HOUSTON, TX (ANS) — How many conversations do most of us have on a daily basis? How many of those conversations can become divine appointments? How can ordinary conversations be turned into meaningful, significant and life changing conversations? These are important questions to ask if we are interested in having positive impact on the lives of people within our spheres of influence.
Tools for Conversations
Sometimes modern technology and our digital devices can be a hindrance to substantive conversations. On the other hand, especially during this global pandemic, our phones, iPads, laptops and other devices can be useful tools for having meaningful conversations. It was encouraging to have a phone conversation recently with a man I led to the Lord 45 years ago. He has also introduced many to Jesus and discipled them on their spiritual journey. Being mindful and purposeful can make all the difference in conversations that are seemingly routine, and those that can determine the eternal destiny of individuals.
Power of Modern Media
During the present pandemic many of us are recognizing, even more so, the power of modern media and technological resources. It’s been a blessing for many years to produce a short feature radio broadcast. It is remarkable how God can use a 60 second message to impact people’s lives. https://www.khcb.org/wp/ Many have been inspired to become more active in sharing the gospel and experiencing others coming to faith in Christ. A short story, an example or a Scripture portion can be used by the Holy Spirit to touch hearts and change lives.
Not everyone has a platform to reach people by television or radio. However, increasing numbers of people around the world have access to phones, computers, laptops, iPads and other devices to reach out with conversations that can have impact for the Kingdom. We have heard many reports of how the Lord has used, and is using, these modern media resources to spark disciple making and church planting movements among unreached and unengaged people groups.
Power of Questions
On a personal level, opportunities abound to engage in spiritual conversations. A casual conversation with an Army officer on a cross country flight a few years ago turned out to be a divine appointment. By asking a few questions and guiding the conversation toward spiritual matters resulted in my sharing the gospel and having prayer with the officer. Two weeks later, I received a very nice letter from him, thanking me for sharing with him and tell me how his life had changed. When we are
prayerful and purposeful about our conversations, we can fully expect God to open doors for witness and ministry. Often a simple word of encouragement or blessing can be used to change a person’s life. It can all start by asking general, non-threatening questions and showing interest and listening.
A Transforming Conversation
During a Living Water International Orality Training mission trip to Nicaragua, our team connected with a mission trip team from another organizations. One evening over dinner at the guest house where we were staying, we discussed our Orality Training and Strategies. Orality was a fairly new concept to the mission team leader. During the conversation, I asked the lady who had been leading mission teams for several years, “What has been the highlight of you experiences leading mission teams over the years?” Her response was, “Our discussion over the past 20 minutes, that has changed my life and the way I’ll do missions from now on.” It was an eye opener for her to realize that the majority of the people of the world are oral learners. Yet, it is estimated that roughly 90 percent of the time the gospel is presented in a Western, literate style of communication.
It was during the Asbury Revival and Jesus Movement in the early 1970s that I became more focused and intentional about engaging in spiritual conversations. Many people came to Christ as a result of brief encounters and conversations. It was a season of experiencing a significant move of the Holy Spirit, and a more spontaneous outworking of the indwelling Christ. Revivals and spiritual awakenings tend to launch Jesus followers into new dimensions of living out and sharing the gospel. Actually, our faith in Christ should be contagious and reproducing.
The Mission Field we Live in
One of the challenges many believers have is recognizing that we all live in a mission field. Having that awareness can help us in turning those ordinary, everyday conversations into Jesus sharing opportunities. Asking good questions is probably one of the best and most effective ways of doing so. Following are a few examples that have been effective for me and many others:
* What have been some defining moments in your life that’s brought you to where you are today?
* Have you noticed any signs of spiritual awakening in the city (region or country)?
* Is there anything going on in your life that I can pray with you about?
* Has anyone talked with you about the Lord recently?
* Have you noticed how many people are thinking more about their need for the Lord?
* Do you have a religious background, or belief system?
* What has been your most amazing spiritual experience?
* Have you had a desire for a more personal, intimate relationship with God?
There are many variations of these kind of questions that can lead to spiritual conversations. It is important to realize that our most feeble efforts can be used by the Holy Spirit to touch hearts and change lives. It has been said that God can use our mistakes better than our disobedience. The Holy Spirit is creative and unlimited in the ways He will use us as we step out in faith and begin conversations and focus on Jesus. Many times we will be amazed and surprised at how open people are to have spiritual conversations, when approached in a kind and sensitive manner. In fact, there are probably more people ready to respond to the Good News of Jesus now, than there are believers who are actively seeking to reach out and share with them.