Wheel of Life
The Buddhist worldview is very different from our Christian one. The Tibetan Wheel of Life symbolizes the Buddhist perspective on life and contains within it numerous symbols of Buddhist themes and teachings.
Often as Christians we take for granted the wonderful redemptive story and the concept of God as love. Most other world religions do not share this concept of God as love. It is particularly difficult for a Buddhist to comprehend the simple concept like a loving God who interacts with people.
The challenge of reaching Buddhists is finding common ground. You can reach out to Buddhists with the Gospel if you do so in ways they’ll understand and appreciate.
Here are a few tips that will help you share your faith with Buddhists:
* Build meaningful friendships. Invest the time and energy necessary to develop genuine friendships with Buddhists you know. Get to know them well. Build trust so you earn the right to be heard.
* Help with practical needs. Many Buddhists in America are refugees and they have many needs– be it physically and/or spiritually. You can work either as an individual or with others in your church to help meet the needs of people in your local Buddhist community. Consider starting or supporting programs to help with childcare, job training, English language skills, etc.
* A natural way to talk about your faith is when you celebrate your special religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas. Invite your Buddhist friends when you celebrate Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or another holiday with a meal, party, or other special event.
* Usually if you have tried to learn a little about their religion and what they believe and they will listen to you share some about Christianity.
* Buddhists have a rich oral history. They are used to hearing stories. Telling stories is a great way to communicate the Gospel. Instead of simply explaining spiritual laws, share on a personal level about your life which will naturally lead you to discuss spiritual issues.
National Association of Evangelism aims to provide handles for you to better understand Buddhists. Through articles we post in the future you’ll learn some about the basics of what Buddhists believe and why. It’s crucial to understand where they are coming from before explaining your own views.
Similar to the Unchurched and other adherents of World Religions, you can’t assume any prior knowledge of biblical concepts. Millions and millions of people did not grow up on Sunday school stories like you and I did!
NAE literary contributors will help you understand that you may likely have to start from scratch when discussing Christian ideas, since Buddhists often have a very different perspective on the same issues i.e., prayer, heaven and sin.
For more facts on Buddhism visit: http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/fastfacts.htm
Unsure how to begin to start a conversation with an international student, etc.
Donna Thomas has written a book just for you! Learn more and visit her website at: www.cvministries.org
If you have questions about how to relate or share with a Buddhist you can contact Pastor Yoshi Hosoda at email@example.com or start a discussion on the Facebook page for National Association of Evangelism.