Home > Discipleship, Theology > Starting Spiritual Conversations Part 1

Starting Spiritual Conversations Part 1

A few weeks back a group of leaders from our church and I were attending a conference with other churches in our worldwide

Image via dominant worldwide.com.

Image via dominant worldwide.com.

family, Newfrontiers.  In between sessions I made it a point to talk with people that I didn’t know.  I wanted to expand my horizons, meet new people, learn from guys wiser than myself and, Lord willing, maybe even inspire greater faith in others.

This is a recent trend for me.  In the past, I would have relegated myself to the group of people I came with and only spoken with the people that I know.  Now, I can’t help but talk with the people around me.  On the way back from the conference, one of the guys riding with us asked how I learned to strike up in-depth spiritual conversations with people I don’t know, even non-Christians.

After thinking about it for a few brief moments, God reminded me that there are two sides to the equation: a spiritual side and a practical side.  The practical side is important (and we’ll get to it), but it’s the spiritual side that we must get first because we will never do the practical if we’re not prepared in the spiritual.  Here are a few things God has used to spiritually prepare me for gospel conversations with people I don’t know.

1. Know the love of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:14 the church leader Paul says that it is the love of Christ that compels us.  A compulsion is an irresistible urge to act on a thought, feeling or idea.  To say that the love of Christ compels us is to say that the Holy Spirit has given us an irresistible urge to live for Jesus and share his good news.   In other words, when we truly understand the love God has for us in Christ it produces an overwhelming desire to invite others to know his love to.

2. Know who you are in Christ. Insecurity is one of the biggest obstacles to initiating conversations with people we don’t know.  When we believe the lie that our significance and worth are dependent on our ability to impress people, we stray away from talking with them because we feel as though we need their approval and acceptance. It’s only after we’ve been convinced that Jesus has secured everything we need from God that we can be free to engage others without fear of how they will respond.

3. Understand the authority you have from Christ. Jesus Christ rules and reigns over all things with complete authority and power.  He has given this authority to his disciples for the purpose of making disciples and advancing the Kingdom.  We can overcome the subtle accusation that we have no right to talk with others about Jesus through the simple truth that we do have the right to talk with others about our Lord because he gave us that right. (Matthew 28:18-20)

4. Anticipate the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our power to witness about Jesus.  When we expect him to show up, he multiplies our faith and does big things. Instead of thinking “I might screw it up,” try thinking “the Holy Spirit might show up.”  This will change your entire approach (demeanor, attitude, tone, etc) and you’ll be amazed at how exciting conversations with strangers can be.

If we’re honest, it’s the spiritual side of things that gives us more trouble than the practical.  Put these big ideas into practice and watch the Lord prepare your heart for more significant conversations to come.

  1. ronboviscous
    July 23, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    Reblogged this on Finding Revelation and commented:
    Nice work. Can’t wait to see the rest, combining the spiritual with the practical, in effectively spreading the great news of salvation through our Christ!

    • July 28, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      Thanks, I’m glad you’ve found this article to be helpful! I’ll be done with the next one soon.

  2. July 23, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    Posted this on FB (the link, not your post). I especially like #3, even though we obviously need everything you listed here working together. Still, the description of our work as “making disciples and advancing the kingdom” is nice to hear. I hear it more now than I did 20 years ago, but those who know what it means to labor are still few enough that I’m always encouraged to hear someone with that attitude. “What can I do? I want to be found laboring when my Lord suddenly returns, feeding the household and doing the task he assigned me.”

  3. July 23, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    That’s a powerful reminder – that I have the authority of Jesus to witness and disciple.

  4. July 29, 2014 at 7:47 AM

    A very interesting post. I generally stumble into conversations and try to bring up my friend Jesus if the opportunity arrives. Your insight is both helpful in achieving the purpose of evangelistic conversation and encouraging to hear of a proper plan to open the door that the Spirit will lead us through. Thank you for your God given wisdom.

    • July 29, 2014 at 10:13 AM

      Thanks for your comment. I used to wing it and see what would happen, but found myself fumbling the opportunity every time it came my way. I’ve noticed that the more prepared I am, the more I providentially “stumble” into these types of conversations.

  5. August 26, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    Reblogged this on Liv4Christ4ever and commented:
    Promoting Christ and not ourself. Dependence of the work of the Holy Spirit. Man this is good stuff.

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