Asking Questions in Evangelism

Asking Questions in Evangelism

Written by Harry L. Reeder III |
Saturday, January 14, 2023

There are two things we will not do in heaven: sin or evangelize. So by God’s grace, let’s prepare for heaven by sinning less and evangelizing more. Consider using questions to bring Christ and the gospel answer to sinners and by God’s glorious grace to bring sinners to Christ.

I confess to experiencing a rush of enthusiasm when I received the request to provide an article on the use of “questions in evangelism” for Tabletalk. Why? The answer is simple. The year 1969 was significant for me. I became a Christian, I married Cindy, and we found our church home. The pastor had returned from an Evangelism Explosion training clinic and began to equip us to share the gospel using the now-famous EE questions. As a new Christian up to that point, I eagerly shared the gospel with anyone, at any time, and in any place. In my exuberance, I was ineffective and at best awkward. So learning to use the EE questions was extraordinarily helpful.

After my call to the gospel ministry, my appreciation for the use of questions in evangelism and multiple ministry settings grew and has become a focal point in life and ministry. In my formative years, I was blessed with multiple mentors, all of whom were uniquely skilled at using questions. Interestingly, Ligonier Ministries and Tabletalk originated from the heart, life, and ministry of one of those mentors, R.C. Sproul, who was a premier practitioner of questions. While reading Stephen Nichols’ biography of R.C., I found myself in full agreement as he described the Columbo years of his ministry. How many talks, debates, conversations, and classroom experiences were sharpened by his penetrating questions?

Another mentor and friend of Ligonier, Sinclair Ferguson, displays the same ability with his unique, understated Scottish wit. The list of examples could lengthen, and we would have to include the clear illustration of the value of using questions that we find in the ministries of the Apostles. The preeminent example, however, is Christ and His skillful use of questions in ministry. Search the Gospels and note how many times that He uses questions even in response to questions.

For almost fifty years, the thoughtful use and development of questions in evangelism has captured my attention. One of the consequences has been the development of what I call “cultivation questions for evangelism.” As many know, Socrates developed a teaching method relying on questions to communicate foundational maxims for life. Our Savior and those whom He trained took this method to another level for addressing the issues of truth and eternity.

Thoughtful questions, rightly communicated, produce inevitable blessings:

  • Questions create an environment conducive to respectful dialogue.

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