Will You Take the Challenge to Have 5 Spiritual Conversations This Month?

By: Amy Cheng

Talking about spirituality or religion outside of the church is often avoided, but there are surprising numbers of people who do want to talk about spirituality, God and even Jesus.

According to research from McCrindle, more than half of Australians (55 per cent) talk about spirituality or religion, often or occasionally, when they gather with friends.

City Bible Forum (CBF), which provides resources for Christian workers around Australia, is encouraging Christians to “dive deeper” and talk about their faith with friends, family and co-workers. They challenge Christians to have 5 spiritual conversations in a month.

This may not sound like a lot, but Russ Matthews, project manager for City Bible Forum, said it may be more challenging than people first realised.

“In a month, that can be pretty significant…” he said in an interview.

“It’s encouraging other people to talk, but then also effectively listening to what they’re saying and hearing what their opinions are.”

What is a Spiritual Conversation?

Although the aim of these conversations is to progress towards talking about the Bible and Jesus, an initial conversation may not necessarily mention Jesus.

“A spiritual conversation would be anything where you’re getting somebody to talk beyond just kind of a regular day and day in and out,” Mr Matthews said.

“I think with evangelism (sharing the good news of Jesus), unfortunately, sometimes we think it’s all about us talking, (but) a conversation is a two-way street.

“It’s encouraging other people to talk, but then also effectively listening to what they’re saying and hearing what their opinions are.”

He said people should try to direct the conversation to God.

“Often, you’re talking about something that involves God, involves faith, involves a spiritual element, that is the beginning of that kind of spiritual conversation journey.”

Different Types of Evangelists

To help Christians start these conversations, City Bible Forum has created a quiz for people to find out which Bible character they are most like when talking about Jesus.

After completing the quiz, they will be given access to free resources to equip them to start these conversations.

“People just love (going to) Buzzfeed and that sort of thing to do quizzes to find out a little bit more about their personality,” Mr Matthews said.

“So, I think that’s one of the things that the quiz kind of gives you, it gives you an in, it gives you kind of a hook to consider different types of evangelists.”

The three different types include the hesitant, likened to the Apostle Paul’s associate Timothy; the busy, represented by Archippus from the church at Colossae; and the enthusiast, just like the Apostle Paul.

However, the goal of the quiz is not to become more like a type of evangelist, Mr Matthews said.

“It’s not necessarily that you have to strive to be an enthusiast; it’s really more that it’s just getting you out and doing the conversations where you’re at and with what skills you already have.”

Breaking the Norm

“The primary goal of this whole thing is to encourage people to consider engaging in an evangelistic process with those that are in their immediate vicinity.”

The three different types of evangelists also helps people to see that not everybody will go about it the same way, he said.

“Sometimes it’s breaking the norm of what people think an evangelist is and seeing the fact that we all can evangelise, even if we don’t think we have the gift of evangelism, that we still have a responsibility and an opportunity to evangelise.”

Watch Video

GOOD‘s new program The Listening Road, follows one man’s remarkable 33-day journey cycling 3,000 miles across the United States on a mission to engage with people from all walks of life in real conversations about things that matter most.

As a pastor, Neil Tomba noticed a disturbing trend among people in church: they were finding it increasingly difficult to talk about God to those outside of the church. Neil wanted to practice what he preached, so he set out to bike across the United States, talking – and, more importantly, listening – to strangers from all walks of life about faith, their stories, and matters of the heart.

The Listening Road takes you on Neil’s remarkable journey across the country and straight into its soul – from Route 66 motels to state parks, a lake house, and a railway car; from conversations with Amish farmers to chats with truckers, cowboys, mechanics, and a descendant of Daniel Boone. From one city, farm, and highway to the next, Neil models with compassion and curiosity that genuine connection happens only if we are willing to listen in love.

Start watching The Listening Road now. Click here.

Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.

Feature image: Photo by Etienne Boulanger on Unsplash