Hey. I’m Erik Manning.
I’m passionate about the intersection of evangelism and apologetics. I’m also a big introvert. Evangelism involves talking to people. Sometimes, that even means total strangers. That makes all of this a bit weird.
Sharing your faith for the socially awkward
You’re sitting a bus stop, scrolling through Facebook for the umpteenth time. You pause for a second and think “hey, what’s the spiritual condition of the person next to me? Maybe I should try and talk to them.”
But then another thought hits you: “Oh man, are you serious? You’re going to drop the JC-Bomb on this person? They’re a complete stranger and you’re probably just going to bother them. Besides, what if they ask you a question and you don’t know how to answer? Don’t you remember last Thanksgiving with your uncle Harry when he brought up contradictions in the Bible?”
So, with a hurting conscience, you go back to staring at your phone.
We’ve all been there. We all feel a responsibility to the lost, but few of us do much about it. We feel a bit frozen.
According to a Barna survey, 100% of evangelicals affirm that we should be sharing the gospel.
Yet in another survey, an astonishing 95% of evangelicals have never won another soul to Christ and less than 2% are involved in the ministry of evangelism.
This is a far cry from what we read in Acts when it says:
“Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.”
I wanna help
On this blog, my aim is to help teach you how to share the gospel without it being awkward. I’m an introverted person by nature. I avoid big crowds and I don’t look forward to meeting strangers.
Yet in my experience, talking about the big questions in life – like with most introverts – really energizes me. And I’ve discovered that striking up a conversation isn’t as difficult as I made it out to be. You just gotta be prepared.
I remember not being prepared. I was sitting with some co-workers and somehow spiritual things came up. I started to share my faith a little bit and got shred into pieces.
One of my co-workers was a son of a missionary and was now a new-age Buddhist. The other co-worker was highly educated, very into science and more of an agnostic. They threw all kinds of objections at me that left me speechless.
I was deflated. So I pressed to learn everything I could about how to defend my faith. Through the power of Google and YouTube, I was excited to find that Christianity was intellectually defensible.
Best of all, I was able to find a mentor in this area in Tim McGrew. He’s a doctorate in philosophy, teaches at a university and has heard just about all the objections you can imagine. Yet he still has a strong faith. He’s also a living encyclopedia in the area of apologetics, especially in the area of the historical reliability of the gospels.
After being under Dr. McGrew’s tutelage, I no longer worry about someone throwing me off guard with a hard question. I don’t claim to know everything, but I know a lot more than I did then and I know how to find the answers, and I know how to navigate through the conversation without getting lost. I didn’t just learn how to defend my faith, but also how to share it without being obnoxious or awkward.
The purpose of this little corner on the interwebs is to help you by passing on some of the things I’ve learned regarding defending and sharing your faith. I’m looking to not just educate and hopefully inspire you to be more confident in sharing your faith in Christ. I’m not claiming to have it all together. I know this blog will push me to further share my faith too.