29 Ways to Share Jesus with Someone Who Doesn’t Want to Hear it

I am a Christian. I love Jesus, and am greatly thankful for the salvation He has given me. I want others to have that same experience with God, to find purpose in life, and peace and joy today and for the future. The reality is that some people do not want to hear about church or Jesus.

It is quite difficult to share Jesus with people who do not know Jesus and have clearly indicated that they do not want to know Jesus. All of us associate with people who do not yet know Jesus.

How do we share Jesus with them when they have already said they don’t want anything to do with Him or with church?

I think this is an especially difficult reality for those living in smaller rural towns. You know people, and you know their families. People know you and your family. You may have grown up with many of them and went to school with them. They know you are part of a church, and you know they are not. It seems that there is no way to help them see they need Jesus because they have clearly told you they want no part of that.

Some say they don’t come to church because it is too hard with kids. Others say they tried church and didn’t like it, or they were hurt by it, or “they are all hypocrites there.” So inviting them to church seems like an impossible and useless endeavor.

Ok, then. If we are to be faithful to share Jesus “as we go into all the world,” as we go on with life and all of its activities, what can we do to reach them with the good news of great joy? Let me share a bunch of ideas that can all be part of sharing Jesus with unbelievers. These will all lie on a spectrum between no interest in Jesus, to asking how they can become a Christian.

  1. Pray for at least 3 people you know who do not know Jesus.
  2. Invite your unbelieving friends into your home for a meal. And just do what you normally do, pray for the meal, have your conversations, enjoy time together.
  3. Remember their special days. Wish them Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, etc. Maybe even get them a gift for Christmas.
  4. Be a good friend.
  5. Tell them you are praying for them. This might work best when they are facing a difficult issue in their life. Maybe pray for them right there if the situation is right.
  6. Bake cookies and share them. While I was driving truck, my coworkers sure enjoyed days when I brought cookies my wife baked and left them in the breakroom. If you don’t bake, buy your coworkers a dozen or two of donuts or bring in coffee.
  7. Give them a hand. If you are good with mechanics, offer to help whey they are having car trouble. If you are good with construction, help them out when they are building a deck. If they are sick, take them supper. Use your experience and skills to help your friends.
  8. Share your stuff. Lend your ladder, or pizza pan, or air compressor. Let them borrow your truck if they don’t have one.
  9. Do something for them. Take their stuff to the landfill when you take yours.
  10. Include them in a party or get-together you are having. This is good when you are already having a bunch of church people over. They get to see that everyone is normal – hopefully. And then your friends can pray with you for this unbelieving friend.
  11. Workout together. I did this for quite a while with one unbelieving friend who was checking out our church. I got to baptize him later.
  12. Read the Bible together. Some people are interested in the Bible, even if not in church. One member of my small group shared that her neighbor came over weekly to read the Bible together. You can help them understand what things mean.
  13. Host a backyard BBQ. Invite them to join your family.
  14. Offer to house sit for them when they go away for summer vacation.
  15. Share rides back and forth to work.
  16. Give them a book on a prominent Christian. They may be interested in reading about a certain athlete who did well on the field, oh, and happens to be a Christian.
  17. At Easter, invite them to watch the latest Easter movie with you.
  18. Ask questions. Don’t be a pest, and don’t be a reporter, but be interested in the other person’s life.
  19. Share a hobby. If you find out you are both interested in chuckwagon races, plan to go together.
  20. Share an answer to prayer with them. People can’t argue with something that you experienced. They may not be interested, but they can’t say you didn’t have that experience. You prayed and God answered in a way you felt was just for you.
  21. Give them a Bible on a special occasion. For example, when their child graduates, gift them a Bible for Graduates.
  22. Share your testimony. This doesn’t have to happen all at once, but share bits of your story when it fits in conversations you have over the years. Tell them your experience with God. Tell them how that has helped you in life.
  23. Invite them to church for special occasions. Christmas Eve or Easter might be good times to invite them. Or if a child is getting baptized, invite them to the celebration. They may come to celebrate with you even in they are not interested in Jesus or church. Who knows what God might say to them in that church service?
  24. Ask what they believe. Invite them to tell you how they view life. This may make them question what they truly believe, and maybe start them searching.
  25. Tell them about a good sale. If you found a good deal somewhere, let them know, or even ask them if they would like you to pick something up for them too.
  26. Speak of Jesus and church naturally. It’s amazing what sometimes gets talked about at work, or after a game. Some conversations may naturally lead you to make a comment about something that happened at church, or what you read in the Bible about Jesus.
  27. Say Grace. Sometimes we hesitate to pray for our meal when we are at work or out with friends. Don’t make a scene, but just quietly do what you would normally do.
  28. Invite them to go with you on a missions trip. This might be a little tricky, but if it is more of a hands-on serving trip, rather than an evangelistic trip, it might be quite okay to have an unbeliever join you.
  29. Go hunting together – whether for a moose, or for that perfect pair of shoes for your daughter’s graduation.

