How to Use Directive Questions in Personal Evangelism, Pt. 3

Using the acrostic of F.I.R.E to help remember certain directive and progressive questions will help you guide conversation onto spiritual things in a natural way. The “F” and the “I” are covered in previous articles.

After asking the “important” question you will want to progress to the “R” in F.I.R.E. The “R” is for “religious” question. If the person you are talking to gives you any answer to the “I” question other than having Jesus Christ as their savior, then you will want to use the religious question. As noted in previous articles, the “I” question: “What is the most important thing that has ever happened to you?” Is not necessarily a spiritual or religious question. It is a value question. It will give insight into where the person’s heart is at that moment. The religious question is spiritual or religious on purpose. It will extract a spiritual response. You definately at this point are talking about spiritual things. The religious question is: “What is the most important thing God has done for you?”

While the “F” for “friend” starts at the general and the “I” for “important” moves to the value, the “R” for “religious” moves decidedly to the spiritual, if the conversation has not already gone there. Most people, out of the hundreds I have asked this question, give an answer of God helping them out of some problem. Common responses are: “He saved me out of a car wreck, or when I was sick He helped me to get well, or God helped me thru my personal problems.” The Important question ellicits an answer of something good that has happened. The Religious question often ellicits something painful or tragic that God has helped them through. A follow-up question to this could be: “Tell me, how did God do this?”

The main point is that you are now on spiritual subject matter. It is also personal spiritual subject matter. The next step is then to discover what their spiritual address might be. Have they trusted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord? What is their understanding of sin and salvation? This will be covered in the next post.


About Jimmy Kinnaird

Jimmy started his ministry on the streets of the French Quarter of New Orleans leading a jazz band as a tool to witness for Christ. He has also been a church staff member, church planter, pastor, and Church Outreach Team Leader for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Recently, Jimmy served as Personal Evangelism Resource Coordinator on the Personal Evangelism Team at the North American Mission Board, SBC. He is currently pastor of Village Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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