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20 Jan 2015

How to Start Spiritual Conversations

We share them every day yet often our conversations with our friends, family and neighbours can be meaningless and insignificant. So how can we change that? Here are some tips, ideas and thoughts that might help you to intentionally start spiritual conversations in day to day life. Go on, have a read then give them a go!

Make them a priority. Every conversation has the potential to become a spiritual conversation if you are willing and intentional. While we usually start out with discussing the weather, politics, sports, or current events the challenge is to have a discussion of spiritual matters. This can happen by asking the right questions or sharing something at the right time.

Pray for spiritual opportunities. When was the last time you asked God to open doors of opportunity for you in your day to day life.

Establish routines and cultivate relationships. Begin to think about all your interactions. Think about the places you frequent most; how can you develop friendships there?

Take a risk. Nearly every opportunity to have a spiritual conversation will produce some kind of anxiety. If you’re going to seek out spiritual conversations, they won’t come when you’re ready or available. They happen in the middle of your everyday life.

Learn to ask good questions. Being too direct can feel intrusive and pushy. Trusting the Holy Spirit to plant and nurture the seeds that have been sown through good questions is vital to creating and sustaining spiritual conversations.

Listen. Get people talking and listen to their stories; soon you’ll begin to see how God is at work in their lives.

Don’t argue to prove your point.  Remember it is the Holy Spirit that brings people to a place where they will believe and trust.

Share your Testimony. People can deny the Bible. They can deny points of theology. But they cannot deny the transformation in your life because of your relationship with Jesus.

Be Yourself. Don’t be someone you are not. Those who you are sharing with will see that you are not being you and be turned off…be yourself and let you conversation flow and talk as you would normally talk.

Go with the Flow. Go along with the conversation while always being alert to when you may be able to turn it in a spiritual direction. DO NOT ask the question “So do read the Bible” when you may be talking about cricket or football, it just doesn’t work and I can guarantee there will be dead silence and more than likely that will be the end of the conversation!

Some extra tips.

  • Ask questions that tie into former conversations.
  • Listen closely. Be sensitive.
  • Proceed as long as your friend shows interest.
  • Affirm any amount of truth or insight offered.

Spiritual Conversation Starters, fillers or add ons…

Here are some questions and ideas to add into your conversations to make them intentional and give them some direction…the trick is to be aware of when to share or ask these and walk through the open door and to also apply them to your situation, circumstance or environment. Jesus was the master speaker and always used the surrounding environment to start, build on or highlight certain aspects in His conversations. Take for example the Woman at the Well. The whole conversation arose from thirst and water.

Take a look at the list below, you may have others you could share too

  • What challenges and struggles are you facing?
  • Where do you find meaning in life?
  • What are some of the best things you have experienced or are experiencing in your life?
  • If Christ was who He claimed to be, how would that affect your life?
  • What, or who, are your sources of strength?
  • Do you believe what you’ve been brought up with?
  • What character can you imagine yourself to be? (any period of history)
  • When you have problems or crises, how do you manage to get through them?
  • What do you believe when it comes to faith and God?
  • Is religion or God important to you?
  • In your opinion, who was/is Jesus Christ?
  • Does God (or a Higher Power) seem personal to you?
  • Do you feel close to or far away from God?
  • What do you imagine that God is like?
  • Can you think of anything God has done for you?
  • Have you ever been mad or upset with God?
  • Do you think God has a plan for each person’s life?
  • What are you reading that is not an assignment or required by your work?
  • Have you read much of the Bible?
  • Do you understand the Bible when you read it?
  • Does Bible reading help in everyday life? How?
  • Do you pray or believe in prayer?
  • Do you go to a church?
  • Do you trust God with your future?

For more ideas of how to reach out to your friends and neighbours check out the ideas booklets available from the South Queensland Conference Personal Ministries Department. E-mail gregpratt@adventist.org.au for your free copies.

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