anything that goes beyond a surface level of conversation. Check your conversation patterns: how often do you tell people what you’re feeling, thinking, or wanting at a deep level? If your conversations lack in those areas, try integrating them—not just in talking about Jesus, but in talking about other stuff you feel deeply about. After all, it’s tough to go off the high dive if you’ve never even ventured into the deep end.

3.The Fear Factor: Sometimes we’re afraid of what people will think of us if we admit to a relationship with Jesus. What if they think I’m weird? What if they think I’m naïve? What if they think I’m…you fill in the blank with whatever your fear might be. Sometimes we get so concerned about managing our image that we forget Whose image we’re supposed to be conformed to.

4.The Lookout Factor: Ever notice that it’s easier to find something if you actually look for it? Sometimes, we miss out on eternal conversations because we forget to look for them. Forget to pray for them. Forget to seek them out. See what happens when you enter a day, an appointment, a conversation—see what happens when you enter them asking God to open your eyes to see any opportunities He gives you to talk about Him.

5.The Laundry Factor: Maybe people aren’t asking you about the hope that you have because your lifestyle isn’t reflecting that hope. Or maybe you’re afraid to talk about the hope you have for fear that people will pull out your dirty laundry and hold it in your face. “How could your faith be real when you have_______________ going on in your life?” they’ll say. Well, okay, nobody’s perfect, but maybe you ought to check and see if you’ve been taking seriously the lifestyle changes the Holy Spirit’s been prompting you to make. If you’re working on the stuff God calls you to work on, then you’ll be able to smile and respond to any naysayers: “I know I’m nowhere near perfect, but by God’s strength I’m making progress.”

6.The Billy Graham Factor: Some of us are reluctant to open our mouths to talk about Jesus because we believe we’ll never be as good at it as Billy Graham. True: you may never speak to a stadium full of people. But, then again, Billy Graham’s probably never been to your neighborhood or workplace. And God’s not calling you to be Billy Graham—that spot’s taken. He is calling you to be you—telling people in your life how much Jesus has done for you. You can do that, right?

So, head on out into your day and see what sorts of eternally significant conversations pop up.


John Jackson

John Jackson is the 6th President of William Jessup University located 20 miles outside of Sacramento. He has his PhD from the University of California.

The University has tripled in size in the past 6 years and now has a full suite of undergraduate, graduate, and online degree programs and is regionally and nationally ranked.

He is also an author and speaker about Leadership, Transformation, and Spiritual Growth. John is married to Pam and they have 5 children, 3 son in loves, 3 grandchildren and a big dog named Max. John is married to Pam and they have 5 children, 3 son in loves, 3 grandchildren and a big dog named Max.


Leave a Reply