Colossians 1:3-14

  • From the passage what are at least 3 reasons Christians engage in sharing their faith with others
  • What motivations resonate with you the most?

3 Sides to every story

  • The Story: What God has done for us through Jesus
  • My story: the impact knowing Jesus has on my life
  • Your Story: What is God already doing in someone’s life?
  • Which side of the story are you most comfortable with?
  • Which is your most challenging?

Start with YOUR STORY

YOUR Story: Helps people know they can relate to the Gospel. They already have some inclination of what it is about.

We start with Your story as it makes us listen

We listen for 2 reasons

  1. Hear what God is doing.
  2. Answer the right questions – “Jesus is the answer, what is the question”?

Content and Process

  • Content: words we say
  • Process: all the things which are being said around this.

we need to get into the habit of listening and responding to the process and not just content.

John 4:1-42

  • How a woman moves from stranger to evangelist.
  • Qu: Where was the gospel proclaimed?
  • Jesus sensitivity to the PROCESS and Spirit of God enabling her to be led to a point where CONTENT spoke powerfully.

Starting with YOUR STORY important for Aussies

(Mal Garvin) What Aussies are like

  • Pragmatic
  • Authority
  • Intimacy
  • The effect on Non-Christians / The effect on Christians

How to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ with Aussies

  • Pragmatic – Live with Integrity
  • Authority – Speak with Humility
  • Intimacy – Build Trust

What to listen for? Entry Points

Usually assume that entry point is when people are in need. But there are other opportunities.

  1. Lifes hurts
  2. Lifes highs
  3. Lifes hopes
  4. Lifes histories

Using Questions

1+x = 3

We often try to answer people before we have heard the question.

We need to stop and hear.

 (James 1:19 NIV) …take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

Learning to ask 3 kinds of helpful, genuine, questions

  • Understand– listen to understand
  • Bridge – bridge to the Gospel
  • Insight – use questions to bring insight and revelation

(ie I want to travel)

Listen questions (what/where/how questions)

  • Where do you want to go?
  • what is it about other cultures….
  • Do you ever think about Spiritual things
  • Have you ever thought about what it is that makes a Christian?

Bridge questions (why questions)

  • Why do you want to go?

Insight questions (leading…)

  • What do you hope to find about yourself, What is it about now that you wish were different…-?
  • What will this mean? (questions of purpose)

Key Life Themes

We are listening for themes such as:

  1. Sin & Shame
  2. Identity
  3. Belonging
  4. Wellbeing
  5. Purpose
  6. Proof
  7. Future

Case Study

You are sitting down with a not-yet-Christian friend who went to a Buddhist meeting the other night. Your friend really liked the night, said he got a lot out of it and that the people there were really nice. He goes on to say “all religions are the same really, they teach good values and try to give people a guide through life.” How do you respond?

  • Where are the entry points?
  • What Understand/Bridge/Insight questions could you ask?
  • What life themes might be present?

Answering Hard Questions

4 Things to keep in mind

  • Hard questions are an opportunity to provide stepping stones
  • Is there a question behind the question?
  • Can I phrase the question/argument in a way the other person agrees with?
  • I try to use questions until I must give an answer (whoever asks the questions leads the conversation)
  • The central focus of my response should lead to Jesus

3 Basic Problem Areas

  • Problem of Evil
  • Problem of Truth
  • Problem of Christians

Questions non-Christians ask

  • Is God real?
  • Is the Bible true?
  • What about other religions?
  • “What does Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and other religions have in common?”
  • How can you believe in a god when there is so much evil and suffering in the world?
  • Which is right: evolution or creation?
  • What happens when I die?
  • Aren’t all religions praying to the same god? Why Christianity?
  • Hasn’t science proven religion is just fairy tales?
  • Why would a loving God send anyone to Hell?
  • What is up with your God condoning wiping out women and children?
  • How can you believe in a book that is full of contradictions?
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • “If the church is a non-profit organization why are there megachurches with rich preachers?”
  • “How would you feel if you died and learned that God is not real and that there is no heaven or hell?”
  • “Are you fearful of God’s wrath? If so, why do people sin?”
  • Why did God let us mess up. Why didn’t he make us as he wants us?
  • The reason I don’t believe in Christianity is because even if you are good all your life but don’t accept Christianity then you will go to hell.
  • Why is Christianity better than other religions? Don’t they all teach the same things?
  • I believe if you were born in a Hindu family you are Hindu. Christian family, Christian; Muslim family, muslim. As long as you are sincere that is all that counts.
What God Did
What God is Doing
What God will do
What we can do
Apologetic Framework

Group the questions into the 3 Problem areas. Are there any questions you can think of which don’t ‘fit’?

What kind of problems are these? Take a question that is most relevant and discuss together how you could respond?

In answering Hard Questions the challenge is rejection. It is not intellectual but relational.

“evangelism is leaving the person I have met with a better understanding of God than they would have had if they had never met me” (Dennis Pethers)


  • Over the next few weeks use questions to hear how God is at work in a friends life.