Questions leading into spiritual conversations

I happened to talk with the director of another ministry on Friday.  He is looking to utilize volunteers to expand the number of ministries they are servicing.

One of his concerns was not being able to model leading small groups.  We talked about the skills needed in leading small groups.  One of the areas I mentioned was the ability to ask good questions to draw out discussion.  That brought to mind something I have mentioned before on questions leading into spiritual conversations.  Here are 31 conversation “starters” compiled by Patty Burgin and Bobb Biehl.

  1. Where are you in your spiritual pilgrimage?
  2. In your opinion, how does one become a Christian?
  3. What single thing would you like to make absolutely certain you do (if at all possible) during your lifetime?
  4. How do you think a person can keep from becoming a workaholic?
  5. What character can you imagine yourself to be? (any period of history)
  6. What are you reading that is not an assignment or required by your work?
  7. How do you know you’ll go to heaven when you die?
  8. How are your growing personally?
  9. In a conversation with someone who has never heard about God, what would you say about Him from your experience?
  10. In your opinion, how does one become a Christian?
  11. How would you describe your father and his impact on your life?
  12. Tell me about your mentor and his/her impact on your life.
  13. What do you think would probably surprise most people about you?  Why?
  14. What is your greatest strength, and what are you doing to develop it?
  15. Why do people do what they do?  What are the assumptions you make about people?
  16. How do you handle pressure?  When the pressure is really on, what do you need from your friends?
  17. Has anything ever happened to you that was dramatic, personal or spectacular enough to cause you to be certain there is a God who is both infinite and personally caring?
  18. What do you consider to be two major turning points in your life?
  19. What is something you consider to be a great personal success?  Why was it so significant?
  20. What is the key to maintaining balance in your life?
  21. What are 2 or 3 major truths upon which you have based your decision-making?
  22. Tell me about two of your life-long friends and why they have such an impact on your life.  What made you choose them?
  23. Have you dealt with the questions? “How much money is enough, and what do I do with the rest?”
  24. How would you describe your mother and the impact she has had on your life?
  25. In your opinion, who was/is Jesus Christ?
  26. If you could know God personally, would you be interested?
  27. How would you define materialism, and how do you deal with it in your life?
  28. What have you found to be the best way of absorbing disappointment, rejection, distress and discouragement?
  29. When you get to heaven, what will be the first three questions you will ask God?
  30. If you were to inherit a million dollars today, and couldn’t spend it on your own enterprise or keep it for yourself, what would you do with it and why?
  31. What do you find most attractive about Christianity/the person of Christ?  What do you find least attractive about Christianity/the person of Christ?


And here is a list of questions intended to break through barriers in sharing the gospel compiled in the NorthEast a number of years ago.

  1. Do you consider yourself a seeker of the truth?
  2. What is your spiritual background?
  3. Have you ever read the Bible?
  4. Have your views on religion changed since you started college?  How?
  5. Have you ever discussed what Biblical Christianity is?
  6. Why do you think you feel the way you do toward Jesus Christ and his message of love and forgiveness?
  7. What is your philosophy of life based on?
  8. Do you believe what you’ve been brought up with?
  9. Why do you think Christianity isn’t relevant to your life?
  10. If Christ was who He claimed to be, how would that affect your life?
  11. What are you living for? What do you value most?
  12. If your questions could be answered in a way that would satisfy you, would you then believe in Christ?
  13. The Kennedy questions:  First ask–“If you died today, do you know for sure you’d go to heaven?”  Then ask–“If you died and stood before God and He asked you ‘Why should I let you into Heaven?’  What would you say?”


It is important for all of us, staff, students and volunteers, to know how to ask questions in order to create dialogue.  Here are a couple more resources that are helpful in developing this skill.

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One thought on “Questions leading into spiritual conversations

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