4 Ways to Start Spiritual Conversations Today
If you’re a Christian, you know you should be sharing your biblical faith with people of other faiths and cultures. And yet, if you’re like most Christians you lack the courage, confidence, and know-how to start a spiritual conversation with someone of another faith.
That’s okay. We can help. This blog will empower you to start spiritual conversations through an easy-to-remember approach that you can start doing right away.
Why You Start Spiritual Conversations
Let’s start with why you should put yourself “out there” to start a spiritual conversation with someone in the first place. I think you probably already know…it’s so that you might impact someone’s life for eternity.
My friend Paula knew this in her head, and yet she was still afraid to take action. She had a Muslim co-worker and because she didn’t know anything about Islam, Paula was freaked out about striking up a conversation that might lead to spiritual things. She didn’t want to offend her co-worker, so she said nothing at all.
Then one day, she saw her co-worker crying. Filled with compassion, Paula approached her. “What’s wrong?” she asked. Her co-worker kept crying. Then instinct kicked in, and Paula hugged her until the crying subsided. At that moment Paula learned her co-worker had tragically lost a beloved family member. She forgot all about her fear and said,
“When I’m sad, I’ve found that going to church gives me peace. Would you like to go to church with me?”
“Yes,” her Muslim co-worker said.
By instinct, Paula started a spiritual conversation that put her co-worker on an eighteen-month journey to Christ. It transformed her co-worker’s life for eternity. You can do the same.
The Bible teaches us a mindset for how to approach spiritual conversations in Colossians 4:6. There, Paul tells us that our speech should “always be gracious, seasoned with salt.” That just means that you should be intentional about starting spiritual conversations so that you would shine the love of Christ and the light of the Holy Spirit into the darkness.
With that in mind, remember this: No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:3). So, you start spiritual conversations so that you can identify people the Holy Spirit might be wooing to Jesus. If you don’t at least start the spiritual conversation, you’ll never know.
Jesus told us He would make us “fishers of men” (see Matthew [4:19].) So, I like to think of starting spiritual conversations like fishing. You just throw out a spiritual hook, (salty speech,) then you wait and see who bites.
Practical Curious Questions
Let’s get practical now. Your role is to ask curious, open-ended questions seasoned with a salty “hook.” Then you listen hard for clues that the person might be interested in talking about spiritual things. You start by offering up personal information first.
Here is an example of a recent, real-life spiritual conversation to illustrate how that looks.
“Hi, I’m Renod. What’s your name? We just recently moved here because God impressed it on our hearts. How about you? Where are you originally from?”
Did you see the salty, spiritual hook – “God impressed it on our hearts?” When I offered up this information, the person stopped in his tracks and asked, “How did God do that?” The conversation captured his attention because he was wrestling with spiritual things. And that simple conversation starter led to a two-hour spiritual conversation centered around how God speaks with us. He was someone that the Holy Spirit was drawing to Jesus.
4 Topics for Endless Spiritual Conversation Starters
Now let’s take this deeper. “F-O-R-M” is an easy-to-remember acronym for four topics that will help you start a spiritual conversation with anyone, anywhere – no matter if you’re an introvert or an extrovert.
Friends and family
Religion and Recreation
Always start with the “M” in “Me” by offering up personal information first, then steer into spiritual things. Here are several practical examples. Look for the spiritual hook in bold script.
Family: “We have five sons. I’m grateful that three are walking closely with God. How about you? Any kids?”
Occupation: “I’m studying psychology, and my goal is to help oppressed women succeed in life. I’ve found that happens best through a relationship with Jesus. How about you? What are you studying?”
Recreation: “One of my favorite things to do during the weekend is to hike because when I’m in nature, I feel closest to God. How about you? What do you like to do for fun on the weekends?”
Using the FORM acronym, write out a few conversation starters of your own. Then say them out loud. This will help you be intentional about starting spiritual conversations when you meet someone new at the dry cleaner, your kid’s soccer practice, or the mailbox.
Next, grab a friend and listen to two of our most popular donor-supported podcasts about this topic: You’ll get even more practical ideas and real-life stories from this iHOPE Community that will inspire and embolden you.
Want us to bring iHOPE’s Spiritual Conversations workshop to your church or organization? Let’s talk. Just email me at [email protected] We’re passionate about coming alongside you to embolden more Believers to live as authentic Christian witnesses for Christ.
Tags: Start Spiritual Conversations, Spiritual Conversation Starters, Share Jesus without fear, How to share the gospel with other religions, How to start a spiritual conversation