How do we know if a person is receptive to the gospel, or if the timing is right, or how far along their spiritual journey they are? The answer is that we just have to be obedient to God leading us, bold in our asking spiritual questions, and we need to persevere sensitively.

Most people love to talk about themselves, and God has made us curious, so let’s be asking questions, challenging preconceptions and arousing curiosity so that people will want to hear more. To discover whether someone is a moth or a mole – moths are attracted to the light but moles are repelled by the light – you could ask them plainly: If I could answer all of your questions to your complete satisfaction, would you like to believe and follow Christ; would you like to have faith and know God personally?

Here are some examples of spiritual questions you might like to ask (I am sure you can think of more):

  • Do you suppose that maybe what’s going on in your life right now might be a sign, you know, like a God-thing to try and get your attention? What do you think?
  • Do you have a faith? (How did that come about?)
  • Let me ask you, what do you understand the Christian message to be all about
  • Is there anything about Jesus you find difficult to like?
  • What are your views on the big questions of life: Who am I? Why am I here? And what happens when we die?
  • Can I pray for you? (This often takes people aback but they rarely say no.)
  • Ask what’s been happening in your life lately? What’s the greatest challenge (or the most significant thing) in your life right now? You sound like you’re carrying a heavy load, is there any way I can help? How can I pray for you?

(For further resources, ideas and exercises see Empowered Personal Evangelism)