One of the most difficult and yet most important challenges believers face is that of sharing their faith with friends and family who have yet to embrace Christ. We want that so very much, but sometimes they aren’t nearly as enthusiastic about that as we are. I have seen people react many different ways to our conversion. They have been…
Enthusiastic _ “You’re a different person. What’s changed? ”
Snooty _This may be something you need _ it’s just not for me.”
Patronizing _ I’m glad that you’ve found something that helps you.”
Hostile _ “Don’t talk about religious nonsense with me.”
Apathetic _ “It’s one thing to go to church, but you don’t have to be a fanatic.”
Skeptical _ “How long is this “phase” going to last?”
Like I said, they may not be as enthusiastic as we are but that doesn’t mean that you can’t play a significant role in bringing your friends and family to Christ. That being said, there are certain things that you don’t need to do. You don’t need to convict them of sin (some would call it nagging) because the Holy Spirit has probably already done that (see John 16:8ff). You can’t force them to be obedient _ that’s something they must do themselves (see Acts 2:37ff).
Then just where do we fit in the process? Well first of all, never assume that they would never listen but make sure you are always ready and willing to do some listening after all isn’t that exactly what God does? Just remember no matter what they say, never give up and “never giving up” includes praying, praying, and then praying some more. So whatever you do hang in there and be gentle _ be kind _be patient because your job is to keep the lines of communication open so that when the door is open you can step in and share Jesus (see 1 Peter 3:15ff).
Listen, God will do his job 100% of the time. He will prepare their hearts _ He will create an open door. When he does, that’s where you step in. The rest is up to them. So pay attention because they may be closer to their decision for Jesus than you think.