“How are you doing?” We hear it and use it all the time. Often the response is, “I’m fine, thank you.” But there are times where that seemingly benign question can open up deep meaningful conversations about the most important issues in life!
And ultimately a seemingly benign question may open up the door to be able to pose the most important of questions: “Who do you think Jesus is?”
In the context of personal relationships where you have regular touch points with an individual, there is certainly time to ask lots of various questions that propel conversations along. And hopefully, at some point, that most poignant of questions can be posed.
Christmastime is certainly a unique time of year to share Jesus with another, for everyone is confronted with Christmas on some level, regardless of religion. Whether we’re talking about the ‘commercial’ Christmas or ‘Jesus-centered’ Christmas, it takes energy for the one who wants to avoid Christmas and it also takes energy for the one to desires to embrace Christmas. And so, Christmas is a prominent issue at Christmas!
If you were to ask someone you know, “What do you think about Christmas?” I wonder what kind of answers you would get or what kind of interesting conversations would ensue. This type of benign question is a good conversation starter because it’s open-ended and non-threatening.
Think about this subtle but powerful difference in thinking about conversations with others. Do I want to speak to someone or speak with someone about spiritual matters, including the Christmas and the Christ of Christmas? Just recently I asked an unbelieving friend of mine that same question. His response was striking – He said, “I hate the commercialism of Christmas!” Even some unbelievers weary with the materialistic Christmas of the world!
Questions affirm others. Inquiry communicates that we care about what another thinks, believes and feels. You know as I, that often we as Christians are often accused of simply wanting to talk and be heard. Yet a winsome and humble witness will certainly include the willingness to listen.
How do we find out about how people really feel about Christmas and the Christ of Christmas? A great way is to ask leading questions like:
• “What are you doing on Christmas?”
• “What does Christmas mean to you”
• “Do you have any religious traditions you observe on Christmas?”
• “What do you think is the meaning of Christmas?”
Witnessing conversations are Spirit-led. Have you ever had an impactful spiritual conversation with an unbeliever and not really know how it started from the secular and moved to the spiritual? There have been times I’ve shared this experience with other believers to encourage them and was asked, “How did it get started?” My response – “I don’t know.” Can you relate?
In God’s providence, He has a beautiful capacity to reach into a mundane conversation and move it from the secular to the sacred in such a way so as to cause us to marvel.
But questions about this particular season can be part of the process of evangelism during Christmas because everyone is dealing with Christmas. Have you had any significant conversations with an unbeliever about the ‘reason for the season’ this year? Did you ask any leading questions or did it just ‘happen’ naturally in the midst of a conversation that moved from the secular to the sacred?
Here are more conversations starters that you can use this season:
- • What would Jesus buy you for Christmas?
- • What was your best Christmas ever? Why?
- • What part of the Christmas story intrigues you the most?
- • Many movies, songs and stories refer to the “Christmas spirit” – what does that mean?
- • Why do you think people started celebrating the birth of Jesus?
- • Do you think the birth of Jesus deserves such a nearly worldwide celebration?
- • Why do you think Jesus came to earth?
- • What was your favorite Christmas tradition as a child?
- • What is your favorite Christmas tradition now?
- • Is Santa Claus really Jesus dressed up?
- • When did you realize Santa Claus wasn’t real?
- • What’s the most meaningful Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
- • What was the most appreciated Christmas gift you’ve ever given?
- • What’s the best thing that’s happened to you since last Christmas?
- • Did you ever receive coal in your stocking as a child? Was there a time when you should have?
- • What are three things that brought you joy last year?
- • What is one thing you hope for the new year?
- • What is one thing you can do to bring peace to your home next year?
- • What would Jesus buy you for Christmas?
- • For students: Tell me what it’s like to have finals over.
- • For those who don’t celebrate Christmas: What do you normally do on Christmas day? What is your tradition?
Let me know how your Christmas conversation with a non-believer happened.