ANN SAT DOWN ON THE BUS BESIDE a young woman dressed in black, all tatted up, with a pentagram necklace on a choker chain. Since Ann is one of those people others find easy to talk with, it wasn’t long before she learned her new friend was a lesbian, gothic, witch. Sidestepping the lesbian and gothic issues, Ann asked her to describe what it meant to be a witch. After hearing her explanation of Wiccan religion, Ann responded by telling her story of following Jesus. How did she know what to say? There aren’t any specialized seminars on sharing the gospel with lesbian, gothic, witches. Ann engaged her seatmate in a conversation, tailoring the gospel to meet the needs of someone obviously searching for personal identity and meaning in life. She talked about Jesus with a lesbian, gothic, witch.

There’s no script for conversations like that.

Janet had an acquaintance, Cheryl, who lived across the street. Like many neighbors today, they waved from their cars as they drove away or spoke briefly if they were both working in their yards on the same day. Cheryl gave birth to twins, so Janet took her a small gift and wished her well. Their relationship developed a little more through that act of kindness, but not that much, since the twins kept Cheryl busy. These two younger moms didn’t spend much time together for several months. Then, tragically, Cheryl’s husband was killed in a work-related accident. She was left a 20-something widow with twin toddlers. Janet later told me, “I didn’t know what to say or do. But I knew I had to do something. So, I baked a casserole and took it over. When Cheryl answered the door, I said, ‘I am so sorry for what’s happened. I don’t know what to say. But I care about you and I’ll do anything I can to help you.’”

Even though she didn’t know what to say—who would?—she risked speaking up, saying something, initiating a conversation to communicate compassion. A casserole started a conversation which led to talking about Jesus.

Unscripted, yet so simple.

Jeff Iorg, Unscripted

I have just completed a series of lessons based on Jeff Iorg’s book, Unscripted. They are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription service. For a medium-sized church, lesson subscriptions are only $10 per teacher per year.