Doug Pollock's book God Space: Where Spiritual Conversations Happen Naturally has become a guide for me in the area of reaching out to others for the sake of the gospel. In a chapter entitled "Listening Your Way into Spiritual Conversations" he lists ten questions which will help us find out where a "not-yet-Christian" is coming from. As a preface to the questions, he writes,
"If it's clear that we're truly interested in what others think and feel, most people naturally reciprocate with equal curiosity and openness toward us. If, however, they sense we don't genuinely care about what's important to them, they'll be reluctant to open up to us."
Here are the ten questions:
- What would you like to say to Christians if you knew they would listen?
- If God called you on your cell phone and gave you the opportunity to ask him one question, what would you ask him, and why?
- Have you ever had a Christian attempt to convert you? If so, what thoughts or feelings did that experience stir up in you?
- If someone wanted to talk to you about God, how would you like him or her to approach you?
- Have you ever met anyone or experienced anything that made God seem real to you?
- Why do you think God seems so real to some people and so unreal to others?
- What kinds of experiences did you have with organized religion as you were growing up?
- What would it take to motivate you to give up your Sunday mornings to attend church?
- What do you understand the core message of Christianity to be?
- What do you find to be the most difficult thing to buy into when you consider the claims of Christianity?