If you're a Christian, you already know you should be sharing your biblical faith with people of other faiths. Yet if you're like most Christians, you lack the courage, confidence and skills to do so. That's OK. Let's change that.
Here's how easy it can be. Paula knew in her heart that she should be starting conversations, 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 apprehensive 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. In that moment, Paula learned that 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.
Instinctually, Paula started a spiritual conversation that put her Muslim co-worker on an 18-month journey to Christ. It transformed her co-worker's life for eternity. You can do the same.
A Biblical Foundation
The Bible teaches us how to approach spiritual conversations in Colossians 4:6. There, Paul tells us that our speech should "always be with grace, 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 the Lord,' except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:3). You start spiritual conversations so that you can identify people the Holy Spirit might be wooing to Jesus. If you don't start the spiritual conversation, you'll never know.
Jesus told us He would make us "fishers of men" (see Matt. 4:19). And starting spiritual conversations is a lot like fishing. You just throw out a spiritual hook (salty speech); then you wait and see who bites.
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.
Use this four-letter acronym, FORM, to help you remember four easy ways to start spiritual conversations. The "M" stands for "Me," and you always start by offering up personal information first. Then you pick a topic from the FORM acronym. For example, the "F" stands for "Family."
Here's how to merge "M" and "F" into a spiritual conversation starter:
"We have five sons. I'm grateful that three are walking closely with God. How about you? Any kids?"
To learn two more ways you can start spiritual conversations using FORM and hear more real-life stories that will leave you saying "I can do that!" listen to Start Spiritual Conversations on the iHOPE Empowers podcast on Charisma Podcast Network. This podcast is brought to you by iHOPE Ministries, a non-profit ministry founded in 2011 to come alongside the church to empower everyday Christians to share the hope of Jesus with people of other faiths and cultures.
Hosts Renod and Karen Bejjani founded iHOPE Ministries to change the way everyday Christians think about sharing their faith with people of other faiths and cultures. Since 2011, iHOPE has empowered tens of thousands of Christians to live as authentic Christian witnesses among their neighbors of another faith.
Renod endured intense persecution as a Christian raised in Islamic countries. He spent decades filled with anger at God and hatred toward Muslims. Today, he serves the God he once denied, extending God's transforming love to the people he once hated. Renod is the author of Muslims: 5 Biblical Essentials, a primer for Christians who are curious or concerned about Muslims, and The Way to Paradise, a groundbreaking Bible study tailored for Muslim seekers.
While Renod grew up in Islamic nations, Karen never knew Muslims existed. She pursued the American Dream and built a successful career as a corporate executive. Now she emboldens everyday Christians to share Jesus across religious boundaries. Karen is the author of The Blue Cord, a catalyst for Christian women who know they should be sharing their faith.
The Bejjanis' powerful stories and timeless principles have catalyzed everyday Christians to live as authentic Christian witnesses to people of other faiths who live among us. When they're not empowering others, the Bejjanis spend their time hiking through forests and enjoying good Lebanese food with family and friends.
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