The number one question I hear from those who want to do evangelism but don't know where to start is, "How do I begin the conversation?" It can be awkward for many in our individualized culture to talk about anything with someone they don't know that well, much less the gospel. So finding a "bridge" to talk about something in a person's life can make bringing up spiritual things more natural. Here are a few ideas.
Apparel - when you notice any article of clothing that you can relate to, make a comment on it. "I love that sports team, are you a fan?" "Hilton Head is a great place to vacation, you've been there?" Something as simple as "Man, those shoes are fly, (definition: cool,nice, awesome) where did you get them?" As they answer your question introduce yourself and ask if they are involved in a church any place.
Brokenness - the world we live in is fallen. There are tragic/sinful/unrighteous "breaking news" stories almost daily. Most people have at least heard of these stories and have an opinion about them. Consider those stories as bridges. "Man, did you see that unfortunate story that broke this week?" "That was sad to hear about those events happening yesterday, what are your thoughts?" But instead of leaving it at sad and hopeless news, share how it affects you from a Christian perspective, and ask if they would be interested to hear what the Bible says is the solution to brokenness in the world.
Homeland - Louisville is a really diverse place. There are people here from all over the world. After saying "Hello, I'm (_____), what's your name?" You could ask where they are from. Usually you have visited there, know someone who lives there, or would like to go there someday. If they are from a foreign country, ask what their nation and culture is like, and then ask if they have a faith background. If they are from Louisville, that's even easier, simply ask if they have a church home or grew up in church.
Something dear - if you notice them with young children, a dog, a wedding band, a book bag, a name badge or anything that represents something dear to a person, comment on it and share what's dear to you. "You have beautiful children, how old are they? Mine are 6, and 3" "How long have you been married? We just celebrated 8 years." Bridges like these can lead you to say my children are dear to me, they are great gifts from a great God, do you know him?
Any bridge is just a bridge until it is connected to the gospel message. Be intentional, speak to people on purpose, bring up spiritual things quickly. We would love to hear any ideas you have that could help other disciple makers.
For those of you wanting to switch things up for the summer, consider reading through the minor prophets with your d-group. This will go well with our church's preaching series this summer and will give your group lots of dialogue on sermons. Remember THE curriculum for discipleship is the Bible; don't fall into the trap of replacing the Bible with books about the Bible. (A new Summer Bible Reading Plan is available at highview.org/discipleship/resources.)