In this first episode of Let’s Talk, a brand-new podcast for women from The Gospel Coalition podcast network, hosts Jackie Hill Perry, Melissa Kruger, and Jasmine Holmes tell their own stories of coming to faith in Christ. Each woman comes from a very different background, but all three recognize that the grace of God led them to repentance and faith. They branch out from their own stories to talk more generally about how we should think about, pray about, and go about sharing our faith with those who don’t know Christ.
Our hosts discuss:
- An introduction to the podcast and our hosts (1:07)
- Melissa’s story of coming to faith (3:41)
- Jasmine’s story of coming to faith (5:14)
- Jackie’s story of coming to faith (7:22)
- The cumulative effect of sharing the gospel over time (8:44)
- Sharing the gospel with people who’ve grown up in Christian home (9:56)
- Growing in our ability to share our faith with different types of people (14:20)
- A recipe for gospel presentation (20:13)
- Moving easily into conversations about the gospel (24:33)
- Takeaways for everyday application (30:59)
- One of their favorite things (32:43)
Over the next nine weeks, Jackie, Melissa, and Jasmine will be doing a lot of talking as they seek to apply biblical wisdom to everyday life. On each episode they’ll discuss a topic like fighting sin, overcoming church hurt, making decisions, and acting in a godly way on social media. We hope you’ll subscribe today so that you can join them each week!
- Gay Girl, Good God (audio)
- We Talk About What We Love (article)
- 3 Overlooked Ways to Do Pre-Evangelism (article)
- Jackie Hill Perry on the Gospel for Sinners (audio)
This episode of Let’s Talk is brought to you in part by International Justice Mission. IJM is a global nonprofit working to end slavery and violence around the world. Across Southern Asia, IJM works to rescue people out of slavery and trafficking. In Latin America, they help children and women who have survived all kinds of violence and abuse. In short, IJM is a community of Christ followers fighting for the freedom and protection of the most vulnerable in our world. Over the last two decades, more than 50,000 individuals have been set free, thanks to people like you who sent IJM to rescue them. But there are thousands more—children, men and women—who are still waiting for rescue. You can make a difference in their lives by becoming a Freedom Partner. Visit IJM.org/LetsTalk to join today. Your consistent support will impact the lives of individuals all over the world.
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
Jackie Hill Perry: Welcome to the first episode of Let’s Talk, a new podcast for women from The Gospel Coalition Podcast Network. My name is Jackie Hill Perry, and we are here for the next 10 or so weeks talking about how we can apply biblical wisdom to everyday life. On each episode we’ll discuss topics like fighting your sin and mine, overcoming church hurt, making decisions and being just godly people on Twitter and all that other stuff. Today we’re going to talk about sharing our faith, but first I want to introduce my friends, Melissa Kruger and Jasmine Holmes. Matter of fact, I’ll let them introduce themselves. Hey Melissa, tell us about you.
Melissa Kruger: Thanks Jackie.
Jackie Hill Perry: No problem.
Melissa Kruger: My name is Melissa Kruger. I have three children who are; one is in college, which makes me feel crazy. I still feel like she should be a toddler.
Melissa Kruger: My husband, Mike is a professor of New Testament and we live in Charlotte, North Carolina. I work for the Gospel Coalition as the director of Women’s Initiatives.
Jackie Hill Perry: Fancy.
Melissa Kruger: And I have a few books out, so that’s me.
Jackie Hill Perry: What’s your book called?
Melissa Kruger: Well, I have a new book coming out and it’s called, Growing Together: Taking Mentoring Beyond Small Talk and Prayer Requests.
Jackie Hill Perry: That sounds fun.
Melissa Kruger: Yeah. I’m excited about it.
Jasmine Holmes: I’m Jasmine Holmes. I am a blogger, writer and I teach middle school humanities at a classical school. I live in Jackson, Mississippi with my husband Phillip and my two sons Wynn and Langston. And my book came out in March and it’s called, Mother to Son.
Melissa Kruger: I can’t wait to read that.
Jasmine Holmes: I’m excited about it.
Melissa Kruger: Is this your first book?
Jasmine Holmes: It is my second book, but we don’t talk about the…
Melissa Kruger: Now we really want to know about the first book. Can I get a copy?
