“How Do I Start a Conversation About God?”
Written by Jenn Arman | October 20, 2013
Hey girls! This week, we’re continuing our series on sharing the gospel. In my opinion, the hardest part about sharing the gospel is starting a conversation about God. This may not be tough for everyone, but it is for me—it can feel awkward.
I believe this awkward feeling comes most often when we try to evangelize people with whom we have little or no relationship. It’s difficult to start a conversation with a stranger about anything, but it’s especially hard to talk about God.
What we need to understand is that we can’t rush the God conversation. An important discussion requires time, patience and trust. So first, I want to give you a few tips to remember in order to have an effective conversation about God.
- Pray! If you want to have a meaningful talk about God, then you can’t neglect this step. The Holy Spirit needs to be a part of the conversation, so make sure you pray.
- Don’t rush. People need the Holy Spirit to work on softening their hearts before they’re ready to commit their lives to God, and that takes time. Don’t expect to have the full God conversation (from introduction to salvation) in 15 minutes because for some people it takes years.
- Be gentle and respectful. Remember, this isn’t high-pressure sales. You aren’t trying to force God onto someone. You’re trying to show them that the God of the universe loves them deeply.
- Know your stuff! People are going to ask questions. You need to be ready to answer them. The only way to do this is by spending regular time praying and reading your Bible. If someone asks a question that you simply don’t know how to answer, admit that you don’t know. Then write that question down and tell the person that you’ll find out. Make sure to follow through so that you build trust with that person.
- Listen more than you talk. Jesus spent a lot of time listening to the needs and problems of others. If we want to show people who Jesus is, then we need to do what Jesus did.
- Be ready to share YOUR story. Remember, to a nonbeliever, the Bible is just a collection of made-up stories. Don’t expect to have a meaningful God conversation if you aren’t willing to share specific things that God has done in your life. If God has helped you overcome an addiction, share that. If you used to be a cutter and God has helped or is helping you stop, show your scars as proof that God can heal. Your story will share the gospel better than any other words you could think up.
Some nonbelievers will always make a God conversation seem awkward, but here are a few conversation starters you can use to steer the discussion God’s way.
- Offer to pray for a friend in need. When you’re finished praying, ask her if she understands that God really does want to handle all of her problems for her.
- Invite the person to your youth group or another fun Christian youth event, and let your pastor handle the evangelizing.
- Answer the question “If you could ask God one question, what would you ask Him?” Give your answer first and then ask what question they would ask. You could also ask what they would say if God asked why He should let them into Heaven, but always give your answer first and then ask for their answer—that way they don’t feel like they’re being put on the spot.
- Ask them what they think happens when we die. Be careful with this conversation starter, though; I wouldn’t recommend using this question with someone who’s recently lost a loved one.
Girls, my final pieces of advice are don’t get angry and don’t become discouraged. Refuse to allow yourself to be drawn into a fight about Christianity. You’re trying to show God’s love, not fight over who’s right and who’s wrong. Remember the Bible says that some will reject the gospel. God has given us free will so that we can choose, and some will choose to reject God. Don’t get discouraged if you never see someone come to Christ; it may be that you’re only the seed planter.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” –Matthew 5:14
Girls, do you have any tips for starting a conversation about God?
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