5 Talking Points for the People in Your Life Who Haven’t Accepted Jesus

Contributing Writer
Updated May 20, 2024
5 Talking Points for the People in Your Life Who Haven’t Accepted Jesus

Mentioning Jesus or talking about what He did seems like a taboo subject in Western society and culture. Even saying the name “Jesus” can make people respond strangely or try to flee the conversation. This makes evangelization efforts awkward and difficult. As Christians, we are left feeling frustrated, wondering how we can ever share the good news if people shy away from topics like sin, the Bible, and God.

Many methods exist to help us give a presentation of the gospel, like the Romans Road or the good news/bad news method. These can prepare us and give us key Bible verses to remember.

However, how do we get to the point where we can use those methods? And how do we do so without feeling rehearsed? Many of the people in our lives who have not placed faith in Jesus are not going to randomly talk about spiritual topics or ask us about salvation.

We need a better way to engage people with the gospel and to have meaningful conversations that naturally lead to discussions about why we need Jesus and what He has done for us.

What if we met people where they are and engaged with common topics that they enjoy discussing? Perhaps then, we will find it easier to talk about our faith instead of awkwardly trying to give a pre-planned speech. Not only that, but the other person will also feel more comfortable and open to our words.

To start, consider the following five talking points when interacting with unbelieving family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. As an important note, we need to remember that the best conversations will always stem from the place of a relationship. Before trying to share the gospel with someone, we should try to get to know them first. People listen more when they know we care.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Rawpixel    

Slide 1 of 5
news cellphone digital social media outlet television network

1. Current Events

Technology has made it easier than ever before in history to stay up to date on the latest news. With the click of a button or the swipe of a screen, we learn about events going on in our country and across the world. We have instant access to trending topics.

If we are honest, though, lots of this information brings news that makes us sorrowful and angry: Wars, injustice, natural disasters, adults and children starving, the persecution of Christians, and the list continues. In these news stories, we see the brokenness of the world and sin’s impact on people.

People are going to talk about the important things that are happening. Believers can take advantage of this common topic and use it to pique interest in Jesus and the hope that is found in the gospel. We just need to ensure we do so wisely, with sensitivity and discernment. The last thing we want to do is get into an ugly argument over politics, which will not be fruitful.

When our coworker or friend talks about a natural disaster that happened, for example, we can speak about the sorrow that the news brings, as well as our prayers for the people impacted. The topic could also lead us to comment on the condition of the world and how all creation is waiting to be set free from its bondage to decay (Romans 8:20-22). When Jesus returns, He will make all things right.

Most of us are aware of current news. Since people are already going to be talking about it, we can utilize the opportunity to talk about the hope of Christ in our dark world.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Tero Vesalainen

Slide 2 of 5
A stack of books, what we cannot know unless we know the Bible

2. Literature

In college, I took a world literature class, which involved reading numerous literary works. While the class was studying the Odyssey, the professor made an interesting observation that stuck with me. She mentioned that literature could be a springboard for talking about the gospel

As an avid reader, I was excited by this concept. Also, it has a biblical basis, as the Apostle Paul utilized the literature of the culture in his interactions with others (see Acts 17:16-34; Titus 1:12).    

What does this look like in action? Consider the Greek gods in the Odyssey. They are capricious and untrustworthy. If we were discussing this epic poem with someone, we could mention how grateful we are that the true God of the Bible is not like that – He is reliable and good. In this way, a topic of common interest, literature, can become a way to talk to others about Christ.  

Although readership among Americans is declining, this talking point is a great option for specific people in our lives. Our non-Christian friends who are book nerds would be open to discussing a recent book they finished or hearing about the new novel we are enjoying. 

We can use this opportunity to talk about themes and scenes in the stories that make us think of the gospel message. Maybe a character shows us the inner darkness of humans, or a major turning point in the story displays an act of sacrificial love. These are points that can lead to discussions about faith in Christ.  

If we are thoughtful in our analysis of literature and creative in our approach, we can start interesting, gospel-centered conversations using books. 

Photo Credit:  ©Prateek Katyal/Unsplas

Slide 3 of 5
guitar with holy bible lying on top of it, christian music

3. Music  

Our family, friends, and neighbors have favorite songs and albums. If we know them well enough, which we should if we care about them, then we will know their musical tastes and choices. Their interests could lead us into discussions about life, human nature, and themes like love and hope. In this way, music serves as a doorway to the gospel.

Of course, this does not mean believers should only listen to what their friends and family are hearing. We just need to be aware and knowledgeable about the musical preferences of those around us. Have we listened to our unbelieving friend’s favorite artist? Are we willing to try to understand why they feel connected to the music and what the music conveys?

