What bible verse, book or story could you preach on without advance notice?
Maybe the thought of getting up to speak in front of anyone makes you break out in a sweat, but it can be fun and revealing to imagine a scenario where you’re called on to be the emergency preacher. Really, this question is less about the occasion and much more about what part of the bible means the most to you and not your brilliant or not oratory skills!
If you could relive the story of Moses without needing notes, what moments would you pull out? His rescue by royalty, the burning bush conversation with God, the long walk through the desert? In the highs and lows of Moses’ life, what themes shine a light on your own faith?
Maybe it would be a psalm that you’d love to talk about – the poetry, the heartfelt pouring out of emotion to God, the reflections on creation, life and death. How does this reflect your own relationship with God?
Or you could jump straight into the new testament, and explain your interpretation of the beatitudes and how it applies today. Or focus on Acts, and what the early church did. Is this a clue about your own priorities and day-to-day faith?
Whatever stands out as your ‘no notes’ part of the bible, it’s a great insight into how you experience your faith and a great conversation starter.
What’s your preferred bible translation?
Maybe you only read the King James version of the bible with a real leather cover and verses on every page underlined. Or perhaps you have an audiobook, with a modern translation read to you as you travel to work. You might love The Message and its creative retelling of the old stories. Maybe you like to vary it, and read the same passage in different versions!
Whatever your approach, asking about preferred translations is a good way to understand more about how someone’s faith influences their life. You can learn more about what they love about scripture and what they struggle with.
It’s easy to go deeper into conversation and discuss what you have in common and what might be different. You might learn something too!
What are the things you pray about most?
Prayers can stretch from the tiniest personal detail to the whole of the world, and it’s not surprising that Paul wrote in Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing”.
What takes up most of your praying time or the subject that comes up most often give a great insight into the things that matter to you. Perhaps your friends and family are always top of the list. Or maybe it’s your work or studies. You could find yourself engrossed in prayer for the environment, violence or unrest in the world, or issues in your community.
You could also ask ‘How do you find it easiest to pray?’ and learn about someone’s routine and how prayer plays a part in their life. And it’s a great opportunity to be honest about the times you don’t find it easy too!
Who first talked to you about God?
Going back to the moment you first learned about God is likely to be significant for you, and prompt some memories. This is a great question for bringing a personal dimension into the faith conversation.
Maybe church was always part of your family life, so you can’t remember a time God wasn’t talked about. Or perhaps a grandparent or more distant family member said prayed for you, and that’s how you first heard about God.
It could be your first conversation about God was later in life – when you were in education or at work or even through friends. What do you remember about the person who spoke to you and what they said? What was your reaction?
Opening this topic will help you understand each other’s background in faith and where the foundations lie.
What type of church do you feel most at home in?
For single Christians church can be a tricky topic (ask our friends at Single Friendly Church!) but that doesn’t mean avoiding the subject. There are two ways you could approach this to learn more about each other.
One is the practical aspects of church. The type of music, the building, the way people dress, the roles they have and the style of service. There would also be the theological aspects – the teaching or preaching, how they approach communion and prayer.
The other is the emotional and community aspect. Is your church a supportive place to be? Are you welcomed and affirmed no matter what your relationship status? Size is also a factor too – do you feel most comfortable as one among hundreds or prefer to be in a small congregation?
Whether your faith conversations bring out lots you have in common, or suggests you live our your Christianity very differently it’s a great opportunity to go deeper with someone who shares your underlying beliefs. Enjoy learning from each other, and don’t miss the opportunity to be encouraging as well!