So much more than small talk

By Karen Schleicher, her testimony

I am someone who typically has had a hard time making conversation with people, being comfortable in a group, and feeling comfortable with small talk.  I always knew it was important to talk about spiritual things, but how do you bridge into those conversations when you are not even that good at conversation period?  It seems totally out of the blue!  There is no connection with what you’ve been doing.  Initially, it was a neat thing for me to start a Bible study with people who were open to it just because they believed it was worth studying. It was a natural time, for me—a means for opening up what the Bible really says.  You are doing it together, but people really discover for themselves what it says.  So it felt very natural way to be able to talk about what the Bible says:  you are not being secretive about it, you are not bringing it up out of the blue in a normal conversation, which for me wasn’t really normal anyway.  Here you actually have a plan.   Now when we start talking with people who aren’t really interested in the Bible, to think in terms of the questions people have, and looking at how to care about people and really get into conversations by asking questions.  That has been transformational for me individually, I’ve felt that some of those principles have helped me be in better conversations with people, to care about them and to know how to talk with them one on one.  That has been a great thing.  Also, that understanding has helped me in my Bible study, asking follow up questions that are I think can get more at the heart of where people are, or to help people get in deeper with the text.  I feel like I have changed over time, because where I once felt nervous about small talk, I can now speak with people without having it feel so stilted or hard-pressed.