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Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk [Kindle Edition]

Dale Fincher , Jonalyn Fincher

Print List Price: CDN$ 18.25
Kindle Price: CDN$ 9.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Sold by: Zondervan CA (CA SOR)
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Product Description

Product Description

This Coffee Shop Conversations Ebook, by Dale and Jonalyn Fincher, will help you discover the fine art of sharing your faith … without losing your friends.
There are as many different styles of faith these days as there are ways to order your latte. So how do you talk to people about Jesus without offending them? By learning to cultivate respect and love for those who are different.
Dale and Jonalyn Fincher will help you:
• Gently invite others to share.
• Cultivate an attitude of tolerance.
• Avoid the buzzwords that will stop a conversation cold.
• Talk about Jesus as a unique spiritual leader.
• Listen more effectively.
• Strengthen your own knowledge of your faith.
Make the most of those casual, coffee shop moments. Find common ground as you gently and lovingly invite people to become followers and students of Jesus. It’s all here for you in this Ebook—Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 659 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan; 1 edition (April 27 2010)
  • Sold by: Zondervan CA (CA SOR)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003MVZP04
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #337,442 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  58 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Aug. 13 2010
By Jon Snyder - Published on
I just finished Coffee Shop Conversations and thought is was outstanding! Much of my family, most of my closest friends, and almost all of my coworkers do not know Jesus. I love them all, and pray for them earnestly that they would accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They are intelligent people with well thought-out spiritual opinions, and they ask tough questions. I have found myself ill-equipped to engage them in meaningful conversations about Jesus and spirituality, especially when I find myself in a situation where I only have a few minutes to speak with them. As a professional engineer with a natural bent for identifiable processes, I found Coffee Shop Conversations to be an excellent how-to manual for engaging in spiritual conversations and addressing challenging social issues in our society. I am now much better prepared for those conversations; and while I read this book in hopes of preparing for those conversations, I found that the greatest insights this book offers were insights into my own spirituality and following Jesus more appropriately.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop wasting time in idle chit-chat Dec 22 2010
By Lisa notes... - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you've ever walked away from a conversation thinking, "What precious time we just wasted in idle chitchat," read this book!

It teaches you how to steer conversations to subjects that MATTER, with truth and gentleness, while avoiding being offensive or bullying or just plain weird.

It will open your eyes to how non-believers think so you can move past barriers that typically keep believers and non-believers from sustaining a religious discussion.

In contrast to the beat-over-the-head-with-a-Bible method too often misused in evangelism, the Finchers suggest using seven specific manners for an effective spiritual conversation, including:
Respect one another
Step into their shoes
Wrestle on your own
Share your personal experience
Allow others to remain unconvinced

You'll end up examining how well YOU know Jesus and what you really believe about the "good news" yourself.

The Finchers tell you to keep it simple so you don't get sidetracked on non-essential issues. Remember you are inviting others to Jesus, not to your denomination or particular church.

They teach you how to be free to be yourself as you talk about Jesus in ordinary conversations with ordinary people. Thanks to this book, I feel more confident that I can do this!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharing your faith chipmunk-style or coffeehouse-style? March 10 2011
By Susy Flory - Published on
When it comes to sharing your faith, do you operate chipmunk-style or coffeehouse-style? If you go the way of the chipmunk, you're on a mission to scurry out and spread the Gospel, then hurry back to your hole. It can be scary, tense, performance-driven, and guilt laden. (If I sound like I know this style intimately, I do. And it paralyzed me from talking freely about my faith for a very long time.) The problem? Most of the time you feel like a failure because sharing your faith with someone doesn't often result in an immediate change of heart. Leaving the well-traveled grooves of a life lived without God takes time and the work of the Holy Spirit.

But coffeehouse-style is different. Coffee Shop Conversations, by Dale Fincher and Jonalyn Fincher, brews up a fresh way to share your faith and a key component is something I was never taught to do when I learned the ways of evangelism: listening. "All people are like packages," write the Finchers. "God invites us to look beyond the outside labels and give people our attention. Jesus shows us how to open the envelopes of people's lives and know our neighbors beyond the roles they play. Like the wrapping, our bodies conceal our souls within. Each person holds unknown surprises, unique concerns, interests, and motivations. What's inside the packages we call people?"

So rather than seeing people as a project, a target, or a mission, we need to see them as precious and unique individuals who cannot be approached with a one-size-fits-all memorized technique. We need to be present, awake and aware in the moment, and primed to infuse even the briefest interaction with meaning. Coffee Shop Conversations' challenge to meet people in love, humility, and grace, and to strive to strike up meaningful spiritual conversations reminds me of what a powerful conversational evangelist once told me: "I choose to keep myself open and talk to people. I stop and listen and I care about their problems. Then, when I look in their eyes, sometimes....sometimes I see a spark, something from deep inside that reaches out to something deep inside me. Then I know that they are looking for something more. It might not happen that day, or that week, or even that year, but I know that if we become friends, someday I will get a chance to share the thing that is most important in my life." The FInchers describe this powerful intersection of souls as "looking beyond different beliefs and into people's souls to see our shared struggles." Because whether someone is a Buddhist, Muslim, Wiccan, or doesn't quite know what they believe, they bear the image of God and we need to treat them with value.