Jasmine Holmes: I was 19 when I wrote it. And that I think that says it all.
Jackie Hill Perry: It means you’re like a book veteran.
Jackie Hill Perry: And I write and speak and do other stuff. And I have a husband and we live in Atlanta and we have two kids that are very loud and expensive.
Melissa Kruger: Who I want to steal, because I think they’re so cute.
Jackie Hill Perry: Feel free.
Melissa Kruger: Both of you all’s kids.
Jackie Hill Perry: Drop them off when they’re in senior. I’ll pay for the prom dress.
Jackie Hill Perry: All right. So today we’re talking about sharing our faith, sharing the gospel, evangelism, witnessing all those kinds of words. But before we do let’s share our own stories. Like how was it that you came to faith and was it initiated or brought about by someone preaching the gospel to you?
Melissa Kruger: Yeah, I’m thankful I was raised in the church, but I think I had kind of a misguided notion somewhere along the way that you were just born a Christian. It wasn’t something you became, I was just born in short Christian family. We went to church every week and that was that. But it was in high school that I was involved in a ministry called fellowship of Christian athletes. So there was a teacher at the high school and she had chosen to go into education. To be paid by the public school system so that she could come in and share the gospel with kids. And it was there that I first heard, “Oh I need to make a decision to come to Christ and actually believe and have faith and repent.” I kind of was just like-
Jackie Hill Perry: Did she used that word?
Melissa Kruger: Oh yeah. Okay. I think I went forward like multiple times in the altar calls because I grew up in a tradition that did not do altar calls. And so the first time I saw one I was like, “Oh, I’m supposed to go forward.” And then just in case it didn’t take, I kept going forward. But when I look back on her and the impact she had, she was just doing her job. But she chose to do it in such a way that she was constantly sharing her faith.
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s awesome.
Melissa Kruger: And it’s what made me want to be a teacher because I was like, “How great I’m being paid to be a missionary to these kids and it’s so different to be on campus with them.” And so I would love it. They’d all hang out in my classroom. I did the same thing. She taught me how to do it-
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s beautiful.
Melissa Kruger: … but just doing it.
Jackie Hill Perry: What about your Jasmine?
Jasmine Holmes: I was raised in a Christian home. My dad was a preacher or is a preacher still. And I remember going to summer camp, I don’t know if people still do this. Churches go to youth camp over the summer. But like when I was growing up in the 90s, it was a really big thing. And so we had just come back from a youth camp and I had heard the gospel preached. I was like six. And I was sitting in the back of my parents Chevy, really old. What was it? I wish I can remember the type of car, but it was just like little black car, sitting in the back of it looking out the window and I just prayed. And so then when we got home I was like, “Yeah, I prayed and like I accepted Jesus into my heart.” And my mom was like, “Okay.” You want to be cautious with a child, but I was saved then. And I’ve always wanted to have like another moment where I could say like, “Yeah, that was the one.” But it was when I was six.
Jasmine Holmes: And then when I was 14, I kind of remember feeling like six is really young to be saved. And I feel like I’ve always kind of been a Christian but I’m not perfect yet. So I had kind of a crisis of faith between, like in my teen years where I had to recommit and re-establish. But initially six.
Melissa Kruger: That’s so encouraging to hear as a mom.
Jackie Hill Perry: It is.
Melissa Kruger: You’re thinking is anything sticking that I’m saying and so it’s always encouraging for me to hear. Wow, at age six, you made this choice.
Jackie Hill Perry: Did you start cleaning your room more often?
Jasmine Holmes: Unfortunately, mine-
Jackie Hill Perry: What was the fruit?
Jasmine Holmes: Came out and there was so much guilt over sin, which guilt over sin is not unfortunate, but mine would like go beyond like, “Okay, you’re forgiven and it’s okay.” I had a really hard time moving on from the bad things that I did because they just tore me up inside. That was the biggest… I would just confess things. My mom’s like, “You don’t have to confess that. Okay. Just tell God.” Like, I’d be like, “I had thought.” And my mom she’d be like, “It’s-
Jackie Hill Perry: It’s all right. The blood still works.
