I play a game with them, I know that to some of you it may not seem like the Christian thing to do, perhaps not even the polite thing to do, but in this case, the means justify the ends.
Everyone has what I call a nose ring, I take the analogy from bulls on a ranch, pull it slowly and most generally they will go where you want them to, pull it quickly, and you may be in for a world of hurt.
“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” (Prov. 9:9)
But I must add this verse as a compliment to that one.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Prov. 1:7)
I never know who I will meet, so caution is always applied first, in this sense I do what some may consider rude, even conniving to a degree, I let the person I am conversing with believe they are leading the conversation, and then I play the game of pulling their nose ring where I want them to go.
To the cross.
Perhaps I have been blessed in this area more than some, for to me it is quite simple, I listen for what are called key words, something that will allow me to define their character. If the temptations of our adversary are all common to us, then we all have much more in common than many people might believe. People will in almost every initial part of a conversation offer something that is of a personal nature to them, and this is what you must listen for. It is, in part at least, the application of 1st Corinthians 9:22. “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
Paul may have been one of the best, besides the Lord Jesus Christ, that could see those nose rings, who listened intently to those who spoke with him, who found the area that they were attracted to, that would allow him to lead them to the One who offers all men living water.
I am sure you are aware of this, if you lead the conversation few will listen to you for long, pride hinders their desire to be taught. Remember, fools despise wisdom and instruction, but they do enjoy talking about themselves and subjects they are interested in. With practice and prayer, within a few minutes you will be able to recognize if this is a person who is seeking the Lord and just does not know it within themselves yet, one of the lost, or a fool who will despise what the Lord has sent you to offer to all you meet, the free gift of salvation.
As I said, to some of you it may not seem like the Christian thing to do, for in a way you are deceiving them, you are being subtle, yet not in an evil way. By allowing them to believe that they are leading the conversation you are being friendly.
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Prov. 18:24)
When the time comes to broach the Scriptures in that conversation, the Holy Spirit will do that for you, in a sense, I then become a bystander who has studied to show himself approved.
This is how we plant seeds, my friends.
No matter if they are one of the lost or will remain one of the wicked until their dying day, they will be convicted. Our responsibility as ambassadors to the Kingdom of heaven is to bring the message of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. Most generally, unless you are a street preacher, that means initializing conversations with those you meet.
Allow them to believe they are leading the conversation, and then introduce them to the One who is leading you.