Mary Schaller argues in this article that Christians need to learn the art of spiritual conversations with those who do not profess to be Christians.
Several paragraphs are helpful (and sound like they came right out of Evangelism for the Tongue-Tied!)
The key is to figure out how to empower Christians to engage in meaningful conversations about God with those who believe differently. This is not something we leave to the “professionals,” but rather something anyone can do on any day of the week. Everyone can have conversations, so let’s start there. If our conversations can build trust and prove that we care, then relationships grow, and disciples are made over time. We should strive to create spaces for safe and open spiritual conversations that pave the way for people to discover God for themselves at their own pace.
When we approach people with the intent to tell them what we know, yet don’t really try to understand where they’re coming from, they will put up defenses. When we demonstrate that we are truly seeking to understand people and not change their point of view, we create a safe environment for them to open up at a deeper level. As they feel genuinely understood, they also begin to better understand themselves. In a society full of people who would rather talk than listen, people are starved for someone who is willing to move into their life as a listener and learner. It communicates love. Eventually, they become more open to what we have to say, if we’ve listened well to them.
The “Q” in Q Place stands for “Questions,” because we recognize the value of cultivating a place where it feels safe to discuss the big questions of life. The starting point is with open-ended questions that are motivated by authentic interest in another person’s life. They open up conversation and create a dynamic learning environment. And the path to a good question is using our God- given curiosity. It all starts with curiosity … otherwise questions will feel loaded, formulaic or insincere.
It is “holy” curiosity, both because the curiosity is God-given, and because the questions are Spirit-led and sensitive to the need of the moment. Holy curiosity invites interaction, leads to greater connection and transparency, and opens the door to new opportunities.
Perhaps a little less assertive that I wish but still good words! Just like Evangelism for the Tongue-Tied. Should I send her a copy? Or you? Read the whole thing.