Jasmine Holmes: … good that you’re aware of it. Just pray about it.”
Jackie Hill Perry: I don’t remember ever having a direct conversation with somebody where they preached the gospel to me just because I do think that a lot of Christians might’ve been intimidated about the way I wore my sin. I’m this lesbian and looks high all the time. Like I just wasn’t the kind of person that I think people had… I don’t know, the freedom to preach the gospel to me. But I do think that I heard the gospel through just a collection of different situations. Like going to church, my aunt who was a Christian, she used to sing the Psalms all the time. I knew the basics, just people sin, Jesus died for sinners so that they could live eternally.
Jackie Hill Perry: And so when I was 19, I was in my room and I just felt like God was speaking to my heart and telling me that all of the sins that I was committing will be the death of me, which is the Bible; for the wages of sin equals death. But I also remember John 3:16, because it’s from the bottom of the 21 bad, can’t miss it. Which is that Jesus came. So that sinners could live forever because God loved them and stuff. That was the message version and it just gave you… And so from that point I became a Christian. And so I think it speaks to the idea of like, even if you don’t have direct gospel conversations, even people can come to faith through many different ways in which they’ve heard the gospel throughout their life.
Melissa Kruger: Yeah. Yeah, that’s a good point because sometimes you think it’s got to be this perfectly planned out. Let me share the spiritual laws with you and make sure. But it’s good to remember that sometimes it’s a little things we’ve done along the way that actually share our faith with other people.
Jackie Hill Perry: It accumulates over time. I think-
Jasmine Holmes: That’s so helpful, like the cumulative effect of sharing the gospel. Because I have very few moments where, and maybe I’m unique in that, but I’m sure other people can relate. I’ve had very few moments where I’m the one who shared the gospel with somebody and then they were like, “Oh, and now I’m forever changed.” It makes me think about the parable of the sower and how we all display different parts and I become more and more comfortable with just playing whatever part God gives me. Especially with, like you were saying, my students at school, they’re all raised in Christian families and sometimes it can feel like, “Oh, should I be somewhere else?”
Jasmine Holmes: Like should I be teaching somewhere else where I can share the gospel with people who’ve never heard it. But just remembering that I’m partnering with their parents in that God can use the teacher at a private school with kids who hear the gospel every day. He can still give me a part in their conversion.
Jackie Hill Perry: To what you just said. I have a question. Do you think that there’s a different way you share the gospel with people who have grown up in Christian homes than you would share the gospel with someone who hasn’t?
Melissa Kruger: That’s a good question. Because I live in the South where a lot of people kind of who are like me. I was born Christian in their minds. But that doesn’t mean there’s any spiritual fruit in their lives. It’s kind of like Jesus is their handbag. They’ve got this life. And those are to me, the hardest people.
Jackie Hill Perry: I agree.
Melissa Kruger: To share your faith with because in some ways they’re like, “I’m already a Christian.”
Jackie Hill Perry: I don’t need this.
Melissa Kruger: So one of the things my girlfriends and I did, we just started what we called an outreach Bible study and a lot of women came in thinking, “Yeah, I’m a Christian.”
Jasmine Holmes: Like they’ve got this.
Melissa Kruger: But they never studied the Bible before. And what I love watching is how the word did what I couldn’t do. If I was just going to talk about issues with them like, this, this or this or whatever. Where their life might not look like a Christian life, it probably wouldn’t have gone very well. But as we studied the Bible together and those conversations happened over what God said rather than what I was saying, it changed everything. It was just amazing to watch. The word really is living and active and it can transform minds in ways that my words can’t.
Jasmine Holmes: With my kids, I definitely like the kids at school, I call them my kids. But with my kids at school we do worldview and so every two weeks they have a worldview assignment where they have to talk about race or gender or any number of topics. They have to write a paper about it, give it to me. And I read it.
Jasmine Holmes: And it’s so fascinating to kind of see how they’re thinking through things and how they’re learning how to take every thought captive and learning how the gospel applies to everyday things. They’re being forced to think about things that I think some adults don’t think about. But in those papers sometimes I’ll see like, “Oh, that’s not great theology or that’s not very rational.” And it would be easy, I think to think they’re good kids and they do well and they want to behave and they want to please me.
