Author Greg Koukl
Published on 12/24/2019
Tactics and Tools

Want to Share the Gospel? Start with This Question

Part 2: Greg explains the first step in a tactical approach to sharing your Christian convictions with others.


I talk a lot about having a tactical game plan in place that will allow you to go forward and engage somebody in a productive way for Christ without taking a lot of risk on yourself. I’ve talked in the past about the importance of not worrying about the harvest but thinking more about the gardening because if we garden effectively, then the harvest will take care of itself. Plus, the idea of trying to win someone to Christ and get them to sign on the dotted line is a little daunting for a lot of people, so they sit on the bench instead of getting out into the field. And so I want to suggest a means by which you can do that. Okay, what’s the first step of the game plan?

The first step of the game plan is to simply gather information. You cannot know how to proceed effectively in a conversation unless you have basic information. Now, what does that do? It gives me a little bit of a sense of the lay of the land. I might find out whether or not they’re a Christian, or if they used to be a Christian and aren’t now, or whether they’ve ever thought about Christianity, or whether they’re hostile to Christianity.

You see, these are all things that are really valuable to know before you move forward. This is one step that you you don’t need to hurry. Do not worry about getting to the endgame, winning them to Christ, don’t even think about that now. Just think about gathering information.

Now, I have a model question at this point that will help you, and the model question is, “What do you mean by that?” What do you mean by that? It’s a model question that means you can use it different ways under different circumstances with different people.

Now, this is especially helpful when people are raising objections against Christianity or offering challenges. There are all kinds of challenges that require more information. And so when somebody says, “Well, everything is relative,” and you ask, “What do you mean by relative?” or they say, “I believe in evolution,” and you ask, “What do you mean by evolution?” or they say, “I believe the Bible is filled with errors,” or, “The Bible has been changed,” or that “Jesus never lived,” or that “He lived, but He wasn’t a miracle worker,” etc., etc., etc., it is always in your favor to ask more questions. And you don’t have to answer that objection, not at this point. All you have to do is get more information. And the more information you get, the better. The more you understand that person, the more you understand that person’s ideas, the more clarity you have of the challenge, the better you’ll be able to decide in the future which direction to go or if you don’t go in any direction at all.

This first question, “What do you mean by that?”—meant to help you gather information—is going to get you started, and that’s all we want to worry about at this point in the tactical game plan.