Moving Conversations

Moving Conversations in a More Spiritual Direction

Let’s look at how Jesus moved His conversation with the woman in John 4 in a more spiritual direction.

From Meaningful Conversation to Spiritual Conversation

The woman at the well brought up a religious controversy about where people should worship. Jesus addressed the issue and reframed it in light of God’s desire for genuine worshipers: “For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth” John 4.24 NLT. At that point, they started having a spiritual conversation.
The best way to turn the conversation in a spiritual direction is to affirm whatever issue the person is facing and show how Jesus has helped you overcome something similar. This is where your “crisis stories” come in handy. Even if your situation isn’t exactly the same as theirs, you can share about a challenging time and how Jesus helped you through it.
Once you share your story, you can ask a simple question: “Did you grow up with any spiritual background?” They might say yes, or they might say no. Either way, you’ve successfully moved the conversation in a spiritual direction without making things awkward.

From Spiritual Conversation to Gospel Conversation

The key to moving from spiritual conversation to gospel conversation is your “Christ story.” When you ask the person if they grew up with any spiritual background, you have prepared the way to share your personal testimony.
Listen to their response, asks questions, and then share your story. You might say, “My story is a little bit different than that,” and then briefly share how you came to know Jesus personally.
After you share, you can ask the person, “Has anything like that happened to you?” If they say yes, you might say, “That’s great! Tell me about it.” If they say no, you can say, “A friend showed me a little diagram one time that really helped me understand how to know God in a real, personal way. Would you like to see it?”
You don’t have to force anything to happen. You’re just asking questions and following the Holy Spirit’s lead. Don’t push the conversation to deeper levels before the other person is ready. That might do more harm than good. Your goal is to move forward one step at a time and celebrate any time you’re able to go a little deeper than before!
This blog features an excerpt from one of our Student Series books, Reach Your World.

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