In our personal conversations we are called to give witness to Christ, not be an expert who can answer every question arising in the heart of human beings…
I recommend first seeking to communicate the Christian faith as the major priority and then secondly, as an apologist, handling any sincere objections as briefly and succinctly as possible, just so as to continue giving people the chance to hear the gospel and believe. The object is to give people a chance to believe the gospel, rather than to become an expert in apologetics. It is very easy for a novice to be sidetracked in this process.
A champion approach of D. James Kennedy is the use of what he calls the ‘judo-technique.’ If someone objects in broad terms to your presentation of the gospel saying they don’t believe in the Bible or the gift of eternal life or heaven for instance, it is important to address this.
Speak in this way therefore: “So you don’t believe the Bible (or eternal life, etc)? That is your right I suppose not to believe it. But given that the Bible assumes an authority (or teaches about eternal life, etc) and is one of the most influential books in human history, what do you understand that it teaches about how a person might have eternal life or get to heaven?”
(When put on the spot, it is sad but true that people most often demonstrate their ignorance.)
You may then need to add this to the conversation: “While your beliefs are interesting to me, I am more interested at this point in what you understand the Bible teaches. It would be a shame to reject a book in disbelief without even understanding what it says, would it not? No one would want to be charged with being an ignoramus for rejecting something they never understood in the first place. Would you allow me to briefly explain what it teaches and then you are free to accept or reject it in an informed way?”
Beyond this approach Kennedy also commends the acrostic S.L.E.E.P. as a memory aid to keep in mind as a response format to most objections raised when presenting the gospel of Christ. SLEEP stands for Scripture, Logical Fallacy, Epistemological Question, Experiences of People and Psychology of Fear. See the next page for details.