I was at the barber shop just the other day. A young man was wearing a cross around his neck. (Obviously, he was not a Jehovah’s Witness. They believe that the cross is a pagan symbol.) I asked if I could look at his cross more closely, which he allowed. I then asked “What’s it about? Why are you wearing a cross?” He said he really didn’t know, and said that it had been given to him by my barber. (I think the two have a mentoring relationship.) By then I had the attention of the young man, my barber, and a young woman. I said “Did you know that the cross is the way that you can be adopted by God as his son?” His response: “What? Really?”
“Yes,” I said so that all three could hear. “When Jesus died on the cross, he paid for all our sins, so that we can have a relationship with God, and be adopted as his sons and daughters. It’s fantastic!” I then went on to briefly explain how that works.
Do you see what I did there? Without really intending to, I used the very same strategies that I use with Jehovah’s Witnesses. They include: (1) Bringing up a topic that’s off the usual “Christianese” radar; (2) Creating a desire for an attractive benefit of having a relationship with God; and (3) Speaking enthusiastically about what I have experienced in my relationship with God.
If I had brought up being born again, or going to church, or right living, they would have tuned me out. Instead, I brought up the biblical concept of adoption, and they eagerly listened to what I had to say. I shared for less than one minute. I left them curious and hungry for more. I’m praying that they will wonder about what I said, and that next time they will ask me to explain more. The young man has been there every time that I have visited, so I expect that I’ll be able to talk with him and my barber again. Who would have thought that I would ever be eager to witness, rather than reluctant? Now there’s a miracle.