Jasmine Holmes: And so therefore I don’t really have any work to do with them. But those papers and our conversations reveal that there are, like you said, just so many cultural aspects of Christianity that don’t sink deep into the heart, and don’t create consistent, faithful people without discipleship.
Jackie Hill Perry: I’ve noticed just as I speak in just different regions in America, and even when I went to Sweden was interesting because it was such a secular environment that they needed the gospel preached to them not differently. It still needs to be, “Jesus died. God loves you. He paid the payment for sin. You need to repent and believe.” But I think the way you navigate the conversation has to change in secular environments or church environments because in secular environments like Boston or Seattle or New York Portland, those kinds of places, they’re intrigued by the gospel, very offended by the gospel, but they’re willing to have the conversation because it’s more intellectual.
Jackie Hill Perry: It’s like they want to just argue and debate. And so I think there’s a directness that I could preach the gospel with without thinking the South. There’s a challenge to say just because you know what repentance is, doesn’t mean that you’ve actually repented. And I think you see that with Jesus, with the rich young ruler. How he’s like, “Oh yeah, I kept all these laws my life.” For Jesus to directly say, “Why are you calling me good? Only God is good.” Like he knows I need to call out this man’s self-righteousness. So they’ll understand that he has not kept any of these laws. That’s why he won’t give up none of his stuff for me. And so I think navigating the way we have gospel conversations, I think takes some level of wisdom to know how to do it well.
Melissa Kruger: And that’s one thing Jesus did so well. It’s like he could meet each individual person and he would have these penetrating questions that he would ask that seemed to get to their heart. So let me ask you all, how do you think we can grow in doing a better job of that? One thing I love doing is gardening. My husband laughs at me because I come in, I’m like, “The tomatoes grew.” And he’s like, “You planted them. That’s what happens. The sun shines, the rain comes.” But I’m always amazed by it.
Melissa Kruger: And the reality is I couldn’t really make the tomato grow. I planted the seeds. I was faithful when I did but I can get better at it. I can read articles and figure out, “Oh, if you do this, it makes things grow.” But you know, in the end we all would say. “It’s God who brings people to himself.” But I think we can get better at the ways we go about doing that. Have you all had any things that really changed or shifted how you started sharing your faith in better ways or if you grew in it?
Jasmine Holmes: That’s a good question.
Jackie Hill Perry: I think having hard conversations a lot and messing up. I think when I was a new Christian, I had a lot of zeal but not a lot of wisdom. And so I went into conversations thinking, “Oh, I know the gospel. This is going to be great.” But then you have somebody that’s smarter than you, lived longer than you. They don’t have the spirit like you do, but they got a head up on how to resist the truth.
Jackie Hill Perry: So it would leave me discouraged, but it actually pushed me back into my Bible. But I think also what it challenged me to do is that I grew in love for people. And I think when you love people more, I think you navigate conversations differently because it’s not just, “I want to convert you, but I’m loving you even in this moment. And so I want to be careful with you. I don’t want to damage you. I don’t just want to speak at you. I still want to empower you and dignify you as I preach the gospel.” So I think those kinds of things have helped me a lot.
Jasmine Holmes: I think I’ve grown in patience probably.
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s good.
Jasmine Holmes: Seeing the different ways that God can use different words. I remember the first time that I shared the gospel with somebody, I was 18, 19 and I was an ice skating rink and this-
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s random.
Jasmine Holmes: This very like out and proud kid. He was like 16 and people were pushing him around and calling him names. And I kind of went over to him and talked to him and we got into a conversation about Christianity because I was like, “This is my chance. This is my moment to share the gospel with him.” And I just was so excited and so just zealous. And then at the end of the conversation he wasn’t like, “Well, thank you. Now I believe that Jesus is Lord and I will turn away from my sin.” He was just like, “You’re really nice for a Christian. Like that was a good conversation.” And I was just like, “But what about-
Jackie Hill Perry: What about Jesus?
