Do we assume too much?

When we engage with others and start a discussion around faith, what is our start point? What are we assuming from the outset when we get into the conversation?

When Paul went and engaged with people, he was asked, “What is this new thing you are talking about?” Acts.17.16-32.

Paul, through his observations and time with people, realised that they were starting from a point of not knowing, not having anything to hold onto in the discussion – that Jesus was something new to these people.

Do we need to move our thinking from the perspective of assuming people have some kind of understanding, some kind of knowledge of what we’re talking about, to recognising that most don’t? Do we need to stop making assumptions about what people know or don’t know and actually spend time engaging, understanding and listening, so we gain that perspective and are able to join with God in bringing revelation to them in a way that makes sense?

So:
What does it mean about our approaches when we make assumptions?
How can we ensure that we stop making assumptions?