Talking to unchurched people about God and His plan of salvation

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"Stand still? NEVER! Not while the promises of revival are still unknown for this generation. Not while Christ is still a stranger to countless lost and dying souls around the world. Not while there is still one blind and stubborn heart that refuses to give praise and honor to our King Jesus!"
- David Smithers

If lost people matter to you the way they matter to God, what would your life look like?

How do we move friendly conversations from talking about sports and the weather to talking about spiritual things? How do we start soul-winning conversations?

     "We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard"(Acts 4:20 -- Peter and John to the Sanhedrin)

What do you fear the most about inviting those in your lifespace to "come and see Jesus" at your church fellowship?

     Half of the unchurched Americans surveyed by Gallup pollsters said they intend to return to active church participation some day. Of that group, one in 5 said they would start back to church if someone would just talk to them about spiritual matters.
     So, how do you move a conversation to the level of talking with friends about a relationship with God and the assurance of salvation?
     Look through this list and see how easy it is to test if a door is being opened for you to talk about spiritual things with:

  1. Someone you just met
  2. A long-time acquaintance
  3. A good friend
  4. A family member or a "best" friend

     Some of the questions will initiate conversations that could be labeled pre-evangelism.
     This list is not designed to be pulled out of your pocket or purse as you start talking to someone. These are given to demonstrate the variety of ways that an opportunity can be given for people to talk with us on a deeper level.

People sharing faith: Spiritual conversation openers

General issues

  1. What gives most meaning to your life?
  2. What, or who, are your sources of strength in your day-to-day living?
  3. When you have problems or crises, how do you manage to get through them?
  4. Is religion or God important to you?
    • In what ways?
    • If not, is there any particular reason why not?
  5. Wouldn't you like to have faith in something? [ follow-up material ]

Relationship questions

  1. Does God (or a Higher Power) seem personal to you?
  2. Do you feel close to or far away from God?
  3. What do you imagine that God is like?
  4. Can you point to things that God has done for you?
  5. How is God working in your life right now?
  6. Are you comfortable with what you understand to be God's guidelines and laws for living?
  7. Do you feel there are barriers of some type separating you from God?
  8. Have you ever been mad or upset with God?
  9. Have you ever done something for which you feel God could not forgive you?
  10. Do you understand the way to forgiveness and what it means?
  11. Do you think God has a plan for each person's life?
  12. What would it take for you to live up to what God expects of you?

Devotional life and practice

  1. What kinds of religious material do you like to read?
  2. What are your favorite authors, writings?
  3. Do you like religious music? Kinds? Favorites?
  4. Have you read much of the Bible?
  5. Do you understand the Bible when you read it?
  6. Does Bible reading help in living? How?
  7. Is prayer a meaningful part of your devotional life?
  8. Do you feel there is any spiritual growth going on right now in your life?

The Church

  1. Are you involved in a church?
  2. To top of pageWhat you get out of being involved in a church?
  3. Which teachings of your church resonate the most with you?
  4. Do you personally know anyone who is the pastor of a church?
  5. Are you a member of an accountability or nurturing group in your church?

Religion and illness, dying and death

  1. Has being ill made any difference in your thinking or feeling about God or your religious faith?
  2. How has being ill affected your devotional life?
  3. When you are ill, do you ever have feelings that God is punishing you or that it is His will for you to be sick?
  4. How do you feel about suffering?
  5. Do you trust God with your future?

For additional information on ministry to the terminally ill, see "6 don'ts for ministry to the dying."

The above questions are based on a list compiled by Harvey Elder for counselors to use in personal history taking.

"Without God" graphic from a Church Ad Project poster: www.churchad.com


Additional witnessing / soul-winning resources

Is conversion a moment in time or is it a process?

Click
hereWhat are the changes which occur in people as they come to faith in Christ? Should attempts at sharing our faith with other people take into account the journey they are on? [ read more ]

SNU missions course materials and syllabi

Cultural Anthropology    Introduction to Missions    Linguistics    Mexican Field Studies    Missions Strategies    Modern Missionary Movement (History of Missions)    Nazarene Missions    Church Growth and Christian Missions    Theology of Missions    Traditional Religions    World Religions
 
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Howard Culbertson, 5901 NW 81st, Oklahoma City, OK 73132  |  Phone: 405-740-4149 - Fax: 405-491-6658
Copyright © 2000, 2001 - Last Updated: March 31, 2014 |  URL: http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/assess.htm