10 Ways to Start Conversations
Most people don’t share their faith because they don’t know how to get started. Once the conversation starts, it has a life of its own. But until you intentionally commit to sharing your faith at every opportunity, you won’t be looking for the easiest path of entry into God-Centered Conversations.
As long as pleasing and impressing people remains the focus of your conversations, the sharing of your faith will never be intentional. Thoughts of using your influence to lead people to Jesus Christ will be far from you.
The question is whether you want to serve God or Man. Who is it you most want to make happy? Going even further, not sharing your faith is denying your faith. This comes with a price! Jesus said, “If you deny me before man, I’ll deny you before my Father in Heaven.” You don’t want that to happen!
The Joy of the Lord should effortlessly permeate your life and be readily apparent in subtle, non-offensive ways – that make people want to have what you have and ask questions. Then, always be prepared to make a clear presentation of the hope that’s within you.
Jesus said they’ll know you’re His Disciple by your love. Simply loving on people sets you apart from a world focused on self. Most people are stopped in their tracks when told that God loves them as much as He’s ever loved anyone ever, even His own Son. This is the Good News you want to share!
Living to share your faith at every opportunity is God’s Purpose for your life. And to help you get started, here are ten easy ways to start God-Centered conversations in any situation.
1) Ask People “Is everything OK?”
Most people are not OK. In fact, most people will be actively worrying about something when you ask this question.
Watch for signs of worry and distress on every face and be quick to ask: Are you OK? Even if they’re hurting, some won’t feel safe to disclose that to you. But the mere fact that you expressed concern will move them closer to God. That’s your basic goal.
If they’re desperate, the need often comes pouring out along with an openness to receive the comfort of God’s Love flowing through you. You’ll be surprised how fast a smile can turn to tears in response to your concern and you see the real person.
2) Ask People “Is there anything I can pray for you about?”
Most people are praying for something that’s important to them. When you ask this question, you’re offering to partner with them in prayer for something important.
This question should not be asked out of habit or ritual. People will know when you’re asking this question with genuine sincerity. And when people see the sincerity of your offer to pray for them, they often invite you into the privacy of their lives. At that point, even the most simplistic of prayers can move people dramatically closer to God.
3) Ask a Server in a Restaurant: Is there anything we can pray for you about as we pray for our meal?
Most waiters and waitresses are dealing with financial and family pressures at home. And too often, particularly on Sundays, Christians are seen as overstaying, over demanding, uncaring and under-tipping people . . . provoking bitterness toward God.
Asking your server if they would like to be included in a prayer, that you’re already going to pray over your meal, is never offensive. Some will decline the offer, but many will accept it with great thankfulness. In either case, you’ll move them closer to God.
Always allow your server decide if they want to discuss God more during your meal. Otherwise, a simple “God Bless’ you when you leave and leaving an extra good tip will say volumes. And while you’re there, be sure that your conversations and attitudes represent God well.
4) In casual conversations, simply mention where you ate after church on Sunday or a story your Pastor told or a friend you know through church.
This is a non-offensive way to introduce the fact that you’re a Church-Going Christian, without raising any eyebrows. If the person you’re speaking with is also a Christian, they’ll always ask with enthusiasm where you go to church. Church-Going Christians love to meet other Church-Going Christians.
It’s even better for Non-Christians. While they won’t show it, a surprising 86% of the un-churched would like to believe there’s a God. That’s where you come in. While they may not say something immediately or go to a church on their own, they’re looking for more information. And once they know you go to church, you’re on their radar screen as a possible provider of information about God.
5) Watch for stories people tell about unexpected “luck” or good fortune and connect those experiences to God.
People often relate how “lucky” they are for having certain things happen in their lives without understanding why they happened. Knowing every good thing comes from God, these are prime opportunities for you to connect the good things happening in people’s lives with God’s Love for them.
Simply saying with a smile things like “Wow, God was obviously watching out for you” or “Wow, God must have big plans for you” or “Thank you Lord for protecting my friend” can have a huge impact on people by directing their thoughts toward God. Obviously, you’re responding with enthusiasm out of respect for their story. That’s never offensive!
6) Watch for ways to work intriguing God Honoring Stories into conversations that match the subject being discussed.
