How to Use the KGP Conversationally
How We Share the Gospel is Important
The Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 4:2-6:
“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.”
Colossians 4 tells us that an evangelist’s duty is not just to present information, but to strive to make the gospel clear and understandable. Knowing God Personally (KGP) is a very easy to use and transferable booklet which communicates a simple four point outline for how to know God personally!
The KGP assumes people are familiar with a Christian worldview, which was true of the original audience in 1951. However, many young people today have many misconceptions about Christianity or aren’t familiar with it at all. Most don’t even have a good grasp of what they believe or why.
Today, in a culture where authenticity is highly valued, asking leading questions, such as those found in Knowing God Personally (KGP), can communicate a disingenuous attempt to know and care for someone. It can also create a dynamic of “I know the right answers, let’s see if you can guess them.” This doesn’t help us foster trust and an environment where others feel loved, safe and are open to truly considering the good news.
A Simple Solution
Adding exploratory questions to the Knowing God Personally booklet can make this highly transferable tool a truly interactive, safe and positive experience for you and the people you care about. Exploratory questions help people process their own worldview and put us in the posture of a concerned helper for their benefit, instead of a task-driven Christian looking to benefit ourselves.
This training article will help you ask exploratory questions in place of the questions printed in the KGP. This will give you a more normal and engaging way of using the KGP and can even help you respond to people’s objections. This approach can also be used with other evangelism methods and in spiritual conversations.
How to Introduce The KGP Conversationally
Introduce the KGP by saying something like, “I’d love to hear your thoughts on a short booklet about knowing God personally. Do you have a few minutes to share your thoughts with me?” Notice this is a subtle yet significant difference from what you may have often heard: “Can I share with you how to know God personally?” Avoid using words like “share” and “present” in this context. We want to express a desire to understand others more than a desire to be heard. In this way we can help others understand the gospel better, and we avoid being the pushy Christians most are expecting us to be and we can genuinely learn new insights which help us better understand others, ourselves and God.
Ask Exploratory Questions Throughout the KGP
Read through the KGP with someone, but replace the current questions and transitional statements with the following questions in the following places:
End of Law 1: “What do you find easy or difficult to believe about this view of God?”
[Note: To transition from your dialogue and to the next law, or section, you can always say something like, “Thank you for sharing that. Now I’d like to hear your thoughts on this next part.]
End of Law 2: “What do you find easy or difficult to believe about this view of our human condition?”
End of Law 3: “What do you find easy or difficult to believe about this view of Jesus and how he is the only way to God?”
Before the Circles on Law 4: “What do you find easy or difficult to believe about this view of how we can only receive God’s grace through faith in Jesus and not through our own good deeds?”
After the Circles on Law 4: “Which circle represents where you are in relation to Christ and which one represents where you want to be?”
After the Prayer: “How does this prayer express what you believe, need and desire?”
Then ask one of these two questions (depending on how the conversation has gone):
- “Would you like to pray this prayer to receive Christ now?”
- “In light of this conversation, what’s the next step you want to take on your spiritual journey?”
(Possible next steps include exploring a website like exploremyperspective.com or everystudent.com, reading The Gospel of John from a free Bible app or meeting again to talk!)
How to Respond to Objections to the KGP
Asking people to be so honest with you can be intimidating, but it is essential if you are going to make the Gospel clear.
When people raise doubts and objections, don’t feel pressured to respond with an answer. Asking a few, thoughtful questions in response is a great way to help people work through their objections and the most common barriers to faith in Christ. Having the following barriers in mind will help you identify the best questions to ask:
- Ignorance: They’ve just never heard, they don’t know.
- Misconceptions: They believe something about Christianity that’s not true.
- Fear: They fear losing community, wealth, identity, security, pleasure, a secret, an addiction, etc.
- Pain: Trauma and other painful life events can cause people to distrust God and doubt God’s goodness.
- Fruitless Christians: No one want’s to become like their unloving, self-righteous, angry, or unhappy friends.
Here are six types of questions you can use to help people process the gospel and their own beliefs:
- Check-In Questions: What’s easy or difficult to believe about ___? What do you think about that?
- Understanding Questions: What is it that makes that hard to believe?
- Clarifying Questions: What do you think it means to ___? What do you mean when you say ___?
- Possibility Questions: Have you ever thought about ___? Do you think it’s possible that ___?
What do you think it would be like to experience the freedom and unconditional love of God?
- Logic Questions: Help me understand ___ (how both these things can be true at the same time)?
- Illuminating Questions: What do you fear might happen if you chose to surrender your life to Jesus?
Prayer, being filled the Holy Spirit and practice are keys to having great experiences sharing your faith!