I now understand better what is holding back many people from coming to Christ, i.e., the barriers they encounter in understanding and then in embracing the Christian faith. As I become more equipped and emboldened to add the spiritual dimension in my conversation with friends and colleagues, I discover that people are willing to engage in conversations of a spiritual nature much more often than I previously thought.
In spite of your great trepidation, your friend tells you it will be an experience worth remembering. You ignore your fear and tell yourself you’ll be okay. So you step into the roller coaster and strap yourself down knowing that if you just make it through to the end in one piece, that will be a great success. You may not even entertain the possibility that you will enjoy the ride. The bottom line is to just get through it so you can say that you’ve done it.
In many ways doing evangelism these days can be much like riding a roller coaster. You don’t really want to do it, and you certainly don’t expect to enjoy it. Worst of all, through the gut-wrenching ups and downs, you always feel like you end up where you originally began.
But what if evangelism could be different? What if it could be something you actually enjoy doing? What if it could be something you do, not only because you have an obligation to do it, but more importantly because you see in very tangible ways how your obedience to Christ can make a difference in the lives of those you care most to reach? What if it can be something you enjoy doing so much that you end up doing it every day for the rest of your life? What if, as a result of learning how to effectively build bridges to the Gospel, you feel more and more compelled to make the most of every encounter with your nonbelieving friends to help them take steps to the cross? What if in each encounter you could make your spiritual dialogue a more pleasant experience for both of you?
This book is an attempt to make this a possibility in the life of the average Christian who increasingly finds it difficult to witness to those in a post-Christian world. Provided that we have the right framework for what evangelism is and have been equipped to engage people in our contra-Christian culture, we believe that not only can we make progress in our witness to people, but we can even enjoy the ride!
Furthermore, we are also convinced that we can be good witnesses even when we don’t always desire to be. Even when we’re not looking for open doors, we can still have an impact on people we regularly rub shoulders with if we remember at least two things. First, we must remember to expand our definition of success in witnessing (we’ll talk more about this in chapter 1). Second, we must remember not to cover up any light that has already been revealed to our non-Christian friends and remain willing to make the most of all the divine opportunities God gives us (1 Peter 3:15).
 Norman Geisler with Geisler, Conversational Evangelism: Connecting with People to Share Jesus (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2014).
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