We all have amazing stories of God’s Faithfulness in our lives and the lives of other Christians we know . . . stories that always fascinate those listening. In Christian circles, you can tell them out of context. It really doesn’t matter. But with Non-Christians, there must always be context to keep them from being seen as interruptive or offensive.
In the course of most conversations, subjects come and go that attract comments from almost everyone in the conversation. When you’re an intentional faith sharer, you’ll watch for the best opportunity to introduce God into every conversation with a story that matches the passion of the moment. And while you could probably add a ‘God Story’ to every subject, doing it only once per conversation is the safest way to not offend. One story is enough to move everyone in the group closer to God.
7) For most people, nothing is more important than family and nothing lights people up faster than asking them about their family.
A world of opportunities opens up to talk about God whenever you ask people about their families. In the best of times and the worst of times, it’s an emotional subject that brings openness and vulnerability into every conversation.
It doesn’t matter whether the top of mind subjects are the failures or over achievements of the family or individual family members. Every response provides an abundance of opportunities for you to introduce God into the conversation very naturally . . . from giving Him praise for the achievements to offering prayer for the challenges.
8) God’s Master Plan and Bible Prophecy are now relevant to daily conversation.
Almost every conversation today includes talking about our world being out of control. Clearly, no one knows what the future holds. The world is completely out of our control and searching for answers. And . . . we have the answers!
Bible Prophecy has become a very attractive subject for people to investigate today. The same Prophets that predicted with absolute accuracy the Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, told us that these days would come. And here they are! And while no man knows the day or the hour of the Lords return, we shall know the signs of the times. Indeed, the signs of our times are confirming the scriptures and explaining what’s happening before our very eyes.
Here’s the key! Knowing that our world is still under the control of God’s Master Plan brings peace and Salvation to the lost.
9) Always be on the lookout for situations where your favorite scripture is a perfect fit.
There’s nothing easier than explaining your favorite scripture and why it’s so important to you. That’s why it’s your favorite scripture! And when you explain it to others in the context of your life, it comes alive.
Even better, when you encounter someone who’s facing the same challenges you faced when you first discovered your scripture, know that you’re in the middle of a Divine Appointment. It’s not by accident that God’s placed you in that person’s life at that very moment. Just tell your story!
10) The age-old question of “Do you know where you’ll go when you die” remains the most compelling and revealing question you can ask.
When we’re young, we feel like we’ll live forever. But as we age, we face our reality of being mortal beings with numbered days left in our lives. And while some refuse to even think about it, most people, past the age of 50, are growing increasingly concerned over where they’ll spend their eternity.
For the most part, this is a taboo subject for conversation even though it’s a subject of widespread interest and concern. People want to talk about it but don’t. That’s why this is a great question to ask and so many people want to answer and don’t know how, and it opens the door for you explain God’s Assurance of Salvation through the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
God never intended for the sharing of your faith to be a part of your life or one of many things you should do with equal intensity. It’s not an add-on or a task or an obligation. It is, in fact, God’s Purpose for your life. Every follower of Jesus Christ is commissioned for service. It’s called the Great Commission.
When asked which Commandment is the greatest, Jesus said to Love God with all your heart, mind and soul AND to love your neighbor as yourself . . . and all the law hangs on these two Commandments. If you love your neighbor (everyone you influence) as yourself, you’ll be as concerned over their eternity as you are your own – and you’ll do everything in your power to lead them to their eternity through Jesus Christ.
When your focus is on leading everyone you influence to Jesus Christ, you’ll automatically fulfill all the requirements of the Law. You’ll be zealously careful not to be a stumbling block to anyone by your words, actions or deeds. And the Joy of the Lord will be your strength!
Wholehearted faith becomes effortless when you live your life to perform His Will . . . that not one will be lost. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. That was His Purpose for coming to earth and why He promised to make everything in your life work for good when you live for His Purpose – the redemption of mankind. Here’s the payoff: Living under this promise ensures Whole Hearted Faith.
This is the cycle of a Christian Life: Trusting God, Loving God, Sharing God and Receiving From God – then Trusting God More, Loving God More, Sharing More and Receiving More . . . and it gets better and better! Without faith, it’s impossible to please God.