Jasmine Holmes: … our moment?” But it was the beginning of me kind of realizing again, like the recurring theme of it’s a cumulative thing. I don’t know where he is now and I don’t know how God used my words, but I think sharing the gospel is cumulative and something that the entire church has a responsibility and part in I think also helps me not to puff myself up with pride or think like, “Oh my words can save people or I should get the credit for this ice skating rink moment.”
Melissa Kruger: It’s so true that the patience thing. You do think about the, the analogies used in scripture by evangelism. It’s catching fish. “I’ll make you fishers of men and sowing. Look and see that the fields are white for harvest or whatever.” Those are things that take a lot of patience.
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s true.
Melissa Kruger: I mean a lot of times the disciples were out fishing and they were catching nothing. My husband loves to fish and I always laugh because when that line jiggles, he is so happy that there is a fish on the end of it. And that’s one thing I don’t think we often talk about either. It’s just the joy of evangelism. I can get in my head, “I’m a failure.” I’m thinking, “Oh, I should do this. I should share my faith. I should…” But I rarely think, “What a great opportunity I have to share the best news on the earth-”
Jackie Hill Perry: And be an ambassador.
Melissa Kruger: Yeah. With other people. I mean, because I’m so happy when I see those tomatoes and my husband’s so happy when he sees that fish and what a gift to get to watch people come to faith.Â
Melissa Kruger: Years ago, the Bible study that we had started that outreach study, the first year we led it, I think we had like five women and they were all Christians who came from a church. And so we were like, “Why are we even doing this? It’s not effective.” All of those things. But the patience that you were talking about, we just kept doing it. And then the second year a couple of non-Christians came and then that increased until we had like 30 women in a living room. And one of the greatest things was to see the sweet friend of mine, Debbie come to faith. And when she did, there was that joy.
Melissa Kruger: But if we hadn’t have been patient, we would have missed the joy of her life. Just completely changed. And she just shined Jesus when she came to faith. That was interesting because at the same time she had breast cancer and so she ended up dying about five years ago. But it was sometimes I think that whole Bible study was for her but it was amazing. So, as her body was failing the spirit of Jesus in her just shone to everyone and it was like she was becoming more alive even as her body was failing. And I think that’s sometimes what we miss with evangelism, getting to watch that there’s no greater joy than to watch people come to faith.
Jackie Hill Perry: It is. I was thinking about when we were talking about impatience, how I think sometimes the impatience comes out of us solely… And this might might’ve been what you said Jasmine, but solely thinking that your words were sufficient to convert. And so it’s like, “I haven’t preached the gospel well enough. I haven’t preached the gospel often enough.” When it’s like, no, the spirit is the one who converts. Your words are necessary. We have to preach the gospel. We need to preach the gospel. But I think we would be much more gracious to ourselves if we alleviated ourselves of the burden or the pressure to think that it’s solely us who saves. That’s just not in the Bible. So there’s that. But I do have a question with that. Do you think that there is like a recipe to gospel presentation?
Jackie Hill Perry: What I mean is some people think all right, for me to evangelize, I need to talk about, how in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and how Adam and Eve sinned against God. And so fellowship with God was broken. And then God, he had to send his son. His son was incarnate in the flesh, born of a Virgin, and then he lived for 33 years without sin. And then he got on the cross and then when he got on the cross, he took the sins of all the world on himself or God’s elect, depending on your theology.
Jackie Hill Perry: And then he went to the grave and the resurrect from the grave. And then he came back and told everybody he’s about to send the spirit. And then if you repent and believe you receive a spirit and then you walk… Do I have to share every single element of the gospel to be a real evangelist? Is my question.
Jasmine Holmes: Did you mention Adam and Eve? Because if you didn’t then you failed.
Jackie Hill Perry: I think I said something about broken fellowship, but I didn’t mention the serpent. And that’s important.
Jasmine Holmes: Then there you go guys.
Jackie Hill Perry: Because you have the curse-
Melissa Kruger: And you didn’t get creation, fall, redemption, restoration-
Jackie Hill Perry: I didn’t even mention the line of David. Nothing.
Melissa Kruger: You’re out.
Jackie Hill Perry: Men. All right.
