“Make up your mind not to put any stumbling block…in your brother’s way.” Ro 14:13 NIV
If you want to win someone to Christ, there are certain stumbling blocks you may have to remove. Let’s be honest, people are turned off by religion for a lot of reasons—legitimate ones. Let’s look at some: (1) Hypocrisy. Think about the twelve disciples; one of them betrayed Jesus, one denied Him, and one doubted Him. That’s a 25 percent default rate! But the good news is, Jesus continues to love us and work with us in spite of our problems. (2) Terminology. If you grew up in church, you’re probably familiar with Bible terminology. But don’t assume everybody else is, or you’ll talk over their heads. When Jesus talked to shepherds He discussed sheep. When He talked to farmers He discussed sowing and reaping. Identify the person’s interests and spiritual needs, then use language they understand. (3) Negative emphasis. If your major emphasis is on what people can’t do, they’ll run in the opposite direction. A well-known preacher says, “I grew up understanding what our church was against, but never what it was for. Basically, we were against everything!” Smiling, he added, “We preached against smoking and drinking. We especially preached against adultery, because we believed that could lead to dancing.” Seriously, the gospel is not about what you lose when you come to Christ, but what you gain. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (Jn 10:10 NIV). If you’re serious about winning people to Christ, you must recognize the stumbling blocks that stand in their way and try to remove them.