A reader recently submitted a question via Ask Evangelism Coach section. (I’ve edited this for spelling and grammar).
What is the best question to ask someone to start a conversation about evangelism?
Thanks for submitting the question to me via Ask Evangelism Coach section of the website.
I think a different way to understand the question is as follows:
What is the best question to ask someone that would start an evangelistic conversation?
Consider this important question before we begin:
Under whose initiative is the conversation starting?
It seems to me there are at least three unique variables in each conversation:
- You the evangelist (or the witness).
- The person you are speaking with.
- The Holy Spirit.
After 20 years of conducting evangelism training and doing personal evangelism myself, I have found that the best and most fruitful conversations happen when the Holy Spirit is providing the initiative for the conversation.
This happens when you are available and desire to be used by the Lord.
This happens when you are praying for such conversations to happen (see Fear Free Evangelism Case Study for an example).
Put these two pieces together and you’ll begin to see an increase in the number of people in your life speaking with you about spiritual things that provide a fertile ground for planting, watering, and harvesting the seed of the word.
To notice these moments of God’s sovereign working in your life, grow in your relationship with the Lord, and the ability to recognize His guidance on the spur of the moment.
What hasn’t worked
What hasn’t always been so fruitful is when I take my own initiative to make conversations happen. It feels forced, and often winds up being confrontational, versus cooperative.
I do believe that God can use such conversations anyway, but in the moment of occurrence, they feel awful and strip away a lot of my motivation.
The initiative is in me.
Thus it doesn’t really seem to advance so easily.
I’m not watching for the working of the Holy Spirit.
The Kairos Moment
Kairos is a Greek word for time, and a Kairos moment is that moment that the Holy Spirit has prepared for you and your conversation partner.
It is that moment when the conversation you have will rapidly advance that person’s journey toward faith in Jesus Christ.
The best NT example is Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch.
Sometimes you will feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit to start that conversation, as did Phillip with “Do you understand what you are reading?”
Other times, you will see the conversation “fall into your lap,” such as one encounter I had when a stranger said to me
“I heard you were a pastor. My spiritual life sucks. Can we have lunch?”
See Divine Appointments for more examples of kairos moments
Useful Evangelism Conversation Starters
Assuming that the Holy Spirit has set up the particular conversational encounter, I’ve got two further articles for you about starter questions, with free downloads that you can keep and distribute.
One service that I offer in the US and Canada is evangelism coaching. A coach can help you think through some of these issues and can help you improve your conversation skills.
There is a fee involved, as I need to earn a living but it can be done.
Got a Question?
Submit your question via Ask Evangelism Coach section. I’ll see about turning it into something we can all learn from.