BEFRIENDING IS STILL ESSENTIAL, EVEN FOR THOSE NOT INTERESTED
If the person is not willing to talk about faith, God’s hands are not tied: we can still do many things, such as:
1. make friends and build a relationship.
2. help with immediate needs.
3. demonstrate the Christian life.
4. Introduce the person to other Christians.
5. Share faith stories. These are ways that you have seen God at work in your life. They are not threatening, because they speak only about you, and do not tell the other person to “do” something. A faith-story like this is can also be termed “testimony.”
As time goes by, it may be that the person will become willing to talk with you about spiritual things, and thus give you an opportunity to share the gospel, so entering the evangelism stage. The point here is that the uninterested person is not outside the disciple-making process. The person is at stage one, and the inter-actions we have with the person at stage one can be called “pre-evangelism.”
Making friends is valuable in its own right, whether or not there is an opportunity for sharing faith, because the “Great Command” tells us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Practical ideas for showing love and friendship are found in the books Me, and Evangelist? and Irresistible Evangelism. (go to book reviews). Ideas for bringing up Christ in conversation are found at How to Begin. More on making friends is found at Where is Your Well.