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A Questionable Life
How to Interest Those
Who Aren’t Interested
by Karl House
Many people just aren’t interested. They don’t care about ultimate questions like
“Who is God?” and “How do you have a relationship with Him?” So how do you
interest those who aren’t interested? You live a questionable life. Not
questionable in terms of sin, of course, but questionable in terms of creating
questions in those around you.
This is how Jesus lived. For example, when Jesus asked the Samaritan woman
at the well for a drink of water, she came back with a question. You are a Jew,
and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink? (John 4:9
NLT). She asked that question because Jews weren’t supposed to associate with
Samaritans or use their buckets to drink with; it would make them spiritually
unclean. But Jesus did something questionable. Breaking the accepted social
and religious norms of His day, Jesus asked this Samaritan woman for a drink,
which got her wondering why. Once the conversation was started, Jesus offered
her living water. She drank it and then shared it with the rest of her village. None
of this would have happened if Jesus had minded His own business at the well
that day. But His questionable question got it all started.
Jesus lived a questionable life and so can we. Peter writes, In your hearts
revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone
who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this
with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15 NIV). Paul writes something similar.
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every
opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with
salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone (Colossians 4:5-6 NIV).
In other words, live your life in such a way that it causes people to question why
… and then answer them.
Well, what does a questionable life look like?
To live a questionable life like Christ, you need to connect with Christ. This starts
when you personally drink the living water that He offers, receiving His
unconditional love and forgiveness though faith. To then share this living water
with others, you need to stay connected to Jesus. You need to tap into the
Source because outflow depends on inflow. So continue to drink of Christ
through prayer, Bible reading, worship, Christian friendship and the awareness of
His presence. As Jesus said: I am the vine; you are the branches. If you
remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can
do nothing. (John 15:5 NIV). The fruit of a questionable life grows from a
relationship with Jesus.
Next, to live a questionable life, swim upstream in our downstream culture.
Develop the “questionable” character of Christ. Love those who dislike you.
Forgive those who hurt you. Work hard. Keep your promises. Remain peaceful
during tense situations. Apologize when you fail. Marching to the beat of a
different drummer - the beat of the Bible and the Holy Spirit, instead of the beat
of the world - will be noticed. And leave self-righteousness, judgmentalism and
preaching behind. Those are definitely not attractive, nor Christ-like.
In our dog-eat-dog world, kindness will get people’s attention. Be creatively kind.
Look around you and ask the Holy Spirit whom you can bless and how you can
bless them. When my friend is in line at a coffee shop, he sometimes asks the
person behind him what they like to drink. Then when he gets to the barista, he
orders whatever he wants and what the person behind him likes. You can
imagine the kind of questions he gets when he hands them their café mocha. Cut
your neighbor’s lawn. Offer to watch their kids so they can go out on a date.
Bring over a hot meal when they’re sick. As you let Jesus’ love flow through you
to others, you’ll find that kindness kills skepticism and creates all kinds of
questions. For example, they might ask you, “Why are you doing this?” Don’t
wimp out and say, “I thought it would be nice.” Say, “I thought it would be
something Jesus would do.” That ought to create more curiosity.
Have you noticed that Jesus sort of eats His way through the Gospels? He’s
constantly connecting with people over meals. In the same way, good things
happen over coffee. Good conversations happen on the golf course. The key is
to focus on listening, rather talking. Ask good questions. When you show interest
in others, they’ll become interested in you. And notice whom Jesus connected
with. Some of them were rather questionable characters. For example, His
disciples were “shocked” to find Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman (John
4:27). Jesus, however, didn’t become known as a friend of sinners by keeping
This is from Michael Frost’s The 5 Habits of Highly Missional People (Exponential
I remember meeting a Southern Baptist minister in Portland who told me his
neighbor claimed to make the best margaritas in all of Oregon and who regularly
hosted margarita-and-poker nights in his garage. All the men from the
neighborhood attended, but the Baptist pastor never accepted an invitation to join
them, believing this to be a strong witness to his faith. When I heard this, I asked
him how many times his neighbor had asked him any questions about his faith in
Christ. “Never,” was the reply. I asked how often he’d ever shared anything of his
faith with his margarita-making neighbor and again the answer was “never.” You
see, it’s not “questionable” when a Baptist refuses to attend a margarita-andpoker night. It’s expected. I challenged him to accept the next invitation he
received and he took me up on it. The neighbor nearly fell over in shock. The
Baptist minister joined the gathering in the garage, and true to his convictions he
just drank soda. No one minded. He ended up having more conversations about
faith than he’d had in ages. The Baptist pastor at the margarita night was a
surprise. It evoked questions.
