In the United Kingdom, where Cru is called Agape, they recently did a poll of the staff, asking them to share their favorite questions for getting into spiritual conversation or taking a conversation deeper.
In addition to sharing their top questions, responders also emphasised the power of really listening and caring for people, as well as the importance of developing a rapport and relationship that goes beyond just one conversation.
- “Do you have much of a spiritual background?”
Many staff told us that they often ask a version of this question. Their follow up questions include:
“Does your background have any impact on you now?”
“What people have most shaped your beliefs?”
“What’s most influenced you to come to your current conclusions?”
- “How would you describe your spiritual journey?”
This question was also a popular one with our staff. Their follow up questions include:
“What values and causes are you most passionate about? Why?”
“What gives meaning and purpose to your life?”
- “What do you think about Jesus?”
Other related questions include:
“What have you heard about Jesus/ Christianity?”
“Are you a spiritual person?
“Have you ever thought about God in your life before?”
“One of the biggest things I've learnt in my time with Agapé is the power of listening well and asking good questions. Most of my best conversations with people (wherever they're at in relation to God) have come from me talking less and listening well. This seems so simple, but my experience would suggest that even if this comes relatively naturally all of us could develop and improve this discipline.”
Agapé Student Life, Nottingham
“Be curious about people. Spiritual conversations are often about being interested in other people enough to ask them questions. Most questions of general interest are only two to four questions away from a spiritual question. People like to talk about themselves. Ask why people do things or think certain ways.”
Agapé Staff, Overseas
“Be honest. Be vulnerable. Nobody likes a know it all. Admit and take advantage of the fact you don't know the answer in order to discover the answer together!”
“One question that is so simple but I find completely opens up conversations is ‘Are you a person of faith?’ Frequently people begin to talk about their religious background, their perspective. It’s an open question. It doesn’t pigeon-hole you into a religion, but it introduces the idea of faith. It’s a gentle approach. That’s the number one question I use. If they say ‘No,’ I ask, ‘So, what do you believe in?’
Agapé Student Life, Cambridge
What are your favorite ways to start a gospel conversation, or take a conversation deeper?