Jasmine Holmes: As good as that was it was not good. No, I think that you like meet people at the point of their need. Where are they in that moment? And looking for, I want to say organic opportunities because first of all, that sounds really lame, but also secondly, I feel like we can say organic opportunity as a way to-
Jackie Hill Perry: Like a scapegoat.
Jasmine Holmes: Yes, yes. As a way to like get out of sharing. But looking for opportunities to share and whichever opportunity you’re face with, I think you can start at a different part of the gospel story in whoever you’re talking to. You can start it at a different part of a gospel story. Because I mean the kids in my school, they know all that. But maybe they need to be reminded of repentance or maybe they need to be reminded of the fact that Jesus took all of their sins to the cross or maybe they need to be reminded… I think there’s a lot of different starting points that we can grab and know that we can always get to the other stuff.
Melissa Kruger: Yeah. One of my friends had a great way of saying that. She said, “Be who you are.” It’s easy when you’re going out to a Bible study, and you see your neighbor and you just say, “Hey, I’ve got a meeting. Good to see you.” She’s like, “Say, no, I’m going to Bible study. It’s great if you ever want to come along, come along.” And sometimes I think we hide parts of ourselves. We’re like, “I don’t know if I want them to know I’m a Christian because then they may have a lot of thoughts about me. They may be looking at my life.” Sometimes I think one of the small ways we evangelize is just by being who we are.
Jackie Hill Perry: It’s true.
Melissa Kruger: And saying, “Yeah, I do go to church every Sunday.” I mean, “These are the things like we pray and I’ll pray for you.” I mean, when they’re dealing with something hard-
Jasmine Holmes: For sure.
Melissa Kruger: … just to be a Christian in front of them can be a way that then I think later when life falls apart because everybody’s life’s going to fall apart-
Jackie Hill Perry: At some point.
Jasmine Holmes: At some point.
Melissa Kruger: At some point you’re trustworthy to them and they say, “Oh, I can go talk to Jackie. Because I know she’s a Christian. I can ask my weird question to her.” Or whatever. Because you’ve just been their friend, but yet you shared who you are with them. I think it’s a safe place that they can say, “Hey, I don’t get this Christianity thing.” But it’s tough because at some point I fear I’m just the nice girl. And so when do I move from just being the nice, friendly neighbor to actually sharing my faith?
Jasmine Holmes: Right.
Melissa Kruger: And I think that’s a hard jump sometimes.
Jasmine Holmes: I think that’s the worker the spirit too though. Just like give him trusting him to give us insight into when to jump into that presentation and how to jump in. But it would be amazing if you had time and opportunity to start at creation, and then talk about fall-
Jackie Hill Perry: In order.
Jasmine Holmes: And just like give the whole detailed situation. But sometimes you just have time or opportunity to say that God had a plan from creation that involves saving a people for himself. I’d love to tell you about that.
Melissa Kruger: So I have a question for you. Do you all have someone in your life, you just look at and you’re amazed by the way they can just share the gospel so naturally with other people that you’re like, how is it that they seem to walk in a room and get into this deep conversation and they seem to be able to go there with people really easily. I don’t know if you have any people like that in your life. Is there anything that they do that you look at and you’re like, I need to learn from them?
Jasmine Holmes: Yeah. My dad used to, every time we went out to eat he would ask the waitress. He’d be like, “We’re about to pray for our food. Is there any way that we can pray for you?”
Jackie Hill Perry: So small but meaningful.
Jasmine Holmes: So little. We’ve had people cry because a lot of times waitresses they don’t get treated super well. And so then for my dad to be like, “Hey, can we pay for you?” And then he would always leave a really good tip because he’d be like, “I just want them to know like, this is not just about-
Melissa Kruger: Not a track.
Jasmine Holmes: Yeah. I think a lot of times… Oh gosh! Don’t do that. Do not leave a track for your waitress, if you do put money inside of it. But just to say like, this is not about having, a notch in my like gospel belt. That’s weird. But it’s not about pumping myself up. It’s about like, “Can I really pray for you because I care about you.” And we’ve had, we had really good conversations based on that. And I always feel very humbled when I think about that. And I’ve never done it. I’m super introverted and so I don’t even want to talk to the waitress. I just want to like put my menu over and point to what I want. But the fact that he pushed himself, because my dad’s also an introvert, but he pushed himself to say like, “Hey, how can I pray for you?” Was really meaningful growing up and a really big memory for me.