As you connect with people you’ll get to know them better, including their needs,
hurts and desires. Pray for these and tell them that you’re praying for them. That
way when God answers those prayers, they can connect the dots between the
prayer and the One who answered it, sparking new questions. In fact, go further
and ask if you can pray with them. You’ll be amazed at how open people are to
having you pray with them, especially after they have observed your Christ-like
character, received your kindness and have connected with you a few times. Just
remember when you pray with someone, keep your prayer short and sweet. You
want them to react, “Well, I could have done that!” Bingo! Maybe they’ll start
praying on their own. Whatever you do, don’t preach through your prayer. Simply
If connecting with one Christ-follower creates questions, connecting with several
of them together creates even more. So when you invite your coworker over to
watch the Super Bowl, invite a fellow Christian as well. Church events like men’s
breakfasts, women’s brunches, student groups and retreats, small groups and
worship services are great places for people to experience Christian community
too. In a world where there is so little community, Christian community is very
refreshing and attractive. So invite people into it. Leverage your relationships to
create curiosity. And don’t forget the Christian community at your work or school
or in your neighborhood. How could you join with another believer there in living
questionable lives? For more information about how two or more people can
partnering together to fill their community of influence with Jesus’ presence, visit
Hopefully by now, people around you are asking what your hope is. They’ve been
watching you and now they’re wondering what makes you tick. They may come
out and ask you directly or, so to speak, you may just see a big question mark on
their forehead. Either way, it’s now time to answer their question. What do you
communicate? The Good News, of course. And the Bible talks about two aspects
of Good News - the Good News of Jesus AND the Kingdom of God (Acts 8:12
and Acts 28:31).
I like to communicate the Good News of Jesus like this: Jesus loves you. He
really loves you! That’s why Jesus came down from heaven to become one of
us at Christmas. That’s why He helped and healed so many hurting people while
He was here on earth. That’s why He died on the cross on Good Friday. Our sin,
disobedience and rebellion against God separates us from Him. Jesus, however,
lived an obedient and sinless life and on the cross took our sin upon Himself. The
Father then punished Jesus instead of us for our sin. Jesus died in our place. So
our relationship with God isn’t based on what we do for God, but what Jesus did
for us. In a word, then, the Good News isn’t “do”, but “done”. Jesus has done it
all. On Easter, Jesus rose from the dead. Later, He ascended back into heaven.
And someday He will return to judge everyone who has ever lived and recreate
heaven and earth. This is Jesus’ story, the greatest love story ever. Those who
believe it and trust in Jesus receive the forgiveness of their sins, eternal life
starting today and the gift of the Holy Spirit within them. That really is Good
News! Share it and ask people to make it personal (to repent of their sin and
believe in Jesus) and make it public (to be baptized). Three passages to
memorize and use as you tell the Story are Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:10 and
There’s more to the Good News, though. There’s the Good News of the
Kingdom of God. Heaven has come to earth in the person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus shows us what life is like when God is in charge. I like to communicate the
Good News of the Kingdom like this: Jesus is here so anything can happen.
When Jesus ascended back into heaven as King of all, He promised to be with
us to the end of the age (Matthew 28:18-20). Therefore, Jesus is still here with us
doing His Kingdom work among us, often doing that work through us. So broken
hearts can be mended. Broken relationships can be repaired. Broken bodies can
be healed. Broken dreams can be renewed. Invite people to experience the
Kingdom of God right here and now. Pray big prayers. Ask Jesus to breakthrough
to them with Kingdom power. Ask heaven to come to earth.
Is there any question that living a questionable life is the life Jesus wants all His
followers to live? Too many people think that being a Christian is boring. Far from
it! It’s exciting. It’s epic! Open your eyes to those around you. Open your heart to
their needs. Open your spirit to the Spirit’s leading. Say, “to hear is to obey!” And
as you step out in faith, you’ll be amazed that people who were uninterested
before are interested now. They’ll start asking questions and you’ll have good
answers for them.
Thanks for reading A Questionable Life. May God bless you now as you live a
questionable life. This is the heart of JesusChurch’s outreach strategy because
each one of us is the heart of Jesus’ outreach strategy. If you have any questions
about this strategy or JesusChurch, please contact us.
Visit Us! myJesusChurch.com
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Email Us! info@myJesusChurch.com
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