If lost people matter to you the way they matter to God, what would your life look like?
"We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard" -- Acts 4:20 — Peter and John to the Sanhedrin court)
Half of the unchurched Americans surveyed by the Gallup polling organization said they intend to return to active church participation some day. Of that group, one in five said they would start back to church if someone would just talk to them about spiritual matters.
So, how do you shift a conversation from talking about sports, the weather, children, and news headlines to talking about a relationship with God and a redemptive, transformative relationship with Him? How do we turn the corner and move toward talking about spiritual things?
Look through this list. See how easy it cam be to test if there is an open door for you to talk about spiritual matters with:
Some of the questions will initiate conversations that could be labeled pre-evangelism.
This list is not meant to be put on a piece of paper that you pull out of your pocket or purse as you start talking to someone. These questions are given to demonstrate the variety of ways that a door can be opend and the conversation shifted to talking with friends and family on a deeper level.
When you ask a question like one of those below, listen carefully to the person's response. Don't be more concerned about what you are going to say next than you are about what the person is saying to you!
For additional information on ministry to the terminally ill, see "Six don'ts for ministry to the dying."
The above questions are based on a list compiled by Harvey Elder for mental health counselors to use in personal history-taking.
"Help me overcome my unbelief!" -- Mark 9:24
Dr. Brint Montgomery, former professor of philosophy at Southern Nazarene University, starts conversations with those struggling in their spiritual journey by asking the question: "Wouldn't you like to have faith in something?"
He then tries to lead a conversation through five steps:
This is usually not a journey that is completed in one conversation. It is more of a process than an event.
"Without God" graphic from a Church Ad Project poster: www.churchad.com
"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
|What 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 ]|
-- Howard Culbertson
Ministry, Church and Society course resources
Resources on sharing one's faith in Jesus Christ: Age of conversion Conversation starters Cultivating relationships Jewish evangelism Relational evangelism Faith story work sheet Writing your testimony
Short-term missions resources Key chapters of the Bible Two churches' attitudes toward missions Ten ways to avoid becoming a missionary Difficult group members Do you have a global missions call? "Lord, teach us to pray" Nazarene Missions International resources page