As Christians who are called to share the Gospel and make disciples, the biggest challenges are often finding people with whom to share and finding a good opportunity to share. Do any of these statements sound familiar?
- All of my friends are Christians.
- I don’t know how to talk about my faith without it feeling awkward.
- My conversations tend to be superficial. It’s hard to get really deep.
Those are challenges faced by many Christians, but there are ways to overcome them. I’ve written a lot in the past about tools, such as GodTools and MissionHub, that can help you start conversations. For this article, I want to go in a different direction and talk about something that can help with all three challenges. All you have to do is use your hobbies for Christ.
How God designed you
Your interests, your passions, the things you love doing, they all matter to God. And they can all be used for God. Often we think too narrowly about missions. Many think living on mission means traveling to far away places, volunteering at your church, or approaching strangers to ask them if they have a relationship with God. All of those things count, but there are so many more opportunities for living on mission. If you love bike rides, you can ride on mission.
I’m a bit of a cyclist. Nothing hardcore — I’m not going to win any races and in fact, I’m too slow for most cycling clubs. But there’s a group of people I like to meet and ride together. Before and after the rides and during rest stops, we have great conversations about each other’s lives. There are often opportunities to meet new people.
I can tell you that I’ve shared my faith more times while wearing cycling clothes than in any other situation. Why? Because it’s a setting where I feel comfortable, where we’re all naturally sharing with each other because we all share a common passion.
What are you interested in?
When you share a common hobby with someone, friendships form naturally. If you don’t have any non-Christian friends, start looking for ways to do the things you enjoy with others. If you like cycling, find a bike group. If you like pottery, find others who like getting their hands dirty. Into video games? Play them with others. If you don’t know how to find people who are into the same hobbies as you, check out the Meetup app. Right now COVID has reduced the in-person gatherings, but you should still find a Meetup group that fits your interests. Some are meeting online right now, and even if they’re not, you can get a head start for when they do.
Going up to a stranger and talking about your faith is awkward. It will probably always be awkward, no matter how many times you do it. But if you’re hanging out with a new friend enjoying a mutually shared interest, those topics can come up naturally.
Going back to the cycling example, all someone has to do is ask why I like cycling or how I got into cycling and I have my ice-breaker. “I love the exercise while enjoying the outdoors. I just feel closer to God when enjoying His creation.” The segue from talking about the hobby to talking about my faith is completely natural because it starts from common ground: two people who love getting on a bike and riding outdoors. Then if they seem interested, I can start asking about what they believe or sharing more about my faith.
If an opportunity for a Gospel presentation comes up, I take out my phone and use GodTools to help me. I also use MissionHub to track my relationships with my cycling friends, where each is spiritually, and what my next step should be with each.
Whatever your hobby, there’s some way to do this. Are you taking an art class? You can share how you love being able to better understand God by taking His inspiration and using it to create something new. So if you’re having trouble finding non-Christians with whom to share your faith or you’re having difficulty taking conversations beyond the superficial level, I recommend looking to your hobbies.
Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. (Habakkuk 2:2)
- Find a group that shares your interests and hobbies. Meetup is a good resource.
- Build relationships within those groups and be prepared to share your faith when the opportunity arises.