For many Christians the hardest part of sharing their faith with others is breaking the ice and initiating a conversation. They feel intimidated & awkward going up to a stranger saying “do you know Jesus”. Well, there are many ways to overcome this intimidation & awkwardness of breaking the ice with strangers, in order to share the gospel with them. First of all, you don’t have to start with a statement about God, Jesus, the Bible, Heaven, Hell or sin. Actually a simple greeting, such as saying “hello” works just fine. Or “hello how are you doing today”, “Hi my name is…” or “Howdy”(if your in the south). I have made it a habit to greet strangers everywhere I go. I often make eye contact with strangers, giving a wave and a smile. And I’ve found that it is great way to break the ice and often lead to a conversation.
Greeting others is something that Christ expects us to do. In the context of Christ teaching His disciples to love even their enemies he made this statement “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” (Matthew 5:46-47 ESV).
When you take time to greet strangers, making eye contact with them, giving them a smile, a nod or a hand shake it can be an expression of love. It can communicate to them that you care and that may be what leads to an open door for you to share the gospel with them. I have heard it said that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. There is some truth in that statement.
Another way that I break the ice with strangers is passing out gospel tracts. I always carry gospel tracts with me in my car or in my pocket. When I walk up to a stranger and hand them a gospel tract I usually say something like “excuse me sir did you get one of these?”. I don’t say “excuse me would you like one these” but rather “did you get one of these”. That is so they will feel as if they are missing out on something that others have and receive the gospel tract. The truth is if they don’t know Christ they truly are missing out on something that others have, namely eternal life (John 17:3). Gospel tracts are great because they can do the work of communicating the gospel for you and they can help start the conversation with a stranger. When you are in the check out line at the grocery store you usually don’t have time to present the gospel because there are people behind you and if you are holding up the line the cashier will not be able to focus for very long on what you are talking about. But with gospel tracts you can just pass them out and people can read them later on. And who knows how many people may end up reading them and coming to Christ.
If you want to start sharing your faith but you don’t know how to start then get you some gospel tracts and start passing them out. When people ask you “what is this” and you tell the “it’s a gospel tract” their response to hearing that its about God can often let you know if they are open to talking to you about the gospel. If they give you a sour face like they just drank some pickle juice then that may be an indicator that they are not open or interested in what you have to say. But if they say “you’re the 2nd person who has talked to me about God today…” then you may have discovered an open door to share the gospel. God uses gospel tracts and I believe we should also. The great preacher Charles Spurgeon stated, “When preaching and private talk are not available, you need to have a tract ready. . . Get good striking tracts, or none at all. But a touching gospel tract may be the seed of eternal life. Therefore, do not go out without your tracts.”