Share your faith better by learning the jab.
No, I don't mean we need to start punching people in the face in order to get the Gospel to the world. So put your boxing gloves down for a second and read just a little bit further. The jab is the single most important punch in boxing and there's a lot we can learn from it to share the Gospel more effectively. I'm sure if you're a Christian and you struggle with sharing your faith, it's probably out of fear or social anxiety. This fear is strongest at the very beginning of the conversation when you need to make the move from idle chitchat to the things of God. Therefore I have written this for the purpose of showing how you can turn that average social interaction into a life-changing conversation.
What is the jab in boxing? I believe https://www.coachup.com/nation/articles/fundamental-boxing-punches does a good job describing what a jab is and what it's for.
"The jab is a quick, basic punch used to set up other shots, most often your power punches. It can also be used to to distract your opponent and create space.There are six key jabs in boxing: regular, tapper, space-maker, power jab, double jab, body jab, and counter jab. As for form, step forward with your lead foot, and extend your arm out towards your opponent to perform a regular jab. Quickly return your lead arm back into a defensive position. Your rear foot should then move forward towards your lead foot to resume the basic boxing stance."
What's so special about the jab? Whenever I got into boxing I wasn't that interested in learning how to do it because it felt like it lacked power. There's no body motion involved, which is where the power comes from. However, over the years and many rounds of sparring I have discovered its preeminent role in the sport. Here are some historic figures in boxing history who were made or broken by their jab.
-Muhammad Ali is considered the greatest boxer of all time (tied with Joe Louis). He was famous for a lightning fast jab.
-George Foreman began his career with a mediocre jab, but in his comeback he had one of the best in history. This is how he won the majority of his fights on his 2nd heavyweight championship journey.
-Jim Braddock, also known as "The Cinderella Man" began his career with a weak jab, which caused him many problems. However, he had an opportunity for a comeback and his 2nd time around he was defined by having a fantastic jab. In fact he pretty much won the heavyweight world championship with nothing more than an amazing jab.
-Joe Louis, who is also considered the greatest boxer of all time (tied with Ali), actually lost that infamous fight with Max Schmeling due to an ever-so-slight flaw in his jab. I mean, it was almost undetectable by most, but Schmeling caught it and exploited this microscopic weakness of this amazing fighter.
Neat boxing history lesson right? What on Earth does this have to do with evangelism?
If a boxing match were a conversation, the jab would be the ice-breaker and everything else will hang in the balance of how well you start out. Make those good first impressions when sharing the Gospel because it will make the rest of the conversation a whole lot easier. Let me be clear, it's actually really hard to scare people away as a result of you screwing up your Gospel presentation. However, to start off on the wrong foot will leave you in the lurch for the rest of your witnessing encounter. You need to gauge the spiritual distance with your opponent by asking them spiritual questions. Questions are an excellent non-confrontational way to gather information from someone and see where they are with something before coming to any conclusions.
Which will cause you to respond more positively?
-"Hi, I would like to talk to you about Heaven, Hell and the condition of your soul..."