How Studying Body Language Can Help Evangelization

Image by Jonathan Alvarez from Pixabay

It’s probably not something you think about every day, but sometimes people say stuff with their bodies that they don’t with their tongues. There are also times when people say something with their bodies that contradicts what they just said with their mouths that would indicate they’re not being truthful.

I have studied this subject relentlessly and took a course on it studying under the greats in the field. Politicians are required to learn it and often take lessons from experts in this area to help them present their message (or lies) to the public. In addition to this I’ve studied forensic interviewing and interrogation techniques which are mostly for catching criminals but I use them for Christian purposes.

There are some obvious body language movements we are all naturally and instinctively trained to spot from life experience. But it never occurs to us there are more subtle movements humans make that we miss. For this reason it can make our communication of the Gospel difficult with others.

I might be talking to a woman or man about his/her spiritual problems. He is listening to me and to use a simple example of how I’m being received, he is nodding no and saying yes while I’m asking him if he agrees with what I’m saying. You see? He is saying “Yes I totally agree with what you’re telling me” while at the same time nodding his head NO. Or take the example of a man who is being asked if he cheated on his wife. He nods Yes as he’s saying “No”, Yikes.

It’s not just whether or not someone is being truthful that you need to look out for when evangelizing. You also need to watch out for whether or not they’re stressed while in conversation with you. Is their feet and body pointing in another direction as you speak?

This means they may prefer to be elsewhere right now other than speaking with you. Now it’s up to you to spot that and either let them go instead of dragging it out, or change your language to calm them down and make them want to hang around. Usually when a persons body is pointing as if to leave it would be rude to make them stay. However, it’s up to you whether or not you want to entice them to stay or play the strategy of letting them go and leaving it for another day.

The purpose of this post is not to teach you much but to get you thinking more about body language as a Christian and how you could use it to win others for Christ.

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