Seen. Known. Loved.

A new exciting tool called Seen. Known. Loved. is now available in GodTools. In collaboration with Moody Publishers, this new specially designed tool connects readers to the gospel by helping them understand their love language.

Filter of Hope

The new “Filter of Hope. Knowing God.” tool is now available on GodTools!

In partnership with Filter of Hope, this new tool is designed to be a  digital companion and guide to sharing the gospel when on a Filter of Hope trip. A water filter can be so much more than a life improvement– it’s your opening to share the gospel in word and deed.

How to recognize and create chances to talk about God during the holidays

Holidays can be such a great time to have spiritual conversations with your friends and family.

You’re with loved ones to celebrate and spend quality time together. Maybe you’re seeing people you haven’t seen in a while. Special food and fun traditions, and the anticipation of them, can lead to a festive feeling in the air. And that holiday mood can allow people to relax and be more open to talking.

If approached with humility and love, and the power the Holy Spirit offers, holidays can be an ideal time to talk with someone about Jesus. But for that conversation to happen, it’s important to recognize or create the right opportunity.

So here’s how you can recognize opportunities when they come or create some yourself.


How can you recognize opportunities to talk about your faith in God? 

First of all, what’s an opportunity? A good opportunity to talk about God with someone is when the other person is undistracted and willing to have a spiritual conversation with you. It’s that simple.

And a person is more likely to be open to talking about spiritual things when it’s just the two of you. So look for times when you’re more or less alone together and doing something that doesn’t take a lot of concentration. Here are types of situations to look for:

  • You and a friend are traveling together to a holiday gathering.
  • You find yourself making dumplings in the kitchen with your cousin while everyone else is outside.
  • After the meal, your grandma invites you to take a walk with her around the neighborhood.
  • You watch a movie with a group of people and afterward you and a friend go out for coffee to talk about it.

Look for times like these, when you’re together and less likely to be interrupted. Start by asking a good question and listening well. Then ask a spiritual question and see if the person is open to having a spiritual conversation. A good spiritual question to ask during a holiday could be, “What are you thankful for?”

Stay alert because a chance can come and go quickly. If your uncle asks the group, “Who wants to go with me to buy the meat?” you may have only a couple seconds to volunteer before someone else does.

Sometimes, though, quality chances to talk about spiritual topics don’t appear. Or you fail to recognize them in time. When that’s the case, try creating a chance to talk about God.


How can you create opportunities to talk about your faith in God? 

Creating opportunities doesn’t mean you’re taking matters into your own hands. Either way, God is the one working behind the scenes. Sometimes he drops opportunities in your lap and sometimes he invites you to take a more active role, working with him to bring the opportunities about.

So here are three things you can do to create opportunities to talk with family and friends about Jesus during a holiday:


1. Pray and prepare

God wants everyone to hear the good news. So he’s definitely going to help you if you want to talk about Jesus with the people in your life. Pray and ask God to lead you by his Spirit.

Then think through past holidays and your plans for this one and identify potential opportunities for a conversation. One idea is to invite someone ahead of time to a sporting event or out for coffee or to shop for presents together.


2. Demonstrate the gospel with your life

People will be more willing to talk with you about God if they see genuine humility and love in your actions and attitude. When you make conflict resolution and forgiveness a priority it disarms the other person and can make them curious.

Share about your life in a vulnerable way, then ask to hear what’s been going on in their life since you’ve seen them last. Ask how you can pray for them. Be excited with them about the good stuff and show compassion when responding about the hard stuff. When they see your genuine interest and care it will reduce some of the barriers they may have.

Just by having a great interaction with the other person — laughing or talking deeply — you can build trust and help undo negative assumptions they might have of you or Jesus. Then, when you bring up spiritual topics, they’re more likely to have that conversation with you.


3. Take action

Taking action means actively creating time when you can talk without distractions. For example, you could offer to help your friend clean up after the meal while others play a game in the living room. Once you have a conversation going, take a step of faith and ask a spiritual question.

Also, your friend or family member may be more willing to talk with you about God if they have an experience that causes them to think about spiritual things.

  • Will you be going to a religious service together?
  • Will you be doing a holiday tradition that has a spiritual background?
  • Will you be experiencing art together (movie, museum, music) that has an overtly spiritual element or theme?

If so, you can ask what they felt and thought about that service, tradition or piece of art. If it’s a movie, you could ask about parts that speak to spiritual themes: the world’s brokenness due to sin, death that causes sadness, good vs. evil, a fight for justice, love that brings healing. After listening well, see if they’re open for you to share your views too. While sharing, you can talk about how Jesus died to solve the problems of sin and death and to bring love, justice, and healing.

But what if talking about “religion” doesn’t often go well in your family? If that’s the case, one thing you can do is to wait until you’ve eaten. When we’re hungry it’s harder to concentrate and easier to become irritated and impatient. Bringing up spiritual topics after having eaten is more likely to go well. Also make sure to use a kind and gentle tone of voice.

