While it's exciting to see the number of visits to questions2vie.com skyrocketing, there are also more and more emails to respond to. At the French national staff conference I (Dan) gave a workshop on responding to people's questions online in hope of recruiting some colleagues to share the load. So far, four have said they would help, which is encouraging. The 5 points I shared are equally useful for being intentionally salty in any conversation. Would you like to hear them? Here goes:
- The person you are talking with is on a spiritual journey. Where are they in relation to Christ? How can you find out? By asking good questions. Listen well, and remember that each of our spiritual journeys are unique.
- Seek out the real needs beneath the questions, the soul desires: to be loved, forgiven, accepted, authentic expression and authentic relationships. How can you uncover this? By asking good questions. Then consider this - how does Jesus meet that need in your life?
- Don't say your answers, lead them to the answers. The most reliable and convincing logic will be their own. Even if you've already wrestled with the question, they need to go through the struggle too. How can you do this? Once again, by asking good questions, honest questions, not leading ones.
- Lean on the resources available to you! So many questions have already been answered on everystudent.com. Well written articles address: the scientific reasons to believe in God, the reliability of the Bible, why does God allow suffering? Check out what's there and you might find just the right article to share. There is an app called GodTools and other apps developed by Cru to help you.
- Express God's love and consider their next steps. The first of the four spiritual laws is - God loves you. We express a message by our words and we also express a message through who we are. If we manage to respond with kindness and gentleness to someone who is antagonistic, that's God's love. The most important thing to express is God's love. At the same time, we all need to grow on our spiritual journey. Like a good coach, how can you encourage them on theirs? What might their next steps be? Jesus brought grace and truth, which is a difficult balance to walk. Grace and truth require the Holy Spirit, intentionality, tact, and for me, courage.
I hope this very condensed version is helpful and encouraging to you! Who has God placed in your life who you can talk with today? What are a few good questions you could have ready to ask them?