The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out. (Proverbs 20:5)
In Evangelism for the Tongue-Tied, I have suggested that in order to share our faith, we should start by praying for open doors and being genuine as we go about our day. The third key is to transition to spiritual things using questions. The question that works best is, “What are your spiritual beliefs?” After asking that question, you will immediately be involved in a conversation at a deeper level.
After the unbeliever answers that question, we may like to move on to the fourth step of talking about Jesus but sense it is not time. How do we continue having an enjoyable, informative conversation? The answer is by resting in the question stage and continuing to ask more good questions.
But the tongue-tied Christian needs to have some prepared questions. What are some? The following is a list of different questions that will allow you to continue to probe a person’s beliefs while having an enjoyable conversation. Most of these are not original. They come from a variety of sources including Bill Fay, Mark Mittleberg, Dr. James Kennedy and Tim Zulker.
1. What are your spiritual beliefs? This is the question that moves us from religion in conversation to a person’s spiritual beliefs. It works every time!
2. To you, who is Jesus? What do you think was the point of his life and teachings? This is a great question to move from weird beliefs or religious beliefs to the person of Jesus.
3. When Jesus said, “xxxxxx”, what do you think he meant? I love this question because it moves the conversation back to Jesus and encourages them to interpret his words. Verses to insert include:
- I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
- If you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins. (John 8:24)
- Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matt 7:13-14)
4. What do you think happens after we die? Why do you think that?
5. Have you ever had some form of a personal encounter with God?
6. How does a ___________________ get saved? This is a helpful question when encountering someone from another religion. Rather than panic and try to remember what Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses or Hindus believe, this question invites their input.
7. If you could sit with Jesus over a cup of coffee and ask him anything, what would you ask him? Why?
8. If what you were believing were not true would you want to know? An excellent question toward the end of the conversation to move on to the gospel.
Good clarifying questions to use are:
9. Why do you think that?
10. What do you mean by that?
Of course, the Evangelism Explosion questions developed by Dr. James Kennedy are also helpful:
11. Have you come to the place in your spiritual life where you know for certain that if you were to die today you would go to heaven?
12. Suppose you were to die today and stand before God and he were to say, “Why should I let you into my heaven?” What would you say?
Any of these are good questions to ask at this third stage of transitioning to talk about Jesus. Use whichever questions seem appropriate to you in spirit of inquiry and fun. Remember – A man (or woman) of understanding draws the other person out!