Break the Ice and THEN Share the Gospel?






To “Break the Ice,” has come to mean: Breaking

down social formality and stiffness.  









An earlier meaning of this phrase, i.e. ‘to forge a path for others to follow’ alludes of course to the breaking of ice to allow the navigation of boats. The figurative use is quite old and was recorded by Sir Thomas North in his 1579 translation of “Plutarch’s Lives of the noble Grecians and Romanes.”

When it comes to the sharing, preaching, and proclaiming of the Gospel, it has come to mean cracking an opening, providing a future opportunity, or opening a door so that the church can speak the message of hope into the lives of others.  It is proposed that social work leverages spiritual transformation.  I like the idea of blazing a path or breaking one so that others may follow, and that it might represent a good disciple making trajectory, but… 

Where do we find a biblical warrant for this strategy? 


0 thoughts on “Break the Ice and THEN Share the Gospel?

  1. Justin Long says:

    Luke 10 – don’t talk to people on the way. Go into a village. Find a person of peace. go into their home and stay with them. Make disciples of them and their household. Once welcomed, THEN heal the sick in the town, and preach to them.

  2. Jonathan says:

    1 Cor. 9:20-21.

    Thanks for sharing the history behind the phrase. The best party planners (and attenders) are those who understand that you have to get people to share their personalities and to share in the personalities of others. When that happens, defensive walls fall, and the start of real relationship is possible.

    This is precisely what Paul is referring to here. While protecting the integrity of the Gospel, he takes an almost “by any means necessary” approach to breaking through those walls so that the Gospel will be heard.

  3. A biblical warrant for ‘breaking down social formality and stiffness’?

    Look no further than the first sign recorded by John 2:1-11. Jesus loved to party, he ate with anyone who would invite him, he got alongside people, he even fixed up a lack of wine. And then John chose this particular sign along with six others ‘so that you may believe’ (John 20:30-31).

  4. The Lord has used me to bring many people to Him. These experiences were probably the best of my life. On one occasion he said, i was watching a man walking and Spirit said, “Go tell him about me”. On another occasion i was listening to a man tell other about how he was to make money illegally and not get caught. in that case the Spirit said, “Speak!”
    In both cases the men came to know Jesus in a mighty way.

    But the Spirit does not usually lead that directly, rather when we are born of Him, we get a new nature. A new nature brings new instincts, and those instincts are the same as Jesus’. One of them is a desire to share the Gospel.

    But when we speak, it is not us who speak, but the Spirit. So dont worry about what you will say. If you are thinking too much about it, then your not letting the Spirit speak. On our own we will use wisdom to reach the lost, but the Gospel is foolishness to those outside, so wisdom doesn’t work.
    You must also remember that many people would come to know Jesus even if they knew it was 100% real life…a simple question will save you a lot of time, “If you KNEW this was all true, and Jesus was here right now, would you follow Him? If they say ‘no’, then their heart wants nothing to do with God, and what you have in your brain wont change that.
    If they say, “yes”, well then! I usually tell people that if they really wanted to know Christ, and told Jesus that they want to trust in Him but they just aren’t sure if he is there,then JESUS WILL reach out to them in a way that they can know He is really alive. “My sheep hear my voice…”
    (btw, it is critical that you remember the word FAITH does not mean ‘accepting the existence of’, but. “trusting, relying, and even leaning on another).

    As far as breaking the ice is concerned, its not up to you, just follow your instincts!

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