There is one skill you can learn that will help you in your interaction with every person, one skill that will help you go deeper in your conversations, one skill that can help you go from knowing someone just as an acquaintance to becoming friends—a skill that can help friends have meaningful conversations. This is the same skill that can help you move naturally from meaningful conversations to sharing the good news about Jesus Christ with someone.
What is that skill?
Learn to ask questions!
When you observe the interactions Jesus had with people, weather they were people he had just met or someone he knew well you often see him asking them questions. Why? I believe primarily because people will react to a statement but will interact with questions.
Meaningful questions are a powerful way to engage with people in a way they feel valued and heard. Asking the right question enables people to engage in conversation at the level they feel comfortable.
Think about it. I can make a statement about something that I truly believe and if you don’t hold to that same belief, you can just dismiss that statement and forget about it. However, if I ask you a question, that question will be floating around in your mind until you at least give yourself an answer. Try asking someone a question about anything today and you will see that this is true!
Perhaps most importantly though, asking questions will enable you to get to know someone deeper than the surface level and give you insight into what that person thinks and believes. Then you can continue the conversation in a way that is relevant to them and move toward the gospel.
So, what are the best questions to ask?
One of my favourite questions to ask people is: “What is your spiritual belief?” This one question has given me great opportunities to understand the heart language, thoughts and beliefs of countless people. Only once has a person said to me that they aren’t interested in talking about spiritual things. So, we just talked about other matters. People’s responses to this question have allowed me to ask further questions, or they ask me what my spiritual belief is, giving me the opportunity to share my personal story of coming to know Jesus Christ.
Another great question is “Has anyone ever explained the three core beliefs of Christianity to you before?”. I love this question because most people don’t have a clue and are curious to know what they are. When they respond No, I then ask another question, “Would you be interested in exploring these with me?” and most of the time people are very receptive.
Do you know what else asking meaningful questions does? It allows you to listen to people, learn about them and lean on the Holy Spirit to lead the conversation towards him.
Take time now to think about the last conversation you had with a friend who needs to know Jesus. When that opportunity comes up again, what question could you ask them to determine where they are up to on their journey towards God?