Since the Gospel is the message God uses to redeem fallen people from sin (Romans 1:16), at some point, we will need to break into spiritual conversation that leads to presenting the Gospel. Simple, non-threatening questions are helpful to move the conversation in a gospel-direction. Below you will find a helpful look at starting and continuing the conversation with your neighbor in a way that is natural yet purposeful.
PRESENT THE GOSPEL FULLY
- Ask them if you could share with them what the Bible is all about or if you could explain to them what the Bible says about being a Christian
- Be willing to listen to objections and questions concerning God, the Bible, and Christianity
SHARE THE GOSPEL PROGRESSIVELY
- Invite your neighbor to a Sunday Service and then lunch
- Invite them to join you and your friends for a casual meal and Bible study (see resources below for ideas)
- Ask them to join you for a special church event (Christmas Eve Service, Growth Group cookout, etc.)
- Within the context of a growing relationship, look for opportunities to love and serve your neighbor and continue speaking of Jesus
Starting the Conversation
Recognize that conversations are dynamic things; there is nothing predictable about them. Sharing the gospel in a relationship may take place over months or years. However, these general directions are helpful to think through as to how we can graciously, yet confidently, introduce them to Jesus.
Think of your conversations in terms of shifting gears. Each gear continues moving the conversation forward – increasing in intensity, getting more personal. To go from 1st straight to 5th is unnatural and can often stall the conversation. ¹
1st – Basic Conversation (Cordial small talk)
- What’s your name?
- How long have you lived here?
- Are you married? How long?
- Do you have children?
- What do you do for a living?
2nd – Personal Information (What’s your story?)
- Where did you grow up? What kind of family did you have?
- Where did you and your spouse meet?
- What do you love most about your work?
- Do you have any particular career ambitions?
- If you could do anything, what would you do?
3rd – General Spiritual Questions
- Do you have any kind of spiritual beliefs?
- What part has church played in your life?
4th – Specific Spiritual Questions
- To you, who is Jesus?
- What do you think the Bible/Christianity is all about?
5th – Direct Gospel Presentation
- Would you mind if I showed you what the Bible is all about?
- Would you allow me to explain from the Bible what it means to be a Christian?
- Can I take a few moments and show you who Jesus is, why He came, and what it means for us today?
- Would you be interested in learning more about this?
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You, Me, and the Bible (Matthias Media)
This is an excellent resource to help two or three friends sit down together and discover the central message of the Bible. Based on the Two Ways to Live Gospel outline, you’ll be able to casually interact with individuals over the 6 key themes of the Bible in a conversational format.
Christianity Explained (Michael Bennet)
Evangelistic Bible Study based on Mark’s gospel. This ‘manual’ presents the challenge of Jesus in a way that is non-threatening and concentrates on the facts concerning the person and work of Christ. It begins with the assumption that the hearer knows absolutely nothing about Jesus or the Good News.
Christianity Explored (Rico Tice)
The Christianity Explored course gives people time and space to think through who Jesus is and why it matters. Some courses meet in churches, others in people’s home. It is a DVD based study with an opportunity for casual discussion about the significance of the life of Jesus.
5 Questions about Eternity (Galkin Evangelistic Ministries)
This 5 part video series stunningly presents brief yet challenging looks at questions regarding God, Man, Sin, Jesus, and Eternity.
Honest Evangelism (Rico Tice)
This short, clear, and humorous book will challenge you to be honest in your conversations about Jesus, help you to know how to talk about him, and thrill you that God can and will use ordinary people to change eternal destinies.
Good Question (Carl Laverton)
A simple booklet answering common questions about life and faith by pointing to Jesus Christ.
More Than A Carpenter (Josh McDowell)
You will learn arguments for faith from a skeptic turned believer. This book is perfect for giving to a skeptical friend or family member or to anyone who has questions about their faith.
¹Ideas for many of these questions have been compiled from Share Jesus without Fear (W. Fay) and The Art of Neigboring (J. Pathak and D. Runyon)