When people go through hard times, their hearts are often more open to spiritual conversations. If they share difficulties with you, with gentleness and humility, you can try using these “onramp” questions to transition to share your story.  

  • “That sounds hard. What do you usually do when you’re stressed? (meditate, walk, pray, etc.)”  - "How is that working for you?"
  • After they respond, “Could I share what I do?” 
  • “What you’re saying reminds me of something I went through. Could I share what has helped me in hard times?”
  • If they're angry at church/Christians, apologize. "I'm so sorry that was your experience. Could I tell you about my personal relationship with Jesus?"
  • "What do you do when you're scared?"
  • "Where do you find hope?"

If people ask you a question you don't have the answer to, that's totally okay! You can say, "I don't know the answer, but let me find out and get back to you."


If they share their own story, respond with empathy and compassion. Here are some simple responses and further questions: Respond empathetically:
  • “That must have been really difficult.” 
  • “Thanks for sharing that. I can imagine that would be...” 
  • Offer prayer: “Could I pray with you about that?” 
  • Ask if they want to learn more: “Are you interested in learning more about Jesus?” or “Would you want to meet up and talk more about this?” or “Would you want to read the Bible together”