I hope you get the point. If you truly want to win someone to Christ, you need to be a friend. This is not about seeing certain people as a project but just becoming friends with people you are in contact with already.

You may think some of the suggestions in the list are really just about being a good friend and not really about outreach, but that is exactly the point. You need to be intentional, in making friends and being a good friend. The idea is to find ways to be friends, and then talk with them about Jesus as you already do with the friends you already have. We can pray for them regularly, asking God to draw them and work in their lives. It may take years, and then when it happens, it will be so exciting!

Keep looking up


8 Ways to Make New People Feel Welcome

I attended a funeral for the father of a lady in our church. She was from a Portuguese background. Her Dad attended a Portuguese Catholic Church in the city. We arrived at the church, having never been there before. We didn’t understand the traditions, and definitely didn’t understand the language. Even though I had been attending church all my life, the things happening here were foreign to me. We had to work hard to try to know when to stand and sit.

I visited a friend’s home church with him. Just before the pastor entered the church, from the back, everyone stood up, and remained standing while he walked up to the front. I wouldn’t have known what to do except my friend whispered instructions to me.

In one church I served the tradition was to stand when singing. Whether the music leader directed the congregation to stand or not.

I attended one church where the children were sent to their classes part way through the service. The problem was, there was no announcement made, and no direction on the screens. The children, or their parents, just knew at what point they were to head to their classes.

If you have visited a church for a first time, you probably have some of your own stories of feeling out of place. We need to go out of our way to welcome new people and let them know what is happening. We assume that because we know what is happening, and what to do, everyone else does as well. That is just not true.

Here are some ways that we can do better at making new people feel welcome:

1. Informative Website. Make sure that people can learn about your church on your website. (Contact me for a website audit.) The most important information should be on the front home page: your address, service start time, and phone number and email address so they can contact the church with questions. The site should be easy to navigate so visitors can quickly find a description of how your service works and what to expect, as well as what kind of activities and programs your church offers and how they can join. Make sure your buttons or page headings are clearly marked so that visitors can easily find your statement of faith.

2. Parking Lot. Make sure people know where to park. At one church I served, the parking was behind the church building. To find the parking lot you had to drive up a driveway past the church, which was not clear to newcomers. You might even want to have reserved spaces for guests nearest to the front door.

3. Welcome Team. Every church, no matter its size, needs to have a welcome team. These may be formal greeters standing at the door, or simply people who have signed up to be on the watch for new people to greet. This team should be trained in how to say hi to people, how to direct them where to go, or even to assist them with their children. Smaller churches may not need to have formal greeters at the door, if the Welcome Team members are familiar enough with church members to notice when someone is new. In your endeavor to make new people as welcome as possible, you might even want to have one or two people helping people find a parking spot.

4. Handouts. More and more churches are doing away with the paper bulletin, especially as Covid restrictions have affected that practice. While this is a practical response to the restrictions, paper handouts are valuable in providing people with something they can look at while they wait for the service to start.

If your church has decided against paper handouts, then ensure the church website is visible, perhaps on announcement or welcome slides, so people can have access to a digital version of a bulletin while waiting. To support accessibility, make sure your wifi and password information are also advertised.

5.  Clear Directions from Leaders. Make sure the leaders up front on Sunday mornings know how to guide the service and inform the congregation on what is expected. If the music leader wants the congregation to stand, then invite them to do so; if the music leader would like them to remain seated, then ask them to remain seated. When taking up the offering, give clear directions on what is happening and what is expected of guests. Never assume that everyone understands the practices and traditions of your church. If children are dismissed during the service, be very clear about when and what is expected of them and their parents. You might want to give a “heads up” right at the beginning of the service so the parents are prepared ahead of time.

6. Clear Signage. There is a lot happening each Sunday morning and people need to know how to navigate around the building. Make sure you have signs directing people towards the washrooms, nursery, and children’s classrooms. If your children’s ministry uses a check-in system, make sure to post instructions where people will see them, or on the screen at the front of the auditorium. Do everything you can to communicate clearly.

