Tactics and Tools

Two Steps to Engage Anyone

Author Alan Shlemon Published on 07/13/2021

I’m often asked what my strategy is with Muslims. You could ask me a similar question about Mormons, atheists, skeptics, Hindus, etc. My answer will always be the same: learn and engage. I think it’s a biblical approach.

Paul provides the Corinthian believers with an important framework, one we at Stand to Reason love to highlight:

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. (2 Cor. 5:18–20)

Notice Paul tells believers that our identity is being an ambassador for Christ and our mission is to proclaim the message of reconciliation (the gospel). That means we should see ourselves as ambassadors.

Consider political ambassadors. They typically do two things: learn and engage. The first step: learn about a people group. The second step: go to the country and engage those people. The order is important. Ambassadors first learn about the people, their language, their history, their values, and their foreign policy concerns. That way, when they go to the foreign country, they can draw upon that knowledge to carefully craft their message.

As ambassadors for Christ, we should do the same. Whether we’re anticipating talking to Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, atheists, skeptics, or anyone else, the approach is similar. You should take the time to learn as much as you can about the person (or people group). Study their ideas, beliefs, and values as best you can. That way, when you talk to them, you can draw upon that knowledge to carefully craft your message. Your message, of course, is really God’s message of reconciliation.