What Are Your Favorite Questions?

conversationalevangelism

(Carson Weitnauer) #1

Hi friends, earlier this week I was in an Uber with a very funny, open driver. When I’m in an Uber, I like to ask the drivers how they got into driving for Uber, how long they’ve been doing it, the most interesting people they’ve met, and so on. Oftentimes they ask me what I do for work, which gives me an opportunity to share about RZIM’s mission. If they’re open, this can lead to a discussion of spiritual realities.

When she understood that I was a Christian, she then shared with me that she “prayed all the time” and often listened to Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, and Creflo Dollar. So I said, “Oh, that’s interesting. What do you think of Jesus?” She said, “No, no, no, I want to go to the man upstairs. Straight to God. The God we all believe in.”

I asked, "Well, what do you think about what Jesus said, when he stated, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”? She said, “I don’t know about that. I just want to go to the man in charge.”

I explained, “The reason we can’t go directly to the Father is because of our sin. God is perfect. God is holy. God cannot be in the presence of sin. So we need a way to be forgiven of all that we’ve done wrong. That’s why Jesus is the only way to the Father. It is because he died in our place on the cross that we can be forgiven of our sin and have a relationship with our heavenly Father. What do you think about that?”

The conversation went on until we got to our destination. It led to the opportunity to encourage her to go to a good local church, join a Bible study there, and leave her with information about RZIM’s website.

But it all took place because of good questions - about her life, about what it was like to drive for Uber, asking for her opinion on various statements and Bible verses, and so on. There’s nothing like a good question and an earnest desire to listen to start a great conversation.

What are some of your favorite questions? I’d love to learn from others how you open up conversations and get into an exploration of the deeper realities of life.


(Tim Ramey) #2

Carson, I love the practical application you gave to how our lives, in the mundane aspects of it, can be so beneficial in our outreach. Your question about engaging others will be most interesting to read as to how others open up conversations.

What I have to offer is not much different that what you already said. Usually what we do for a living somehow comes up. But then I like to ask about their family - if they are married with children, etc. When I’m then asked about my family, I mention that I am married with children etc, but then I mention that we are Christians, which usually opens up comments such as, “Yes, I believe in God too” or “Yeah, I’m a good person too” or however they respond usually leads to a provocative discussion.

Again, it’s not so profound, but listening and getting a feeling where they are coming from, as well as communicating to them that you really care for them as they express themselves - that what they say really matters as opposed to it just being small talk is probably the most valued aspect of my time with them. Prayer during the conversation is so needed. I want them to see Jesus lived out in me and I’m not saying that it is something that I put on but allowing Jesus to work through me in spite of myself.


(SeanO) #3

@CarsonWeitnauer I think you pretty much nailed it in your cab ride

Having just attended the EAP program, sharing my experience there is a great segway to talking about deeper things. I found out my Catholic friend had an aunt who had gotten into new age practices and we discussed that for a while. Also was able to share evidence for Scripture with some coworkers. Just trying to spark interest.


(Dave Kenny) #4

Hi Carson.

I have found that airplane travel is where the most random and frequent opportunities arise for me (outside of my workplace… that is a more sustained approach due to proximity…)

My sales and marketing training has taught me to be more direct than I otherwise would’ve thought. I find that blunt and direct questions often do the trick… once in a while I see ‘shrinking’ or evasive body language after I’ve asked a direct question, and will need to follow that up with a softer one. IE (blunt question): Are you a man/woman of faith? (soft follow up): I was raised in a religious family… (this usually leads to them confessing either that they were or weren’t raised in a religious family themselves… either way, it leads me to a micro-testimony opportunity and then gives me a chance to ask:) “so… religion never really caught your attention? not your thing?”… after that… we’re off to the races… the more they talk, the better…

Regarding my airplane trips:
I always have a book with me related to spirituality/faith. This prop really helps. I always begin with the “headed home?” chat which leads to a mutual exchange of what we each do for a living. Once that happens, I slip in that I am doing part time studies to earn a degree… this provokes the question “Oh… what are you studying” 100% of the time… never fails. Then I expose them to the word ‘apologetics’ which really sparks their attention… because they have never heard of that word before… It doesn’t take long for this conversation to turn into a two hour flight about family/faith/function

At work, it’s usually more about asking about how people are feeling and what is going on in their lives. I’m in senior mgt, so people are often sharing aspects of their lives with me for professional reasons that allows me to show and share compassion and understanding in their situations.

The most common thing that occurs at work is that a fellow employee will be going through something difficult in their lives, and remark to me “you always seem so put together… how come I never see you worried or out of control? Is it because you are religious?”… believe it or not… this comment or type of comment has cropped up 30 or 40 times in the past 5 years in the workplace… stress is extremely high in the corporate world (which is our opportunity…), and I think those of us that can demonstrate that we don’t march to the drum of the corporate demi-gods but rather we march to a different drummer will automatically create interest and generate questions from our peers… so… in the workplace… don’t swear, be charitable, look for an opportunity to be self-sacrificial (take someone’s shift for them… stay late… that sort of thing), slip the word ‘church’ into your stories about what you did this weekend, and then watch as God sends you broken people to mend and shepherd… that has been my approach to get things started… it gets WAY harder when they begin to explore their faith, and you have to hold the tension being both their employer and their spiritual mentor at the same time… that can get messy… but that’s a different thread all together!

Dave


(David Cieszynski) #5

Hi Carson,

I 6no. tattoos with various images and Bible verse / quotes, the two which tend to get the most ‘opening questions’ is a picture of an empty tomb with the word Resurrected below and #scriptureislife arching above the picture.

The second tattoo which gets the most questions is on my left shin which is a basic cross with the below being ‘Death Has Been Defeated’.

I don’t have an issue with sharing my faith but am wary how I start the conversation as I don’t want to be seen as a Bible basher.

Enjoying reading other peoples stories.


Gottesliebe
(Carson Weitnauer) #6

Hi David, I think that’s a pretty important point! Once we come across as a “Bible basher” we’ve probably lost the conversation and the person. I think that’s because it seems like we have an agenda and don’t really care about the other person. What’s become primary in the conversation is getting our way - a religious way - but we want the other person to adopt our point of view and be a Christian. That’s not attractive in any setting or relationship.

It is so important that we ask questions because we are curious, that we share Christ because we are in love with him and care about the other person, and so on - that our motives are pure and our approach is wise and respectful.