Are you looking for opportunities to share your faith this year across the Thanksgiving table? There are countless ways you can prepare to engage in sharing the gospel with non-Christians at the dinner table, taking a tactful and inspirational approach to discussing your beliefs in God, the Bible and Scripture with those near and dear to you.
When it comes to the gospel, we sometimes need to be careful how we approach loved ones — especially if we want our messages to resonate. After all, it’s likely that the dinner table will be filled with family members and friends who share a variety of religious perspectives.
With so many people differing in their beliefs, it’s important to tactfully present the gospel, and to discuss spiritual matters with care, as this is the best way to ensure that these themes are remembered and appreciated. Here are 10 ideas on how you can share your faith at the dinner table this year:
Discussing Everlasting Life: Rely on Prayer
Before anything else, pray about sharing the gospel this Thanksgiving. Leading up to the holiday, commit yourself to asking God how you can best have a spiritual conversation about Scripture, eternal life and God’s love with your friends and loved ones.
Ask God for the right words and the perfect timing to navigate these important conversations about eternal life. Prayer matters, and God will help prepare both your heart and mind.
Demonstrate God’s Love By Being a Welcoming and Gracious Host
First and foremost, if you’re holding Thanksgiving dinner at your house, demonstrate God’s love by remembering to be a welcoming and gracious host. Ensure that, no matter what is discussed, your guests feel comfortable.
By showing love and grace, you’ll be living out God’s values. So, through welcoming actions, show a thankful and loving heart to Christian and non-Christian guests, alike. Sometimes, this speaks louder than words.
Sharing the Gospel: Live the Example
Another simple way to share your faith is to live it. Whether you’re the host or a guest at someone else’s home this Thanksgiving, it’s important to show God’s love through your interactions. We often focus intensely on the essentials of spiritual conversation, yet fail to realize that actions often speak much larger than words.
Consider how your actions — both big and small — can help drive home the importance of the gospel. Your non-Christian relatives are watching, and your behavior and civility matters, especially amid divisive times when difficult topics are sure to pop up during dinner.
Share Your Faith Through Listening
It’s also important to listen, show compassion and find ways to discuss your family members’ needs. Perhaps you’re catching up with people you haven’t seen in a long time; this opens opportunities to hear about their struggles and victories — and to show love while listening to some of the hardest things people might be facing.
This often opens the door for you to share your faith as well. Look for opportunities to listen with open ears and compassion this Thanksgiving. Doing so will potentially present opportunities to discuss eternal life and God’s love.
Offer a Prayer About Thanksgiving and Eternal Life
Whether you’re the Thanksgiving Day host or a guest somewhere else, consider offering a Thanksgiving prayer. In addition to gratitude, find creative ways to mention God, the Bible and Scripture.
You never know what spiritual conversation could follow a powerful invocation to the Almighty. Remember: the holiday season is a time of year when people are often most open to prayer.
Share Your Faith When Appropriate
It’s likely that conversation will be bustling around the Thanksgiving Day table this year. If you’re looking for how to share the gospel most effectively, look for natural places in discussion to discuss gratitude, God, the Bible and Scripture.
Don’t force the discussion, but find the right time and place. It can sometimes be difficult, but with God and prayer on your side, you’ll know when you should be sharing the gospel.
Show a Thankful Heart
Look for opportunities to express your own gratitude. Suggest that everyone go around the table and take turns sharing one thing they’re thankful for. This can be an excellent way to discuss God’s love, and to open the door to deeper discussions about everlasting life.
Consider Thanksgiving Table Place Cards With Uplifting Scriptures
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, consider creating beautiful place cards for each seat that have uplifting Scripture about faith, gratitude and God.
These simple cards could help inspire Christian and non-Christian family members, and could hold the power to help spark important conversations. Get creative to show God’s love in other ways as well.
Discuss Eternal Life in a Clear and Concise Way
If and when the opportunity comes to discuss eternal life, do so in a clear and concise way. It’s often best to share your own experience about how faith in Jesus has transformed your heart and life. But if you’re looking for specific ways to explain the gospel, there are plenty of resources to turn to.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) offers tips to help people share faith, noting that there are four steps to accepting Christ: admit you’re a sinner, ask forgiveness and turn from sins, believe Jesus died for humanity’s sins, and receive Christ into one’s life and heart.
Here’s a condensed version of BGEA’s four-step plan for sharing the gospel:
1. Tell them about God’s plan—peace and life. God loves you and wants you to experience the peace and life He offers.
2. Share our problem—separation from God. Being at peace with God is not automatic. By nature, we are all separated from Him.
3. Talk about God’s remedy—the cross. God’s love bridges the gap of separation between you and Him. When Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the grave, He paid the penalty for your sins.
4. Our response—receive Christ. You cross the bridge into God’s family when you accept Christ’s free gift of salvation.
Remember, prayer is one of the best ways to seek God’s guidance on when and how to engage those around us in the gospel. Be prayerful before Thanksgiving this year, and throughout the Christmas season. Seek the Lord as you try to reach non-believing friends and family with the gospel.