Evangelism can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Witnessing conversations don’t have to be awkward. You don’t have to be an expert on the Bible or theology for God to use you. You can use questions to help share the good news of Jesus Christ. It was one of the ways that Jesus and Paul shared the good news of salvation.
Jesus used two powerful tools — questions and a story — to share with the rich young ruler (Luke 10:25-37). Paul used questions when he dialogued with people in the synagogues (Acts 17:1-4). A short passage from Romans illustrates the kinds of questions that Paul would ask (see Romans 3:27-31).
Peter writes about the importance of being ready to share your faith in Christ.
Honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame (1 Peter 3:15-16).
Five Reasons to use questions as you share the gospel. If you look closely, these reasons are embedded in 1 Peter 3:15-16 (above).
- To show respect to the person to whom you are talking. Ask questions and listen to what they have to say.
- People are looking for answers, and although you should work hard to learn answers to their questions, you can’t possibly know the answer to every question that someone might ask you in a witnessing situation.
- To get the person thinking, without the conversation becoming an argument. They are going to ask you questions when they see the hope you have in Christ. Let God speak to them through your answers and your questions.
- To help the person look deep into their heart for answers. You honor Jesus the Messiah as Lord in your heart. Your questions will help them look deep into their heart for the most important answers about life and eternity.
- To point people to the hope that can be found in Christ, the hope that you have in Jesus your Savior and Lord.
Here is a Good Resource: Questioning Evangelism: Engaging People’s Hearts the Way Jesus Did, by Randy Newman. In this book, you will find literally hundreds of good questions to ask people, questions that can be used to share the gospel in a variety of settings and dealing with a variety of issues. The author gives many sample conversations to help you ask good questions to point people to Christ. Many of the questions on the list below were drawn from this resource.
Seventeen good questions to ask in witnessing conversations are below. As you read the list, pause after each question and think about scenarios in which you might use that question.
- Can you explain what you mean?
- What makes you believe that?
- Isn’t it possible…?
- Would you like it if…?
- If Jesus is not the only way for salvation, why did He have to die?
- Something within us cries out for goodness and moral purity, doesn’t it?
- How do you explain the bad things that happen in life?
- What has brought you hope in the midst of this trial of life?
- What do you think…?
- What do you believe about Jesus?
- How do you think a person gets to heaven?
- Have you ever read the Bible for yourself?
- Could I share my story of faith with you?
- Could I share with you some verses that are really important to me?
- Could I share the good news of salvation with you?
BONUS — The gospel in four words:
Hear Jesus’ words: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). We are ALL called to go. Sometimes you may do a lot of talking. Sometimes you may do a lot of listening. Ask good questions. And be ready to share the good news of salvation, leading people to faith in Jesus Christ.
Pray for opportunities this week. When God opens the door, use questions to share the gospel. Be amazed at how He uses you.