Question: “How do I have a casual conversation about Jesus without saying something awkward like “Are you a Christian?” that’s totally awkward, don’t give that as an answer.”
Answer: This is a really well thought out question! Okay, clearly we all agree that going up to a friend or a stranger and jumping into a conversation about faith and Jesus can be awkward, and usually is a complete turn off to everyone involved. I don’t encourage people to do that outside of God very directly telling them to do it, and that RARELY EVER happens.
So, if we are supposed to share our faith with other people, how do we do it without being fake and pushy? There are a couple of pieces to this. First, do you believe what you know about Jesus is good news? Really, do you believe it’s great news, or do you think it’s okay and you’re going through the motions to make someone (parents, friends, grandparents, small group leader, etc.) happy? You see, if you aren’t really convinced in your heart that what Jesus has done for us is great news, you can’t share that with someone else and have them see that it’s good news. So, do you really believe that God saving you is an amazing thing? If not, then you have to start there, in your own life, before you ever go talking to your friends. I’m not saying you have to have a bunch of answers or anything, just when you think about what Jesus has done for you, does it make you grateful to Him?
Once you’ve gotten this one down, then you need to look at your life you’re living. Are you living a life that is different from people who don’t follow Jesus? If your life looks like everyone else’s life in the things you do, the jokes you tell, the language you use, the way you treat other people, the mean things you do and say, how you treat your parents, etc. then that’s gonna be a problem. If your life matches everyone else, then Jesus isn’t really in charge of your life, and you aren’t yet free of all of the junk around you. Again, you don’t have to be perfect, but are you heading in His direction, or are you following along with everyone else? If your life looks the same as everyone else’s, there’s nothing for you to offer other people.
Okay, so now you have thought it out, and are convinced that Jesus’ saving you is really good news. You’re committed to trying to live life His way, with all of your mistakes and blunders, you are moving in His direction. Now what? You pray for your friends, that God will work in their lives, and that if He wants you to speak to them, He will open up a spot that is natural. He can do it, when you are following Him. You’ll be playing Xbox, or going to Ritters or something, and your friend will talk about how hard life is, or how hurt they are at how their boyfriend/girlfriend is treating them, or how their family life stinks, and you can talk about the difference Jesus makes when you face that stuff. If God is working in them, He will lead to where you can talk about how much Jesus loves them, how He died for them, how He came back to life for them, and how things can be better if they follow Him. It may sound crazy, but it really can go like that.
Hope that helps some!