Exploring spiritually with Billy from Bangladesh

My friend Todd and I help lead a bible study for men on Monday nights. The group includes students from Taiwan, South Korea, China, the US, India, and Bangladesh. We know that at least two of the students are not yet followers of Jesus. A couple weeks ago, Todd passed around a list of questions.

“Here are some questions you could ask your friends as you begin to explore spiritually with them,” he said.

  • Did you have any religious background growing up?
  • Who is Jesus to you?
  • What do you think is the biggest problem with Christianity today?
  • Have you ever met a Christian whose life didn’t match their message?  Explain.
  • Could you tell me about your spiritual journey?
  • What’s your spiritual background?

I’ll pause in the letter here to ask you the same question Todd did: What question on this list do you think would be helpful as you explore with those around you – at work, at the gym, in your neighborhood?

We all went around and our students generally thought they could see themselves asking a question like this to their friends and classmates. Then “Billy” from Bangladesh spoke up.

Billy is Muslim, but he’s been coming to our bible study off and on for a year now. Billy and I have had some really significant conversations after those bible studies. We usually unpack either a story about Jesus (like Jesus meeting the Woman at the Well in John 4) or a story Jesus told (like the parable of the prodigal son). Since the Koran says that good Muslims are supposed to read the New Testament and listen to Jesus, I figured that was a good place to start.

Billy looked at the list of questions, and then looked at Joe, one of the grad students who helps lead the bible study.

“You know, Joe, this last question ‘What’s your spiritual background?’ that’s what you asked me a year ago in the gym, and that’s why I’m here tonight. You were interested in getting to know me and my spiritual life.
I’m really thankful you asked the question.

And here, Billy made explicit what Todd, Joe, and I knew: when we ask people questions like these, people feel cared for and are interested in talking.

I asked Billy why he comes to Cru. He replied, “Where else on campus can I have significant conversations like these about the things that truly matter.

Thanks for the vital part you play in helping us have spiritual conversations with Billy and those like him. What about you? This week (maybe even tomorrow), could you ask one of your coworkers or neighbors one of these questions?  We would LOVE to hear how it goes. Shoot us an e-mail: brian.ellis@cru.org, malisa.ellis@cru.org so we can celebrate with you.

Loving our Adventurous Lord,

Brian and Malisa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.