How Do You Get Other Christians To Open Up About Jesus?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Tyler_Brumbo, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Hello all! Let me elaborate on my title real quick!

    A group of friends (ages 18-25) at my church are getting together for a "small group" that we are going to turn into a Bible study as well as just a general discussion group. We are a very tight knit group of friends, Some of us have been friends for 10 years, others for only a few months, but we all treat each other like we've known everyone our entire lives. It is truly a great group of guys and girls to be around and I'm blessed to have them in my life.

    I, along with one friend in the group, will be leading this Bible study/discussion group. Not "leading" per se, but nudging it in the right direction and making sure everyone gets as much as possible from the group, making sure people participate, and making sure any and all concerns are taken care of in the group. We want this group to not only focus on learning more about Jesus, but to also be somewhat of a support group for each other. As I said, we are already a very close group of friends, so that last part is basically covered already.

    Our problem, though, is that a few of our members are up for talking about anything under the sun, but when it comes to Jesus/God, or any kind of scripture, they are dead silent. This is a problem for numerous reasons, i.e. these particular members play big roles as mentors to our youth groups, as well as being key figures in our church. It's hard to be in a position like that when you can't talk about Jesus to anyone. Personally, it irks me because I can't know that they are growing in their relationship with Christ unless they open up a little.

    I'm not looking for them to just open up about every aspect of their life. I'm shy sometimes and I understand not wanting to share occasionally. But these guys and girls couldn't be closer to me...We've been through everything together, so I don't think that they're just not comfortable talking about things. I would just like to hear any and all suggestions for what I can do, or maybe what I shouldn't do, to get them to open up and engage in a Christ-centered discussion in our group.

    (I'm sorry I wrote so much there, but I wanted to make sure I got my information across.)

    Also, I'm so sorry if this is not the correct forum for this thread. It seemed to fit into a "General Discussion" category.
  2. That's a very good question, actually.

    I used to lead a Bible study in high school, and then also did it as a camp counselor back in 2004 with a group of 7th and 8th graders.

    Leading one in high school was easier because I was with my peers -- no one felt if they said the wrong thing then they would get reprimanded, but of course it meant having to say something that might be uncomfortable for them. Leading groups of middle-school boys was even more of a challenge because not only would I be welcoming them to say things that might be uncomfortable for them, but when each week began, they were hesitant about saying something that might make them look wimpy or stupid, or that they might say the wrong thing to me and they'd get in trouble.

    I always encouraged them to speak up and give their opinions regardless. And I usually had to lead by example. For instance, if we were ever diving into a passage, I would share how I might struggle with it or how I'm still trying to learn more about it because, perhaps from hindsight, it seems to say something else. Usually, the group would feel more comfortable and felt they could speak more candidly. I'd always ask them to even share their opinions if they disagreed. And I'd give an example in saying "Many people believe this means such-and-such, or the rationale behind seeing it this way instead is yadda yadda yadda..."

    The point is each Bible study would get comfortable in talking and thinking, and once the talking and thinking began, then it would be far easier to get to the bottom of what the scriptures teaching.
  3. LS, I appreciate the response. I agree that once it gets going it'll just flow and the discussions will be natural and everyone will be open to talk. I like the idea of kinda prodding them to answer by asking what they think about a particular issue.

    We meet on Wednesday so I'll try all of this then. But I still feel like some of them will take a little more work. I'll be sure to come back after Wednesday's meeting and talk about how goes.
  4. Sometimes, for some, it takes a whole lot to get them to open up in this sort of discussion. And sometimes, people prefer to just listen.

    Yeah, let me know how it all works out -- I'd love to hear what happens.
    Tyler_Brumbo and RosaVera say Amen and like this.
  5. Sorry it took so long to get back on here. It's been a busy week with work and well life in general.

    Well as luck would have it, our associate pastor divided our group into two smaller groups because the original group grew too large. It just so happens that the three people I was most concerned about are all in my group. Although other friends were afraid this would discourage me, I see this as a sign straight from the Lord. I was so worried about not being able to have serious conversations about Jesus with any of the three of them, and now they're ALL in my group. I see it almost as a challenge/display of greatness from God, like he's telling me, "Hey, this is going to work. And to prove it, I'm putting all three of them and you in the same group." I mean he's going to show how great he is by giving me what I think are unbeatable odds, and making them beatable. He's going to make this work when many of my other friends, myself included, all thought it would fail.

    How amazing is that?

    Anywho, our first meeting was last Wednesday. We're doing an ongoing discussion on "not a fan." by Kyle Idleman. I had always heard of it but never really heard about it. It's incredible. But along with me and the three I mentioned above, we picked up a girl who will definitely have discussions about Jesus, so that will definitely help in getting the others to open up a bit and talk. That said, Wednesday was more or less an introduction to "not a fan." so there wasn't a ton of room for discussion, but one of the three did speak up a little. It's not much, but I'll take it.

    I also realize looking back that I let this worry me way more than I should have. I just want this to work out so badly and that everyone gets so much out of it and that all of my friends' relationships with Jesus grows. But I know God has got everything under control and we'll all be fine.

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