Secrets to Success

How to Talk to People About Jesus

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Secrets to Success

How to Talk to People About Jesus

Kree (Kenton ’08) Peña offers insights for sharing the faith.

Autumn 2022 | Maura Roan McKeegan

In This Article

Kree (Kenton ’08) Peña understands the hesitancy that can sometimes make it difficult to share our faith freely with others. After graduating with a degree in theology and catechetics, Kree spent five years helping inner-city teenagers in NewYork with Vagabond Missions. Now, she and her husband, Emmanuel, along with their five young children, serve the poor in Perú through the Family Missions Company.

Along the way, Kree learned how to overcome her uncertainties and to hold nothing back in her mission to help people know God’s love.

Here is her advice for people who want to talk to others about Jesus.


1. Know Jesus.

Years ago, at Franciscan, Kree heard a priest say in a homily,“If Jesus is not the center of your day, he’ll never be the center of your life.”

That quote became a cornerstone of her missionary work.

“It may sound obvious, but in order for me to talk about Jesus to anyone, I have to know him,” she explains. “He has to be the center of my day.”


2. Build a relationship with the people you are serving.

“People are going to want to hear your thoughts and opinions if you have a relationship with them,” explains Kree.“We build relationships with our neighbors, with the people who sell us our bread, with the guy that runs the empanada stand. Through relationships, we’re able to share more about our faith and about Jesus.”


3. Ask the Holy Spirit to help.

Kree recommends praying,“Come, Holy Spirit,” throughout the day to discover who the Lord is calling you to reach out to.

“‘Come, Holy Spirit, who do you want me to encounter today? Who do you want me to speak to today?’ You’ll be amazed, when you open your eyes, what the Holy Spirit wants you to see.”


4. Share your testimony.

“Our testimony is powerful,” emphasizes Kree. “Nobody can argue with my testimony. That’s my story. I’m not preaching, I’m just sharing my story.”

Kree has seen hardened hearts completely turned around through a single testimony.


5. Be bold, and go for it.

After praying, Kree often feels the Holy Spirit urging her to go up to certain people in the grocery store or on the street.

“I’ll say, ‘Hey, I’m Kree, and I know this may sound strange, but I feel like the Lord is telling me that he loves you.’ Or, ‘How are you doing? Can I pray with you? Do you need any prayers in your life?’ ”

Some people are moved to tears; some respond with a grateful hug; while others politely decline. Kree says it is important not to be discouraged.

“If you are rejected, praise the Lord! And then move on.”

In the end, it takes courage to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit, but the reward is eternal.

“We feel that burning in our heart, we feel our heart pounding, we feel like we should say something—that’s totally the Lord moving us forward. Go for it.”


Maura Roan McKeegan is co-author, with Scott Hahn, of the children’s book “Seven Clues: A Catholic Treasure Hunt.”

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