When listening to the music preferences of our unbelieving friends and family members, we should look for themes or questions the music raises. Lots of songs, for example, are about love.

This topic could easily transition into a discussion about the greatest love found in Christ (John 15:13; 1 John 3:16). Human love can wane and is inconsistent, yet God’s love is unconditional.

If we can respectfully and authentically engage with the music our loved ones enjoy, then we can start meaningful discussions that could lead someone to Jesus.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/BrianAJackson

Slide 4 of 5
A man and a woman watching a movie in a theater, movies you should watch this summer

4. Movies

Movies have a way of transporting us into stories — whether that story takes place in a historical period or an entirely invented world. They evoke emotions and bring us into contact with the viewpoints of others. Like any good story, the best movies give insight into the human condition and our relationship with the world and other people.

Much like literature and books, believers can use well-known movies as evangelistic talking points. Films are easy to talk about, as many people enjoy discussing their favorite movies or a recent release. As they chat about a topic they are interested in, they become more comfortable and open to deeper questions about their beliefs and values.

Some Christians, though, may feel hesitant about watching certain movies because of content and language. Every believer should be discerning about what they watch. However, even if we object to a movie, we can still stay informed about popular films by reading summaries and reviews. In doing so, we may find a specific point or theme in the movie that sparks a discussion with a loved one.

To give an illustration, many believers were hesitant when the Harry Potter films were first released. They thought these films promoted witchcraft and sorcery. However, many other Christians found themes of Christlike sacrifice in the stories, especially in the final movie in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Harry’s willingness to die for his friends mirrors Jesus’ loving sacrifice for us (Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 5:2). As fans continue to discuss this ending, Christians will have many opportunities to share the gospel because of a series of movies that many people enjoy.

We do not have to transform ourselves into movie experts, or pop culture aficionados, but by being aware of the culture we can find points of contact with others that can help us talk about the life-changing news of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Photo Credit: ©Felipe Bustillo/Unsplash    

Slide 5 of 5
Two friends having coffee together, laughing; seven pocket prayers to pray for your friends.

5. Personal Stories

Staying within the realm of current events or popular culture is not the only option for talking points. We should also be willing to talk about our own experiences and our shared experiences with others as a way to connect with loved ones. Discussing the ways we have encountered the Lord and His grace could greatly impact the lives of others.

We have all heard about the need to share our testimony, the story of how we came to place faith in Jesus. But how many of us have done so? Often, fear and inadequacy keep us from speaking about what Christ did and is doing in our lives.

The good news is that no one can argue with our testimonies. They may not agree with us or our views, but they cannot disagree that this story is true and affected us. Knowing this should motivate us to start a conversation with an unbelieving loved one or neighbor about what Jesus has done in our lives.

If you have never crafted a testimony before, here are a few tips:

Write it out beforehand: Do not wait until the last moment to think about how you will tell the story of how Jesus saved you. Write or type out your salvation story and practice telling it to others. Being prepared will help you feel more confident.

Keep it simple: Testimonies do not have to be elaborately long or complicated. Even if yours has more details, try to find a way to simplify it so that others can easily understand the story. For example, lots of people like to give dates, times, and specific settings about when they were saved, but these are not crucial to the story. Do not lose the impact of the testimony by making it packed with details and drawn out.

Keep it focused on Christ: Stories of salvation are about what Jesus did, so we should keep the focus on Him. Make sure to include a clear presentation of the gospel: All people are sinners in need of salvation. Jesus came to take our place and die for us because He is the perfect Son of God. He was buried, and He rose to life on the third day (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). We are saved by grace through faith in what Jesus has done, not by what we do (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Pray over it: Throughout the process of crafting your testimony, practicing it, and finding ways to share it with unbelieving people in your life, you should be engaged in prayer. Pray for the Holy Spirit to prepare the hearts of the listeners and to give you the strength to tell others the good news. We are not meant to engage in these discussions alone.

Talking to unbelieving people in our lives is challenging. We can wonder what to say to make a difference or how to open a conversation about the gospel.

However, by utilizing common talking points in life, like news, interests, and personal stories, we can connect with others in creative ways. Let us stay attentive to every opportunity, even the most ordinary ones, to tell others about Christ.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Zorica Nastasic

Sophia Bricker is a freelance writer who enjoys researching and writing articles on biblical and theological topics. In addition to contributing articles about biblical questions as a contract writer, she has also written for Unlocked devotional. She holds a BA in Ministry, a MA in Ministry, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing to develop her writing craft. As someone who is passionate about the Bible and faith in Jesus, her mission is to help others learn about Christ and glorify Him in her writing. When she isn’t busy studying or writing, Sophia enjoys spending time with family, reading, drawing, and gardening. 

Originally published Friday, 10 May 2024.