Jackie Hill Perry: I think my husband, as long as I’ve known him, even when we were friends, he just was the type of cat that would talk strangers about Jesus. And that just isn’t, my juice. I can get on stage, talk about Jesus all day or one on one with somebody, but just going up to somebody on the street is not my thing. And so I think his fearlessness when it comes to preaching the gospel is motivating, but also his study of the scriptures because he likes apologetic. So he’ll study Mormonism, Jehovah’s witnesses, black Hebrew Israelites.
Jackie Hill Perry: And so him equipping himself so that when the time comes for him to be able to speak into these different religions, I think motivates me to say, “What are the false religions or idols in my context and am I equipping myself in the room or in my study so that when I do have these conversations, I actually have something to bring to the table that’s contextual for that person that I’m speaking to.” So that’s really cool of him.
Melissa Kruger: That’s so good. I’m glad you said that you feel intimidated to do that. Because my husband does the same thing. He really learned how to do evangelism back in college, he would go up on the main strip of our college town and he would just go up to people and share the gospel with them.
Jackie Hill Perry: I just don’t get it.
Melissa Kruger: Yeah. Just have these one-on-one conversations and it was that, that drove him to find the answers in a different way. Because he would get asked things that he didn’t know how to answer. And so one thing I watched him do, and he can answer people’s questions better than anyone I know. I watch them and I’m amazed, but I realize he learned that through failing. And then going back and studying and failing and then going back and studying until finally it becomes natural.
Melissa Kruger: And I think that’s one thing I’m so intimidated about the failure aspect of not having the answer that, sometimes it just shuts me down. Rather than just being willing to be bold. Like maybe my kid’s sick today and I’m in the doctor’s office because I’m supposed to share my faith with the other mom whose kid is here. But I think it’s something learned. And I also think we are different. Like all three of us have talked about how we’re introverts and so sometimes for me it’s, maybe I can just post an article on Facebook.
Melissa Kruger: And those people in my life may read it and that may be how they’re comfortable learning about faith too. So I do think there are ways we can scatter seeds so to speak, that aren’t always as, grab somebody by the hand and say, “Hey, can I talk to you about Jesus?”
Jasmine Holmes: Let’s talk about Jesus.
Melissa Kruger: But there are ways we can be… I like that image of scattering seeds.
Jackie Hill Perry: Because there are some people who may not be super bold when it comes to evangelism, but they’re very hospitable. And so they may not go out and get folk, but when you sit at their table and they’ll serve you food and take care of you in a way that shows you Jesus too. And so I think even paying attention to the way that God has made us, but also our spiritual giftings and just leaning into that.
Jasmine Holmes: That reminds me of my husband. I was thinking. Because he’s not one to like stop somebody on the street and talk to them. But this summer we had his cousin who’s 16 come and stay with us and he stayed with us for what, two, three months. And my husband shared the gospel with him so much like, obviously verbally share the gospel with him, but also showed him the Christian life, the Christian walk in a way that we couldn’t have done if we wouldn’t have had him with us in our home for that extended amount of time.
Jasmine Holmes: And in a way that was really bold because even though he was under our roof, I was still very like, “Oh my gosh. Like you’re talking to him really rough right now.” He’d just be like, “Look, you need to repent and like you need to…” I’m constantly afraid of offending people. That is not really my husband’s fear, but it was really good and a really good example for me.
Melissa Kruger: And it took you opening your home though. So that is where we’re all part of a big body. And so everybody’s playing a role in some ways because you’re in a sense setting the table so they could have those conversations in some ways. So I think that’s the beautiful thing that we can really trust that we may be part of a process, but the ultimate process is up to God. And so we can rest and I’m just here to do my part. And pray with all my heart. Because that’s the thing we haven’t even gotten to here.
Jackie Hill Perry: The life blood, air of evangelism.
Melissa Kruger: Absolutely.
Melissa Kruger: Yeah. So are there any takeaways that you guys think that people could apply to their everyday life?
