Eating with Sinners

How do you talk to people about Jesus? Perhaps, you have heard stories of people sharing the Gospel with others at the coffee shop, on an airplane, or some other place. How do you bring up the Gospel with a complete stranger? Jeff Cavins explains the importance of sharing the Gospel and how to start conversations with people you don’t even know.

Snippet from the Show
“Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4)


Luke 5:27-32

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.”

And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him. Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were at the table with them.

The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”

Matthew 22:36-40

Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law? (613). And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

C.S. Lewis Quotation

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal…it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”

The Kerygma
  1. God loves you and has a plan for your life.  
  2. Sin will destroy you and ruin God’s plan for your life. 
  3. Christ Jesus died to save you.  
  4. Repent and believe the Gospel. 
  5. Be Baptized and receive the Holy Spirit. 
  6. Abide in Christ and his body, the Church.
  7. Go and make disciples.  
5 Tips for Sharing the Gospel

1. I don’t talk to sinners; I talk with people who are created in the image and likeness of God. 

  • I cannot decide whether I am interested in this person. What is in it for me? That’s not the attitude of a disciple. Paul said, “Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others” (Phil 2:3-4).
  • Try to remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit and what the Spirit might be saying. 

2. I don’t judge them based on outer appearance. I can observe and learn from things like tattoos, but I don’t judge them. My job is to get to know them. 

3. A conversation is about discovery. I usually pray, “Lord, may they share what they need to share. Help me to remain sensitive. 

  • Conversations are not just about witnessing; people are fascinating, so get to know them.“Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor” (1 Cor 10:24).
  • Listening is a gift. Be attentive to what the other person is saying.
  • Listen to their questions or quandaries. Let them explain their worldview. Don’t feel like you have to solve the problem in this one cup of coffee. 
  • Speak with honor and respect. “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor” (Rom 12:10).

4. When it comes to sharing the gospel, I find that it is best to share something after they have stated a point of pain or a question.

  • Start with your life; if there is anything in common, you can build a relationship based on commonality. 
  • Describe, in your own words, what turning to the Lord in their situation would look like.

5. If you offer to pray for them, don’t do it in front of everyone in the coffee shop. Most people would be uncomfortable with that. You can offer to pray out by their car or say that you will keep them in your prayers that week.


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Meet Your Host: Jeff Cavins

Jeff Cavins is passionate about helping people understand Scripture and become disciples of Jesus Christ. Though he was born Catholic, Jeff went to Bible school and served as a protestant minister for twelve years before reverting to the Catholic Faith. Jeff then received his MA in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Since then, he has become a leading Catholic evangelist and author.

Jeff created The Bible Timeline learning system, which revolutionized Catholic Bible Study for millions of Catholics. Since its introduction, Jeff has developed The Great Adventure series of Bible studies to help people better understand Sacred Scripture and its meaning for their lives. 


  1. Conversational yet informative and providing direction on our faith and how to live it. Thank you,

  2. Excellent as usual. I find humility, openness and a real desire to listen.

    God Bless,



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