Philip could have asked the Ethiopian about his chariot. He could have asked him about his journeys and where he was headed. He could have asked him why he went to Jerusalem. All of these questions could have started the conversation, but Philip initiated the conversation with the most obvious: Do you understand what you’re reading? (Acts 8:30, HCSB) What else would you ask someone sitting in a chariot reading from the book of Isaiah?
In the Personal Study Guide, we are challenged to list questions we might use to initiate a conversation about spiritual matters (PSG, 97). Here is a list that may help get you started.
- Is religion important to you? Do you consider yourself a religious person?
- When you have problems or questions, who do you turn to for help?
- From what or whom do you draw the strength to endure a difficult situation?
- When you pray, to whom do you pray? Why?
- What do you think happens after our life here? What do you think it takes for a person to enter heaven?
- What causes your greatest concern or stress?
- What do you believe about the Bible? Have you ever read it for yourself? What did you think about what you read?
- What do you believe about Jesus?
- When do you feel close to God? When do you feel far away from Him?
- How do you deal with regrets from your past?
To be honest, there are all kinds of questions that can open the door for a spiritual conversation. The issue is not having a question at the ready, but being willing to ask the question. We know the questions that will take the conversation to a spiritual level, which may be why some of us never ask those questions in the first place.
What other questions have you found to be helpful in starting a conversation about spiritual things?