Besides challenging us in Part 1: Making Spiritual Small Talk, to look at sharing our faith in a whole new light, Coffee Shop Conversations is an equipping book. Part 2: Restocking Your Tools, includes engaging chapters on How to Read the Bible, Misquoting Jesus, and differentiating between different religious belief systems in One True Religion. The Finchers even unpack popular spiritual books such as The Secret, The Four Agreements, and a popular Oprah pick, Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth. The last section is Helping Friends Home, and deals with common questions and topics that might arise in spiritual conversations, because, after all, some topics are harder than others. For example, the problem of pain and suffering is one that different religions handle with vastly different ideas on the solution.

Finally, coffee shop conversations are as much about learning as they are about teaching or sharing your faith. "We want this book to serve not merely as a collection of apologetic tools, but as a road map guiding you toward freedom to be yourself as you talk about Jesus. We hope you will customize your conversations to the unique gifts God has forged in your soul. May you develop your own questions and ideas to introduce others to the God of Israel. May you continue to be taught and humbled by the humans God places in your life." Coffee Shop Conversations is a great reminder that it's all about loving your neighbor, and sometimes that's easier, more effective, and a whole lot more fun in a coffee shop. White chocolate mocha, anyone?
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ORDER THIS BOOK!!! May 9 2010
By kalelman - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although evangelism in Christian culture can seem more like a set of organized events (handing out tracks, organized visitation) Dale and Jonalyn offer a refreshing approach that many of us overlook in the Scriptures. In a approachable and conversational style we are beckoned to engage people for who they are, creations of God, not objects to obtain. Their honesty breaks through and examples of mistakes and victories helped me relate. I appreciate the humility that resonates through the book, I don't feel Dale and Jonalyn are preachy but using a journey they are on to to bring us along side to break down barriers to the Gospel. One quote particularly intrigued me "The only time we have a right to talk with someone and introduce Jesus is when we're certain we see them as equally human, broken, and in pain like us".
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Premise...Distracting Prose Sept. 10 2011
By Ron Coia - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk was a free offering in the Kindle Store for a short time. It was worth every penny I paid for it.

I enjoyed the premise of this book a great deal: People have a desire to talk about spiritual matters, so find ways to discuss them to bring a positive view of Jesus to the conversations. I think this is important in our evangelism. Often times, we are the ones who offend our friends and family, not the message of the Gospel.

"When our categories become more important than the people in the categories, we have become thoroughly modern adults who know how to justify our distance from our neighbor."
"If we are eager to talk about Jesus' sacrifice, we need to show them our own willingness to love them with sacrifice. We may find ourselves welcomed into someone else's life when we lay down our sword of ridicule. Mocking others, even behind their backs, destroys our capacity to respect them when we speak face to face."

"We've learned to bring up Jesus first and not our denomination, church's name, or even the word Christian. Labels have baggage. We don't want to be too quick to slap a label on others because we want to know them individually."

I was reminded what I learned from Greg Koukl's excellent book, Tactics, and it was indeed a good reminder. However, there was much to get in the way of the message in this book to make me not recommend this. I will list three of them.

The first is the writing style. One of my biggest annoyances is when two people co-author a book, and they both take part in telling the story. The Finchers go further in this by putting their name in parentheses whenever the person telling it switches. Annoying and distracting. It continued throughout, and I never got used to it. It seems amateurish.

The other was Jonalyn's harping on egalitarianism (the philosophy that there are no distinct male/female roles in the biblical text. This is contrary to complementarianism, where male/female have different roles, but are equal in standing before God). She would offer mini-diatribes about it as though it was part of another book, but she was trying to cram it in here regardless if it were germane to the discussion or not. While I disagree with egalitarianism's interpretation of key texts, I respect those who hold it and can articulate it well. Jonalyn is not one of those who can. Rather, it felt preachy and simple. In fact, my problem with this second point complements (pun intended!) my first criticism with the book. Jonalyn tries so hard to fight her way into equality that she not only needs to insert her name whenever she can, she also overshadows Dale's stories. Ironically, her egalitarianism gave her a higher and more important role than her husband has in the book. Dale's contributions are secondary to the story, and feel incidental to Jonalyn's preaching.

To round out my criticism with the book is that while I love her focus on having important spiritual conversations, she seems to not have as high a view of Scripture as she has on conversations, whether about homosexuality or other world religions. Like the Finchers, I want to have important conversations about Jesus with those around me. However, I want to do that because of my love of Jesus, my love of others, and because of his love for them. All these reasons are grounded in the Bible itself. We are to be people of the Book, even those parts that we don't like or understand completely.

If you are looking for a way to talk to others well and to encourage conversations on spiritual matters, skip this book and pick up Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions.

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