Jasmine Holmes: I think one thing we can do is ask one another. “How’d you come to faith?” Even with our fellow Christians. I know there are a lot of people in my own life that I’ve been friends with for a long time, but I wasn’t there when they first became a Christian. And I’ve never asked, “How did the Lord save you?” Just to be encouraged and to hear one another stories. Get some girlfriends together and sit around and say, “How’d you come to faith?” Which should be like a really natural… I think one of the hardest parts about evangelism often for me is that I’m like, “Is that corny?” Like is, “Do I talk like that?” And you’re just getting in your mind about it. So that’d be a really good way to make it a normal everyday conversation.
Jasmine Holmes: I think a takeaway for me as I’m listening to you guys talk is definitely the prayer aspect of evangelism because so often I think about evangelism as, and it is, that’s what it means. A proclamation. That’s what the word means. But beyond that proclamation, praying for God to give increase. Praying for other people who are making the proclamation. Praying that I would have opportunity to make a proclamation instead of just waiting for things to fall in my lap and then kind of forgetting about it after they do.
Jackie Hill Perry: I think I would encourage people to just start small. You don’t have to go get a soapbox from target and get your John the Baptist on with honey and things. Just if you have a small group, just sharing a gospel truth about your day. This is how the gospel impacted my day. That in turn I think is a good practice and learning how to share the gospel in a variety of different ways with different people. With that, let’s talk about some favorite things. Are you ready ladies?
Melissa Kruger: Yeah, I’m ready.
Jackie Hill Perry: All right. Okay. So what is your favorite app on your phone? And do not say the Bible that does not count. You are saved, sanctified, and delivered. We already know you like the Bible.
Jasmine Holmes: My favorite app right now is my fitness pal, which feels a little lame to say, but it helps me be more thoughtful about what I’m eating and drinking and taking care of my body. Trying to drink a gallon of water a day or so. Walking â€¦Â is helpful.
Jackie Hill Perry: Shout out to you.
Jasmine Holmes: I’m trying. That’s helpful. I always like seeing, I like it when they track how many steps I’ve taken [inaudible 00:37:04] something like. Feels like you’ve accomplished something today.
Melissa Kruger: My favorite is Marco Polo. Do either of you have Marco Polo?
Jasmine Holmes: I love Marco Polo.
Jackie Hill Perry: Is that the thing where people, is like a Snapchat conversation.
Melissa Kruger: It’s the introvert’s Facetime.
Jackie Hill Perry: Okay.
Melissa Kruger: So Christie and your [inaudible 00:37:20]. Is that boyfriend?
Jackie Hill Perry: Look at you.
Melissa Kruger: She introduced me to it, but it’s been so great because my daughter went to college this year and so she’ll be walking along on campus and she’s videoing herself talking to me about her life and then I can read it or I can listen to it when I have time and I can send her back one. And so I feel like I know more about what’s going on in my daughter’s life than I did when she lived at home.
Jackie Hill Perry: Interesting.
Melissa Kruger: Because she just talks and you can get it when you get it. It’s like a text. It’s like a video text.
Jackie Hill Perry: I think my fave is Yelp. I’m probably on Yelp every day just because I want to know, primarily for food. What is around me that is good? And my husband knows if we go out to eat, I’m going to spend minimum, an hour on Yelp. That’s just me. I don’t like wasting my money and wasting my time. So, I’d rather waste my time to make sure and ensure that we have a really great restaurant rather than getting there and being in mad in the spirit.
Jasmine Holmes: I want to go eat with you.
Jackie Hill Perry: You should.
Jasmine Holmes: We only have like a few restaurants at Jackson.
Jackie Hill Perry: I’m sorry. Yâ€™all have Chick-Fil-A?
Jasmine Holmes: We do, but Yelp wouldn’t really help me. It would just be like I already went.
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s true. All right. Thanks for listening to our first episode of Let’s Talk. Please come back next week to hear us talk about battling discontentment. You can subscribe to, Let’s Talk through Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or whatever else you like. Or wherever you like to get your podcast.
Jackie Hill Perry: Check out other shows from the Gospel Coalition Podcast Network at tgc.org/podcast the gospel coalition connects Christians to resources that apply the truth and beauty of the gospel to all of life.