Matt Tso, RISD '15 (Furniture Design); shared fri. gathering, Jan. 30, 2015------------
During planning retreat [last Jan. 2015], the leaders thought it would enrich the RUF gathering experience if we as leaders talked more during the gathering to augment Eddie’s teaching.
So, we were thinking of setting up a collection form online for questions that you would like to ask RUF leaders. We would then curate and prepare short answers for the beginning of each gathering.
So, I’ll start off this new thing with an answer to the question: when was the last time you talked to a non-Christian about your own faith?
Well, only a minority of the people I talk to about Christianity seem to declare their faith in Christ during the time that I am with them. So it’s not always a neat and happy ending.
But to answer the question:
The last time I had a conversation with a non-Christian about my faith was last fall. We had an exchange student from Germany stay at our house for the semester. She was a grad student in Architecture.
Growing up, she often moved from place to place; which I think contributed to an open and curious mind.
From the beginning, she seemed interested in experiencing a mix of culture, and would leave pieces of German words around our house. She also showed an interest in religions and mentioned once or twice a desire to observe a church service. In fact, she came to RUF once, I was able to lure her with the promise of food.
Our conversation about Christianity happened one late evening a couple weeks before finals. It started off with how we were both doing in the weeks leading up to finals and eventually led to my Christian faith.
I didn’t really keep a physical record of our conversation, so I only have my own recollection of the experience.
I don’t remember what started the topic, but I remember explaining the gospel to her in steps:
That God made us in the beginning as perfect in His eyes.
Man’s fall into sin and need for salvation.
Jesus’s death on the cross and resurrection.
And how it was by God’s grace that we are saved through Jesus’ sacrifice.
It was when I tried to give a more practical application of what it means to be a Christian where I feel like I went wrong. I don’t remember the example that I gave, but I do remember the conclusion that she drew. She said: “So it’s a glorified way of ‘not leaving people behind’.”
It may have been the point of my story or it may have been the interpretation of my story. Either way, I took it that her conclusion was the extent of my story’s effectiveness. I was at a loss as to what to say in response.
I can only trust that Jesus will continue to work in her life.