Seven Tips for Sharing Christ in a Cancel Culture
In any year and in any culture, those committed to sharing the Good News with others are presented with opportunities more than obstacles. It is no different in today’s cancel culture. It is how we handle conversations that is key.
Seven tools for leading others to Christ in a cancel culture
Be a good listener
One of the key factors driving cancel culture is a sincere desire to be heard by the ones doing the canceling. As such, your ability to listen more is what makes the difference. Listening communicates caring. They need to know that you care about what they think.
There is not a person alive who cannot handle a compliment. You may not appreciate their thoughts, but you must appreciate the fact that they are thinking. Compliments such as, “Thank you for being honest in expressing how you feel”, “Thanks for not holding back your thoughts”, etc. go a long way. Someone ready to make a quick judgment may suddenly see you in a different light and be more willing to hear you out.
Sometimes their thoughts are confusing and sometimes it is difficult to follow their line of reasoning. Other times they are blatantly wrong. Some of that is to be expected. Ephesians 4:18 says that in our unbelieving condition, alienated from the life of God, our understanding is “darkened” and we have “blindness of heart”. Until the Holy Spirit works there are some things we will never understand. The use of questions like “what do you mean by that?” or “Could you explain that a bit more?” shows them that you are interested in what they are saying and helps you get to the bottom of what they’re really thinking.
Concentrate on the beauty of the gospel
You have a tremendous advantage. You know the Savior who canceled our sins! He was so known for accepting people regardless of their background, habits, wrongdoing, or thinking. He was known as a friend of sinners. Nobody in His mind is “forgotten.” You can explain what He did for us by dying on a cross as our substitute taking the punishment we deserved and rising again. Concentrate on the fact that the free gift is available to anyone anywhere – nobody is canceled out from receiving His offer. For those who do not receive it, it will be because they rejected Him, not because He rejected them. (John 3:36)
Be careful that you don’t become part of the culture instead of becoming more like Christ. This takes patience. It often takes several conversations and interactions with others for them to see the truth as you are presenting it. Remember that they have often had five or more ideas presented to them as to how a person can have a right relationship with God. Those with or without a cancel culture mentality, need time to sort through what you are presenting. Patience is key.
Keep your objective clear
Your goal must be to bring Christ to them; It cannot be to bring them to Christ. The first is your job, the second is God’s job. Sure, you want to see them come to Christ today. But that ultimately is in God’s Hands. John 6:44 is true for reaching anyone in any culture. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” If you do not keep the proper goal in mind, you may feel a certain amount of frustration, especially if they are not prepared to come to Christ, because you have taken God’s responsibility on your shoulders. That frustration could be seen in many ways by the unbeliever – all of which are more harmful than helpful in enhancing your witness.
Attitude matters more than argument
As I often do, I have saved the most important until last.
There is one key verse I believe everyone in our day ought to meditate on in witnessing to those in a cancel culture.
2 Timothy 2:23-25. “But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.”
The message is clear. In responding to those who object to your message, use a humble attitude, not a hostile argument. It is your humility they need, not your hostility, your sensitivity not your sarcasm, your gentleness not your abusiveness. Those with a proper attitude always have over those with a poor argument.
Today is our day of opportunity. Speaking to those who are opinionated, frustrated, confused, prejudicial, with wrong thoughts or right thoughts, feel heard or unheard, we present a Savior who says “Come”. What could be more assuring to those in a cancel culture than to hear His words – “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out”. (John 6:37b)
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