Questions with Answers

You know what people hate? Being lectured to. There are exceptions to this. People still go to TED talks, a modern update of the lyceum lecture halls popular in times past. You could possibly[1] be considered an exception at worship during the sermon. But you signed up for this, and so did they. Most people don’t sign up for these because most people aren’t interested in being told. Take the average college student, whose parents paid a large sum for them to stare into the deepest reaches of space in some hope of escape from class. Perhaps you have longed for escape when the duo in white short-sleeves march up to your door. You know you aren’t going to get a word in edgewise. You are in for a talking-to.

It would seem that some questions are in order. Why are most evangelism methods centered around an archaic mode that people have despised for quite some time? Why should brethren try to imitate or value the manipulative tactics employed by various heretical sects? Outside of Rev. 3:20 (a metaphor applied to a church), neither Jesus nor the apostles knocked on people’s doors. Unless you count Peter after prison that one night (Acts 12). Obviously, we don’t count that.

Instead, Jesus said people need to come knocking where He is. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matt. 7:7-8). Most of the biblical evangelistic efforts depended on people coming to see the evangelists, or asking the speakers to address them. So, how do you get people to ask and knock? This is an incredibly important question.

Do you know what people love? They love talking about themselves. Again, there are a few exceptions to this, but almost everyone would rather tell you something than be told something. Especially if it is an opportunity to share something in which they are interested. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just how people are. It’s easier to talk about what you know, so take advantage of that and ask them questions. Jesus invited people to Himself. Paul evangelized to Gentiles by speaking in places where people expected him. Both did so by asking people questions (Mark 9:21, Acts 26:27). And the people they asked questions of, first, spilled their lives, making it easier to get to know them. Second, they themselves were actually interested in what people had to say in return, naturally. So, simply ask people a few simple questions. “What do you believe?” “Why do you believe that?” “Where did you learn that?” “Have you actually read the Bible?” “What do you think about a God.” And maybe you’ll get some answers. And maybe they will too.             

 – DMF

[1] It depends, am I right?