After a year of quarantines and isolation, I think many of us long to connect with others in a deep and meaningful way. But doing this during COVID-19 has been difficult. I’m thankful for the technology we have to continue to keep in touch with others while social distancing. So how do we go deeper and really connect with others on a personal, emotional, and spiritual level when social restrictions are still in place?
Regardless of what policies are in place in your community, we can have those meaningful conversations at a distance or even over technology. We simply need to be intentional in starting them.
Look for opportunities to connect with others. Many of the people we know or interact with in the community are seeking something meaningful. Pray that God will lead you to someone around you who is ready to engage in conversation.
Listen with both your ears and your heart. Connecting with others is all about building relationships. Begin the conversation casually by talking about work, their family, or favorite hobbies that they have missed during the pandemic. Build an easy-going rapport, but listen carefully for areas where someone might be struggling. Many people will open up when they feel that someone cares about what they are saying.
Ask questions that lead to a deeper spiritual conversation. While getting to know someone is wonderful, sharing the best news we have – that we can have hope in Jesus Christ – is even better. However, this shouldn’t be forced. Ask questions to see where they are in their spiritual walk. While some may be closed to talking about spiritual matters, others will be open.
Here are a few questions you can ask to move from casual conversation to a deeper, more meaningful, spiritual conversation.
- Do you have a spiritual background? Or, do you ever think about spiritual things?
- Do you think you have ever seen evidence of God in your life? Or, have you ever seen God answer a prayer?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how fulfilling would you say your life is? If God were more a part of your life, would it move one way or the other?
Share your story. Your personal experience about what God has done in your life is powerful. It allows your friend to get to know you better, and it is a testimony of God’s love and grace for all of us. Your story could be exactly what the person needs to take that next step towards Jesus.
Connecting with others doesn’t have to be restricted to face-to-face conversations. If we pay attention and take the initiative, we can engage in meaningful conversations with others over the phone, on video chat, or standing six feet apart. Take that step and go deeper in 2021.
Rev. John B. Sorensen, D.D. is the President/CEO of Evangelism Explosion International, headquartered in Arden, N.C. EE has been a leader in equipping Christians to share their faith for more than 55 years. For more free tips and resources, visit evangelismexplosion.org.