Sometimes the most awkward part about sharing the gospel is just bringing it up. While I’m the guy who coined the phrase “Awkward is Awesome,” over the years I’ve gathered some simple, practical insights in this area. Insights that can help you and your students nudge the door open toward deeper, genuine, give-and-take conversations about Jesus.
And that’s exactly what the “How to Share Your Faith With…” section of our website is all about. Think of this free online resource as a Cliff Notes/Spark Notes for initiating gospel conversations. It provides quick, easy conversational tools and tips that help you and your teenagers walk up to the edge of a spiritual conversation “cliff” and take the leap. The opening questions and authentic compliments are designed to “spark” honest, meaningful dialogue with those who don’t know Jesus.
But enough cheesy puns. Let me walk you through why this free online “how to” info hub is so valuable for you and your students.
Leading with Questions
Jesus was masterful at communicating truth by initiating conversations with questions. In Matthew 16:13-17 we catch a glimpse of this:
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you.”
Notice that Jesus starts with a question that is less personal – I call these nudge questions – before moving toward a more direct, pointed inquiry about their personal beliefs. Then after listening intently to their opinions, He talked about God’s revelation of truth.
The power of leading with questions is that it unleashes people’s natural curiosity and pushes them to think more deeply about what they believe and why.
The “How to Share Your Faith With…” section of our website, specifically trains and equips students to use a simple conversational grid that’s built on this principle: “Ask, Admire, Admit.” Here’s how it breaks out:
- Ask honest questions about what others believe, not to trap them, but to understand them and break down any relational barriers that are keeping them from considering Jesus.
- Admire everything you can about what others believe in order to help people open up. Find areas of common ground you can compliment them on.
- Admit your own need for Jesus and explain His gospel message.
For more details, check out the “Ask-Admire-Admit” video.
Because our students live in a diverse, eclectic world of wide-ranging spiritual worldviews, one size doesn’t necessarily fit all when it comes to asking questions. A discussion rolls out differently with an agnostic friend than it does with someone who’s into Wicca.
That’s why we’ve identified specific questions and compliments for your students to use when sharing their faith with people from 13 distinct worldviews (also available in Spanish): Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, Deist, Hindu, Jew, Jehovah Witness, Muslim, Mormon, New Ager, Religious, Satanist and Wiccan. They’ll also find summary info about the general, basic beliefs of these worldviews – info that will help them be more sensitive, targeted and effective in their give-and-take conversations. For each of these worldviews they’ll find:
- A basic description
- Specific questions to ask someone to get the conversation going
- Areas to admire
- A summary of its core beliefs
- Specific tips about sharing the gospel with someone from that worldview
This web resource is just one more tool in your evangelism training tool belt to help you energize and equip your students to reach their friends. For those with smart phones, note that access to these worldviews web pages is built into the “How to Share” section of the Dare 2 Share mobile app, placing all this great info at their fingertips.
Put a link to this free web resource on your youth group’s website, Facebook page, or wherever, and let it serve as both a prompt and empowering tool for your students to share their faith.