*WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Jon started a conversation with Ivan by asking him where he’s from. Since then Jon has been asking him more questions, and they’ve been getting to know each other better. They even started eating lunch together after Math class. Jon doesn’t know anything about Ivan’s spiritual background. He’d like to find out, but he doesn’t know how to bring it up. If you were Jon, how would you bring up spiritual matters with Ivan?
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
As we saw in last week’s lesson, Jesus was very good at starting conversations with people. We can learn a lot from the way he talked with a woman he met while getting water from a well. Our words might be very different but there are still insights and ideas we can use from reading the following passage.
1. How does the conversation begin in verse 7 between Jesus and the woman?
2. What happened next, and how did Jesus bring up the spiritual side of things while talking to the the woman in verses 9–10?
*3. How did this conversation continue in verses 11–12? Was the woman interested in the spiritual part of the conversation? How much did she seem to understand of what Jesus said to her?
*5. How does the woman respond in verse 15 to the claims Jesus made about himself?
*It is easy to let our conversations just be normal conversations, but as this story shows, many people in the world have a desire to have deeper conversations, even conversations about God. God made every person and put in them a desire to know Him. He has given us the opportunity to start those conversations to help people learn more about Him.
HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
6. How is starting a spiritual conversation like giving a thirsty person a tall glass of water?
7. Why is it important to take these conversations deeper to talk about spiritual things?
8. Why is it sometimes difficult to start spiritual conversations with your friends?
9. Try to brainstorm some of your own ideas that would help you bring up God with someone you know.
10. Last week we had an assignment to have a conversation with someone. How did it go?
11. Based on all the ideas we’ve discussed today, which question would work well for you to ask someone? When would be a good time to try out this question with them?
Take a moment to pray as a group for God to help you start great conversations this week.
CONVERSATION CHEAT SHEET
It can be hard to know how to break through these four sound barriers when you’re talking to people. Below, we have some ideas for how you can move through them so that you can have better spiritual conversations. Use these, come up with your own, or brainstorm other ideas with a friend. Just keep the conversations moving toward Christ.
STARTING A CONVERSATION
(Ideas for going from no conversation to a conversation)
- Hi, I’m_____are you new here? I don’t think I’ve seen you around.
- Did you see the game/Super Bowl/Olympics/March Madness/World Series/etc last night? Who did you want to win?
- What kind of music are you into?
- Do you want to sit with us at lunch? I noticed you have a new schedule.
- Hey, I saw your t-shirt. Are you a ______ fan?
(Ideas for going from a conversation into a spiritual conversation)
- Is your family religious? Do you believe the same way they do?
- Do you ever think about God or want to know more about Him?
- Do you go to church (or temple or mosque) anywhere?
- If you could ask God one question, what would you ask?
- Have you heard of Cru? It’s a group of students who get together and talk about how God relates to their lives. Would you be interested in checking it out sometime?
BRINGING UP JESUS
(Ideas for going from a spiritual conversation into a conversation about Jesus and the Gospel)
- From what you know about Jesus, who do you think he was?
- Using a scale from 1–10, how sure are you that you will go to heaven when you die?
- Can I show you a few things that have helped me have a relationship with God?
- Jesus has made a big impact on my life. Can I tell you about it?
- In Cru I’ve been learning about how to have a relationship with God. Can I tell you what I’ve learned?
If someone wants to receive Christ with you, you could lead them through a prayer like this…
“Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”
THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN HAVING CONVERSATIONS
- Take the first step.
- Talk about the other person, show an interest and be encouraging.
- Listen carefully, care about them as a person and what they have to say.
- Ask open ended questions (not yes/no).
- Breaking through these sound barriers is awkward. That is why we call them “barriers”. Don’t worry about having all the right words, just push through the awkwardness and start the conversation.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.