One day at lunch Jon asked Ivan about his religious background. It was a lot easier than he thought! Ivan told Jon his mother took him to church once in a while as he was growing up. But that was about it. Yet Ivan seemed interested in spiritual things and asked Jon questions about what he believes. Jon thinks it would be a good idea to talk to Ivan about what it means to have a relationship with Jesus. But he wonders how to do that. What would you tell him?
This lesson talks about the word gospel and how it connects to having a conversation with those we meet. THE GOSPEL MEANS THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST AND HOW TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. In the story about Jon and Ivan, Jon talked about a relationship with Jesus, which is a big part of the story of the gospel. The following four passages give us insight into the meaning of the word even though they do not use the actual word “gospel.”
1. What can we learn about the gospel from these four passages? Why is it important to bring it up with someone when you have the chance?
2. One issue that comes up when talking about the gospel is the problem of sin. How would you define sin, and what does it have to do with a conversation you might have with someone about the gospel?
3. What is the answer to this problem of sin according to the passage we read in Romans 5:8?
4. Sometimes, when we share the gospel we talk about 4 main things we want people to know. These four symbols each represent one of those points. What do you think they each stand for?
5. Sometimes when we think about sharing the gospel with someone we get worried or scared about doing it right or getting the person to understand. What is our part and what is God’s part when we are in a conversation with someone like Ivan?
6. How is bringing Jesus up in the conversation like plugging in an electrical device?
7. Who in your life would benefit from you bringing up the gospel with them?
8. What are some questions you could ask to go from a general discussion about spiritual matters to a specific discussion about the gospel? If nothing comes to mind there is a “cheat sheet” at the end of this lesson, but first try to come up with some of your own.
9. When would be a good time to discuss the gospel with the person you identified in Question 6 and what would you be most comfortable using to explain it?
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.