When it comes to cultivating a lifestyle of sharing the Gospel NOW – there is no better way (in my opinion) – when it comes to starting Gospel conversations – than using what are my “go to” questions. Whether I am trying to get to know someone better in an intentional relationship (I wrote about that yesterday here), or sitting by someone on a plane, or talking with a cashier at the grocery store, etc., I have found asking one or both of these “go to” questions are almost a surefire way to lead into some sort of “Gospel” conversation. They are:
“Where do you go to church?”
“Do you have any spiritual beliefs?”
I am very hesitant to say that any “tactic” is a fail proof way to evangelize. However, these questions – though bring different responses – almost without fail will give you an “in” to go forward with the Gospel in a conversation.
Here’s what happens a lot of times when I ask someone where they go to church:
Me: “Where do you go to church?”
Them: “Oh, I go to No Hope Baptist over on Shamalamadingdong Lane.”
Me: “Great! Who’s the pastor there?”
Them (if they really do go on a regular basis): “Bro. Darryl.”
Them (if they haven’t been since Easter of 1984): “It used to be Bro. Larry and then his younger brother, Bro Darryl. Now . . .ummm . . . oh, what’s his name. . . I think Bro. Larry’s much younger brother, Bro. Darryl is there now. “
Me: “Well good. That’s neat that Bro. Larry has two brothers named Darryl. I don’t know Bro. Darryl. But I assume since you have attended church that someone has told you that God loves you and sent Jesus to die on the cross for you. I also assume that you heard God raised Jesus from the dead and invites all people to trust in what He did for them in order to have eternal life. Is that correct?”
Them: “Oh yes! I did that when I was 9.”
Me: “Well, I am so glad to hear that and I pray you are growing in a deeper and richer relationship with Jesus all the time.”
Of course, this could easily go another direction too. They could say they don’t go to church. Or, they could say they used to go to church but got sick of all the hypocrites. Or, they could say they have never been to church. Then, you would simply ask them “Why?” Or you would say, “For right now – that’s okay – but can I share with you what I believe to be the way to be at peace with God forever?” Or something similar.
The other question, “Do you have any spiritual beliefs?” Is a much more “dangerous” question to ask, but also more pointed. You can find out ALOT about where a person is spiritually when you ask this question. Almost – ALMOST – always this question will open a door for a Gospel witness.
A third question I suggest you use – when you are at a restaurant eating – is when the waiter/waitress brings you your food, ask “How can we pray for you?” Or, “We are about to pause to thank God for our food, is there anything going on in your life right now that we can be praying for you about?” This doesn’t always lead into a Gospel conversation, but it does at least 2 things: (1). It gives you more experience in talking about spiritual things with strangers; and (2) it gives you the opportunity to go to the God of the universe on behalf of that person. Though I have had several tell me they don’t need or care for prayer right now, I have NEVER had anyone be ugly with me about asking this. Not. One. Time. In fact, off the top of my head, I can’t recall anyone ever getting rude or ugly with me about the ‘go to’ questions mentioned above. In other words – we have NOTHING to lose!
4 Things to remember when asking these questions:
1. After you ask, LISTEN. Listen for cues to make a beeline for the Gospel.
2. Be ready for ANYTHING. I’m serious. Some of the things people will say will either cause you to cry or die laughing.
3. Don’t be consumed with saying the right thing – care about THEM.
4. Practice makes better. I’m afraid to say that anyone – other than Jesus – is a perfect evangelist. But the more you do these things, the better at you will become.
Who will commit to ask someone one of these questions today and then reporting on it in the comment section? You? Great! Let us know how it went!