If you want to be a good listener, think of yourself as someone who comes alongside another person – not to give advice, but to learn the other person’s real story.
Following questions are adapted from a resource at Ethos Church in Nashville.
Questions for Where You Live:
- Do you know your neighbors’ names? IF not, how can you introduce yourself?
- Who in your neighborhood just had a baby? Can you naturally offer something, take a meal (either take-out or a gift card)?
- Who is elderly or disabled? What might they need help with? (Yard work, house chores, caring for a pet, etc.)
- Who is around your age or in a similar life stage? Can you invite them into your space or home?
- Are there single moms or dads around you? How might they need help from time to time?
- Do your neighbors know each other? Can you do something to bring them all together?
- Is there anyone in your neighborhood who doesn’t fit the profile of the majority? How can you help them feel loved and valued?
Questions for Where You Work or Where You Go to School
- Do you know your coworkers’ names? If not, how can you introduce yourself?
- Has anyone had any major life changes?
- Has there been a death in anyone’s family, or are they or someone in their family ill?
- Has anyone at work just had a baby? Can you naturally offer something, take a meal (either take-out or a gift card)?
- Is there someone at your workplace or school who doesn’t fit in, is different or gets bullied? How can you help them feel loved and valued?
- Is there anyone new to your workplace? How can you help them feel welcome?
- Do any of your coworkers hang out together after work? How can you join in or initiate a gathering?
- Are there ways you can support your coworkers or classmates outside of your work or school? Do they play in a band, do they have a specific hobby, do they play in a sports league? How can you show up and support them?
Questions for Where You Play:
- Where do you go frequently? (Gym, library, sporting events, music venues, restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, malls?) How can you get to know the people you see frequently at this place?
- Can you take opportunities to make a significant encounter something more? It may be the barista, waiter/waitress, something checking you in at the gym, or running beside you on a treadmill.
- How can you listen and express care for that person with whom you regularly interact? Is there someone you have a favor with? For example, does the manager of the gym, the barista at the boba shop or the wait staff at your favorite restaurant enjoy talking to you? How can you listen to and bless those people?
[BOOK] 9 ARTS OF SPIRITUAL CONVERSATIONS
By Mary Shallar and John Crilly
Love God, love people. Could evangelism really be that simple? Often it doesn’t seem so. It can feel scary, awkward, and uncomfortable as we try to navigate loaded questions and different perspectives. Even the most faithful of believers sometimes get stumped. But what if we as Christians simply spent time with people who are far from God and provided a safe place to talk about spiritual matters? What if we listened to them and discovered what was really important to them? After all, it’s what Jesus did. And it’s what you can do too.
[BOOK] QUESTIONING EVANGELISM
By Randy Newman
A much-needed look at sharing Christ with unbelievers, not based on guerrilla hard-sell tactics but on engaging questions and caring interaction. Filled with humor and stories, this book provides a challenging yet encouraging look at evangelism in our world today. Newman suggests that asking questions and starting meaningful conversations is a far better method for sharing faith than prepared lectures or statements. He also offers advice on what people need to hear in response to the world around them.