7. Welcoming Atmosphere. Encourage and train your congregation to be on the lookout for new people, and make an effort to initiate a brief conversation with them. Train people on possible questions and conversation starters. Maybe you include brief training on this in the Membership Class or at the Annual Meeting, anywhere you are speaking to the church’s core group.

8. Avoid Insideritis. Jeff Henderson, author of – Know What You Are For: A Growth Strategy for Work, An even Better Strategy for Life – talks about “insideritis”, where the focus is on insiders rather than outsiders. This is evident in how a church assumes everyone knows “their” language, or knows who they are talking about when they refer to Susie or John or Peter. Remember that a key purpose of the church and its services is to invite and include those who are outsiders.

Working hard to welcome guests is of utmost importance if you want your church to grow. People who are not welcomed or who feel offended or left out at some point, will not want to return. Do everything in your power to make new people feel welcome.

Keep looking up,


*A helpful tool to assess your level of welcome is to do a Welcome Audit. (Contact me to complete one for your church)

Your Church Website is Your New Front Door!

I like seeing houses with a bright front door that stands out from the rest of the building.

Every building, every house, every church has a front door. It is not just a great place to put an accent color for your building, but the place that people enter.

In the past, we saw the front door of the church as the place where newcomers first made contact with  your church. That has changed.

Your church’s website is your new front door. People look you up online before they actually come to your building and take in a Sunday service. They can get a sense of what your church is like before they even show up.

How welcoming is your “front door”?

Here are three of the most important things you need on your website.

1. The Physical Address

Make sure the first thing people see when they open your website is your physical address. I know a number of rural churches have a box number for their mailing address, but this is not what people are looking for. It is important that a potential newcomer knows where the church is. Include a Google map with directions to your church, and check for accuracy before posting.

2. Service Times

If someone is considering attending your church, they want to know what time to show up. Not every church meets at 11:00 am today. Churches with multiple services should also include any differences between services, such as different ages available for children’s ministry. Make sure to update this every time a service time changes. There is nothing worse for a newcomer to show up late because you forgot to update your service time!

3. What to Expect

Some churches have a short description of what people wear. A common example could be something like: “Most people come in jeans and shirts, though suit and tie, or a dress, are fine too.” Here is a personal example: If you have never been to a symphony, you might want to know what to wear. I went to my first symphony with my brother-in-law, and I had not come prepared. I had no suit like everyone else was wearing, and I felt really out of place. People who have never been to your church want to know how to dress.

You might also lay out how the morning works. If you have coffee available, let them know they can take it into the auditorium with them. If you send the children out to their classes part-way through the service, explain how that works. Add anything that you think a newcomer might need to know when they show up.

If you have these three, you are way ahead of many churches!

There are a few more items people look for. Easy to find visible links to the following items allow searchers to quickly identify how to find the information they are looking for.

4. Contact information

Have a link to a page with all the information. This includes the church phone number and email address. It might be good to have the same for your staff. And while I think about it, post your pastor’s name somewhere that is easy for people to find. I am surprised at some websites. It seems the pastor’s name is a secret they don’t want to share, or just assume everyone knows. You might even want to have a brief video welcome from your pastor on your home page.

5. Beliefs and Values

When I moved to a new city, I decided to look for a church by first checking out a number of websites. One of the things I was looking for was a church that believed the same way I did.

6. Ministries and Programs

Have links to all ministry or program pages.

Children: Most families want to know what to expect for their children. Be clear about whether they are included in the main service, or if they are dismissed to their own service. There should be no confusion on this issue at any point for. Also, make it clear that families can choose to keep their children with them in the main service.

Make it absolutely clear that you have a plan to protect children from any harm. Describe exactly what your protocols are and how you screen and train your volunteers who will work with the children. Include links to any outside regulations or certifications adhered to by your church and denomination.

Youth: Provide clear information on what ages these programs are for and when they meet. Include the same safety protocols as with the children.

Small Groups: Most churches have some form of small groups. Explain how yours function and how someone can join a group.

Other programs: Let people see what you offer and where they can be involved.

7. Sermons

Have at least a few recent sermons recorded and available to download on your website. People might want to hear a sermon before attending, so they know what to expect.

There are many other options, but remember that the target audience for your website is new people. Yes, there are some pages that might be for in-house information, but the primary audience should be the newcomer.

If you would like to improve your “front door”, you can check out a Website Audit here. Call me if you would like some coaching help to improve your front door welcome.

Keep looking up!