Ever find it hard to explain the Christian faith to your sports friends? Ever find it hard to help them see the brilliance of the gospel message? Ever wish you could get someone better to explain it to them?
2 Timothy 3 v 16 tell us that:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
Scripture is God-breathed - that is, it is the very words of God! What’s more, in v 15, the writer Paul tells us that the Scriptures:
“are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
The Scriptures point to Christ Jesus and help those who read them to be saved by having faith in Him.
So what better way to point sports friends to Jesus than looking at the Bible with them? And in a culture where walking into a church is becoming more and more alien, looking at the Bible together might be one of the least intimidating ways for your sports friend to find out more.
Just ask! Ask your sports friend if they’d like to find out a bit more about the Christian faith. Tell them that the best way to do it is to look at an account of Jesus’ life from the Bible. If that gets your knees knocking, it’s worth knowing that many people are more willing than you think. So ask - simply to read a bit together and then talk about it. See what they say!
What next? Well arrange a time and place to meet. It’s best to go for somewhere that would be a normal place for you to spend time together, so why not suggest a coffee shop or a pub over a drink? It’s usually helpful to agree both a start and end time so you both know what to expect. An hour is plenty of time with a bit of chat at the beginning and end - perhaps you could aim to spend 30 minutes together looking at the passage. You could even let them know what you think it would be good to look at and say you’ll print it out. Sometimes, a friend might prefer for you to send the passage to them in advance.
With the time and date set, it’s time to get praying for God to be at work by His Spirit. Get ready to look at the passage together - either print off a section from one of the gospels, or make use of one of the many brilliant resources available to help look at the Bible with a friend, such as the Uncover series.
As you sit down together to look at your Bible passage, try to keep the atmosphere relaxed to help your sports friend feel comfortable. Remember that Scripture is the very words of God, so let it speak! Be careful not to set yourself up as the expert teacher who asks questions of your sports friend - instead try to approach your time together as two people looking to learn together from God’s word.
This means that after reading the passage together, you’ll both be able to dig into it and share thoughts, ask questions of what the other thinks and point out things that strike you from the passage. Try to avoid bringing in too much information from outside the passage that you know already - you want your sports friend to feel that they can open the Bible read it and understand (with the Spirit’s help) what God is saying without being an expert.
As you draw your time to a close, it’s worth each sharing the biggest thing you’ve learned or will take away, to help summarise and ground what you’ve looked at. Offer to meet again if your sports friend would like to - perhaps at this stage it might be worth suggesting a regular time to meet together for a few weeks and then to reassess.
God can bring someone to know Him in an instant! But sometimes people come to faith over weeks, months or years of investigating Jesus. So be prepared to be committed, reading the Bible together regularly and praying for your sports friend over a long period of time, that they may become “wise for salvation” by reading the very words of God.
What a privilege to share it with them - so let’s go for it! Who will you ask?
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