You’re deep in conversation with a friend who doesn’t yet know Jesus, and you really want them to take that step. But pulling out a gospel tract would feel pretty weird. How can you transition conversations toward spiritual matters in a way that is natural and doesn’t come off as pushy?

Try one of these transitions to turn a conversation toward spiritual things:

  1. People invest time and energy into developing their career, their bodies, and relationships, but often neglect the spiritual dimension of their lives. How do you pursue spiritual development?

  2. Do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person?

  3. How has this experience affected the way you view God?

  4. Do you have a religious or faith background?

  5. I'd like to tell you how I established a personal relationship with God. (Tell your personal testimony of how you became a Christian. Keep it to three minutes, using the following outline: Before — what characterized your life before trusting Christ. During — how you came to trust Christ. After — how you are different now.)

    For help in crafting your personal testimony, read Discover Your Story.

  6. What is your concept of God? Do you view him positively or negatively?

  7. Have you ever come to a point in your life where you believed in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, or do you think that is something you’d consider for your life?

  8. Do you find that faith or spiritual values play a role in your work/day/marriage/perspective on life?

  9. If you could be sure there is a God, would you want to know him? Or if you could know God personally, would you want to?

  10. Bring a friend to your church or a Christian event, then ask: “What did you think of it? Did it make sense to you?”

  11. Have you made the wonderful discovery of knowing God personally?

  12. Do you go to church? Why or why not?

  13. We've been friends for quite some time now, and I've never really talked to you about the most important person in my life. May I take a few moments and do so?

  14. Is church something that has had an influence in your life? Are you at a point now that you want church to be a bigger part of your life? What prompted this? Would you want to hear our basic beliefs so you'll know if that fits in with what you're looking for?

  15. How do you think someone becomes a Christian?

  16. Do you mind if I share the thing I've found most important to me as a dad/mom/employer?

  17. What do you think about when you go to sleep at night? (If anxiety or guilt rob them of sleep, introduce the peace found in a relationship with Christ).

  18. Most people in America say they believe in God. What does believing in God mean to you?

  19. Before I came to know Jesus personally, God was a vague concept that I could not relate to or grasp. How would you describe your view of God? Is he a reality to you or more of a vague concept?

  20. If you were to die tonight are you sure you'd go to heaven? Has anyone ever explained how you can know for sure?

Whatever approach you use, never argue or condemn the other person's beliefs. Make sure to listen attentively when they respond. This will help you gauge where they’re at in their spiritual journey and what the next step could be.

Focus on God's love for the person, Jesus' death on the cross for our sins, his resurrection, and the person's need to make a commitment to follow Christ. When the time is right, invite the person to actually pray with you and commit his or her life to Christ.

Above all, rely on the power of the Holy Spirit every step of the way. Only God can open hearts to receive him.

Photo Credit: Rob Bye