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Q What are some conversation starters that might lead to deeper spiritual discussions with my friends?

A Here are a few suggestions:

What are you thankful for? What joys you are experiencing in your life these days?

Most people feel comfortable talking about good things happening in their lives, but they are afraid others won’t care. Just by asking and listening, you open the door for great interaction. You can then share what you are thankful for in your own life, and your conversation may lead to the source of all good things.

What challenges and struggles are you facing, personally and professionally?

People will share their hurts with someone who cares about them and takes the time to listen. You may want to share your own challenges and struggles first. In this way you are allowing your friends to reciprocate. This may become an opportunity to point to the grace of Jesus and how that has sustained you in your own hardship.

What is your personal religious history?

This question is not so much about what people believe as it is about their personal histories. A person might say, “I have no history of faith,” or “I grew up going to Mass every week, and my parents are quite devout,” or “I have always been very spiritual and I still read my horoscope daily and do a lot of meditation.”

No matter what answer they give, you’ll learn something about their journey that may allow you to move the conversation to a deeper level.

What do you believe about God? And how do you feel about Jesus Christ?

This question moves into more personal convictions and beliefs. No matter how the person answers, listen and learn to gain a sense of where she still needs to go on her journey toward Jesus.

(Adapted from Organic Outreach for Ordinary People: Sharing Good News Naturally by Kevin G. Harney.)

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