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Small Group Questions for Sermon Series Gospeler Week 3

Session 3: Ask a Question


Every session has a point—what each participant should walk away from the discussion knowing, feeling, and doing.


Main Idea: Opening gospel conversations with a question allows us to get to know people and show them we care.


Head Change: To know that sharing the gospel is personal.


Heart Change: To feel interested in people as we share the gospel with them.


Life Change: To listen to a person’s story before pursuing a gospel conversation. 


What makes you feel loved or cared for?


You might love receiving gifts or maybe encouragement makes you feel seen and loved. We all desire to connect with others. While people may receive love differently, we all want to know we are cared for by friends, family, and even people we just met. So when we are approached by someone wanting to share the gospel, we want to know they actually care about us. In our own evangelizing, we should extend the same respect to others. In our session today, Willie will teach us to start gospel conversations by showing our care for the other person.  


Before viewing the session, here are a few important things to look for in Willie Robertson‘s teaching. As you watch, pay attention to how he answers the following questions:


What are we communicating when we open conversations with questions?


How did Jesus’s questions to the Samaritan woman direct their conversation toward her faith?


Watch Session 3: Ask a Question (8 minutes).


Sharing the gospel with people we’ve just met can be awkward. Willie suggested that opening gospel conversations with a question or two will help the other person feel comfortable and cared for. What awkwardness have you experienced when you’ve tried to tell people about Jesus?


When we tell someone about Jesus, we are introducing them to his love—we should love them as well. Being interested in their story is a simple way to show them they are valuable. What are some thoughtful questions that show you care about a person? How might asking “get to know you” questions help you introduce faith more naturally into the conversation??


As Jesus’s disciples, we should be known primarily by our love for one another (John 13:35). Sometimes that means we enter into difficult stories instead of sticking with small talk. Are you willing to be uncomfortable when someone reveals painful circumstances from their past? How do you tend to respond when a new acquaintance is willing to be vulnerable? What are you communicating to them when you fully engage as they open themselves up? 


Willie noted that disciples of Jesus are in the people business—Jesus’s whole focus was on caring for and serving the people he encountered. His interactions, while life-changing, often started with a simple question. When he encountered the Samaritan woman, for example, he started with, “Will you give me a drink?” (John 4:7). Instead of keeping his distance from the people he lived and worked around, he engaged and interacted with them. Who are some people you live around that you could get to know better? What could you ask them to start a conversation?


Jesus’s conversation with the Samaritan woman happened at a well, a common meeting area. Today, our “well” might be a coffee shop or another community space where people from all walks of life come together. Which workers or fellow customers do you see regularly when you visit your favorite “watering hole”? Have you attempted to introduce yourself or ask about them? If not, why? If so, what sort of relationship do you have with them?


Willie reminded us that many people have little or no spiritual background. One simple question could open the door to the deeper questions they are wrestling with. Just as the Samaritan woman opened up about her family and the Messiah, so might someone be waiting for an invitation to talk about God. What are some simple questions you could use to start a conversation with a barista at the coffee shop or a neighbor?


After her conversation with Jesus, the Samaritan woman became a gospeler, telling her whole town about Jesus. He was the hope of her future, and she wanted other people to share in that joy. When we talk about Jesus, we are sharing good news that we want others to experience. In what ways has Jesus given you hope, joy, and peace? Who in your life would you want to experience the same thing? How might you start a conversation with that person?


Jesus spoke with many people who were searching for truth. Each encounter was unique, but his care always showed through. As we explore how Jesus engaged a blind man and a tax collector, both outcasts but for very different reasons, we will learn the beauty of showing people that they are seen and loved. Read Luke 18:35–43.


On his way to Jericho, Jesus encountered a blind man sitting beside the road who called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” In using the title “Son of David,” the blind man was saying that he believed Jesus was the Messiah. How did Jesus’s response contrast with the response of the crowd with him?


When Jesus responded, an unseeing man who lived unseen by the masses discovered that his savior noticed and cared about him. God does not pass by those rejected by society. He sees them, and he sees us. If you’ve ever felt unseen, how does the story of the blind man encourage you? Who in your life needs a reminder that God sees them and cares about their struggles? What can you do to represent Christ to them?


When the man’s sight returned, it created a wave of glorifying God among the crowd. Jesus’s actions reminded them that God accepts those society rejects. Think of those who sit on the fringes of our society—the infirm, elderly, immigrants, and prisoners, to name a few. In what ways does this story reveal the love Jesus has for them? How can you reach out to a marginalized person with compassion and generosity?


As they continued toward Jericho Jesus again challenged his disciples’ view of who should be loved. This time it was with a tax collector, a man who had gotten rich by swindling his neighbors. Read Luke 19:1–9.


In verse 2, Luke tells us that Zacchaeus was a wealthy chief tax collector. In those days, tax collectors often charged more than people owed on their taxes and pocketed the difference. Zacchaeus worked for the empire that was oppressing his people and got rich extorting taxes from his neighbors. He was an outcast among his people—someone to be avoided rather than loved. Are there people in your life whose lifestyles make you want to avoid them? When you cross paths with them, how do you treat people you don’t respect?


Jesus’s decision to stay with Zacchaeus was met with broad disapproval. People had no affection for the tax collector they called “a sinful man” (verse 7). They were either unwilling to allow a sinner to repent or could not believe it was possible. In their hearts, they had written Zacchaeus off as a lost cause. Imagine their shock when Jesus stopped, looked up at a sinner, and invited himself to his house. It was more than Zacchaeus could have hoped for. As you think of your community, which people are “outsiders”? How are you mimicking Jesus’s hospitality to people who might feel unworthy of kindness or acceptance?


Jesus said he “must” stay with Zacchaeus, emphasizing his mission to save those whom culture had given up on. We all know people like Zacchaeus, people whose sin defines them to others. What has your attitude been toward outsiders or outcasts? If you are an ambassador for Christ, what stops you from pushing past their obvious faults and befriending them?


Repentance came quickly to Zacchaeus. “He too is a son of Abraham,” Jesus said, indicating that Zacchaeus’s heart had been changed and he was restored as a humble, faithful member of his faith family. No matter our sins, Christ empowers us to live righteously when we are united with him. How did your life change after someone introduced you to Jesus? In what ways can you express the hope of God’s grace to those who feel beyond his reach?


Much like the blind beggar on the road to Jericho, the crowd had written off the corrupt chief extortioner of the city. Neither fit their expectations for those God would invite into his presence. But Jesus approached both, seeking to know them. He does the same with us, inviting us into a relationship. Were you more like the blind man whose difficult life left you hopeless or the overt sinner seemingly beyond hope? What led you to Jesus? Who can you invite to know him too?


People want to be seen and heard, to believe that they are worth knowing. Jesus was a master at looking people in the eye, giving them individual attention when they needed it. As we look for people who need Jesus, let’s remember to show them we care about them. Sometimes that looks like asking them questions about their life. Sometimes it means offering help or advice or just including them in our lives. When we treat people with dignity and respect, not as a project, we more accurately imitate the love that Jesus has for all of us.


Read: Read Chapter 3, “Broke Propeller,” from Willie Robertson’s book, Gospeler.


Write: Brainstorm a list of questions you can ask people to break the ice when you meet them. Consider questions that are open-ended, not designed for a “yes” or “no” answer. Include questions that invite them to open up about their faith journey.   


Pray: Take time to pray for those you meet and already know who need to know Jesus. Prayer takes effort and the time you dedicate to pray for those who do not yet know the Lord is an expression of your care for them.

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