When Asking Beats Telling – Gospel-paving Questions
Key Bible Verse: As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. – Acts 16:14
Bonus Reading: Acts 17:1-5a, 16-20, 32-34
A pastor urged his congregation to open the door to evangelism by challenging the prevailing slogans of our day. “The next time someone at work says, ‘Image is everything,'” he told them, “Respond, ‘No, it’s not! The glory of God is everything!'”
I agree with his theology. But a better response would be a puzzled look and “Really?” After getting the coworker’s attention, you could add “What do you think is everything? What would you say is the most foundational thing in life?”
When your cousin asks, “Why are you so narrow-minded as to believe that all Buddhists are going to hell?” don’t indignantly quote, “No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Ask her, “What have you found about Buddhism that convinces you that its adherents are worthy of heaven?”
When your neighbor asks, “Why do you think that Jesus was more than just a good moral teacher?” don’t take out your Lord-liar-lunatic diagram just yet. Ask her, “What makes you think that Jesus was a good teacher? Have you read a lot of His teachings? Which messages impress you the most about Jesus’ teaching ability? What would you say was Jesus’ main message?”
—Randy Newman in Questioning Evangelism
My Response: Who is someone with whom I could have this kind of give and take?
Thought to Apply: More and more we should hold back our answer, and with a question, pave the way to receptivity. —Randy Newman
Adapted from Questioning Evangelism (Kregel, 2004)
Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me share the Good News in a less cut-and-dried manner, softening hearts through relational give-and-take.