Uncovering Spiritual Interest
Getting started. Overcoming basic inertia. That is always the biggest problem. But once the ball gets rolling, talking with others about Jesus Christ can be a genuine adventure. The question is, how do we get started?
Getting the Right Start
Lets go to John 4, the story where Jesus visits with the Samaritan woman. Lets see how Jesus strikes up a conversation with this woman and how he opens up an opportunity to witness.
"Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, Please give me a drink." John 4:7 (NLT)
Besides being thirsty, could Jesus have had another reason for asking this question? I want you to think about something for a moment. Since you have been a Christian, how many times has someone approached you and asked you to help him become a Christian? People just do not normally approach us with their spiritual questions and concerns.
Does this mean that they dont have a desire to know God? Not necessarily. In fact, its probably just the opposite. I believe every person alive has an inner desire to know the One who created him, and the Holy Spirit uses that desire to create spiritual interest. You, however, are the one God is going to use to uncover that interest.
Jesus knew this woman had spiritual needs. He took the initiative to uncover those needs. But He didnt begin by talking about spiritual things. First He friendly and He asked a question.
The Friendship Factor
How do people make you feel important?
Many times we can share Christ with an individual shortly after we meet him, as Jesus did here in John 4. At other times, we will have to build a deeper friendship before the person is ready to talk about his spiritual life. In evangelism it is not either/orGod uses both ways. As you walk by the Spirit and gain experience, you will know what to do and when to do it.
Arousing Spiritual Curiosity
"The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?" John 4:9 (NLT)
The fact that Jesus initiated a conversation with this woman, and the fact that He was willing to express His need and be friendly aroused her curiosity.
Now when God gives us the opportunity to talk about spiritual truth we need to take action. How does Jesus take action in verse 10?
"Jesus replied, If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask Me, and I would give you living water." John 4:10 (NLT)
Jesus in essence was saying, "I have something that you would really be interested in, and, believe it or not, it comes from God." Jesus assumed this woman was spiritually hungry, so he appealed to her need. He aroused her curiosity. Lets think about something. Who are some people you talked with this last week? What are some ideas you have that would help uncover spiritual interest in them? What questions could you ask? What statements could you make?
Uncovering Spiritual Interest.
Are there some events to which you could invite a non-Christian friend that would help uncover spiritual interest and hunger?
The Art of Asking Questions
There are a lot of different questions we can use to interact with people. Questions can focus on such things as a discussion in one of your classes, what your friend believes and why (and dont be critical of their answers), a personal problem someone may have, or a problem on campus, a current event, or someones philosophy of life.
Putting it All Together
How would you recognize someone who is
spiritually hungry and open?
What needs do you think some of your friends, have and what questions would you ask to uncover spiritual interest?