When you recognize, create and make the most of opportunities to talk about God with the people in your life this holiday season, you are showing them love. There’s no greater gift you can give another person than a chance to hear the gospel, be forgiven and enter into a relationship with Jesus.

So ask God for opportunities and for help. Then prepare, seek to demonstrate the gospel with your life, and actively pursue a spiritual conversation with your friend or family member. Happy holidays!

Do you believe God can use you to point your co-workers toward Jesus?


Hi, my name is Matthew. I work at the human service organization in Brooklyn, NYC. During one of our mosque events, when the Athan went off, which is the Islamic call to public prayer, Noura*, my co-worker, who identifies as Muslim, took some time in silence before Allah in the other room. I noticed that she was not really praying the traditional Muslim prayer. When she came back in the main room, Noura initiated a conversation, saying: “I don’t really pray, you know.”

I followed up, saying, “Why are you saying that?” She said, “I like to connect with God in my own way,” and then also added, “And I get confused sometimes thinking about religion.” Then Noura looked me straight in the eyes and asked me: “If Jesus is not God, then why is he the one coming to judge all humanity?”

This question gave me a wide door to share the full gospel right there in the mosque. I was wearing a bracelet that had the symbols from an evangelistic tool called “THE FOUR,” and I was able to use those symbols to share the four points of the gospel with Noura. She was following so attentively, and confessed that she is searching for truth, and she believes that God put me in her life to point her to him.

Later that day, I sent Noura an evangelistic video called “Falling Plates.” After watching it, she replied saying that it gave her a lot of comfort knowing God desires a relationship with her. One week after that conversation, I gave Noura a Bible. When she received it, she cried and promised to read it every day. 

Noura did not have a radical change in her life, but her journey toward Jesus is steady and certain. Often when I see her in the office, she expresses that she is reading the Bible daily and she is falling in love with Jesus. And Noura also decided not to observe Ramadan this year, instead to focus on her journey toward Jesus. 

Since this story, actually Noura transitioned to work for another organization in another state. But I trust that God will place someone in her life to continue to point her toward Jesus. 

*Name changed for privacy.

2 perspectives to change obstacles into opportunities for sharing the good news

When you think about your day, do you see opportunities for talking with people about God, or do you see obstacles?

Maybe you look at your busy schedule and think there are few, if any, opportunities for meaningful conversations about faith. But what if God has put you where you are, with the busyness and interruptions that come with daily life, for a reason?

Seeing that bigger purpose, though, can require a shift in perspective. The locations God has placed you in, and the daily patterns he’s put in your life, are not obstacles to sharing your faith. They are opportunities to reveal his love to those around you.

So here are two perspectives to help you transform your obstacles into opportunities to talk about God with the people in your life.


1. Because God’s Spirit lives in you, people can meet with God any place you go

To understand the importance of the places in our lives we need to understand how God has used holy places to bring people closer to himself. In the history of God’s people, the most fundamental example of this is the temple.

At the temple God’s people could come to worship because God himself was there. And he invited people from all around the world to come and learn about him and worship him. God put himself in a geographic location so that people could meet with him.

Fast forward to now, and God no longer lives in one single temple. He lives in each of us! “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16, ESV) That means that we are walking temples. We are the places where God chooses to live. And he invites people to himself through us.

By extension, the places where we go become holy places where God is. God has put you in those locations to be a mini-temple, representing him wherever you are. 

So your home is a place where your neighbors can see God. Your child’s school is a place where other parents, teachers and kids can encounter the Lord. Your workplace, gym, library, front yard, grocery store — all places where God has come to meet people through you.


2. Your everyday patterns can make a great impact for the gospel

Now think about the patterns in your life. You probably have a daily or weekly rhythm — you go to work, pick up your child from school, maybe meet some friends on Thursdays. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the busyness of it all.

But what if you slowed down enough to realize the potential of your everyday activities?

The Bible often talks about spreading the gospel like planting seeds. Is it a lot of work to plant a seed? Not at all! It takes just a moment to throw a small seed on the ground. It takes a few seconds to water it each day.

The key is doing small things consistently, leading to big results over time.

You see the same people every day or every week. What small things could you do to share God’s love with them in your everyday activities? Try to think of things that, if done consistently, might lead to fruit in the long run. It could be starting with a simple hello, or inviting a friend over for dinner. Or mentioning something encouraging you read in the Bible recently. The small patterns in our lives have great potential. 

So how do you transform your obstacles into opportunities? It really comes down to changing your perspective. Do you view your daily interactions with people as insignificant? Remember, you are God’s presence in your everyday places and patterns.

One way to start changing your perspective is to make a new pattern. At the beginning of each day, remember that God has put you with purpose in the places you are. Pray for eyes to see the opportunities around you each day. God is with you!

Knowing a person’s experiences and personality can help you talk about God

Personalizing the way you talk with someone about God can make all the difference.

Why? Because no two people are the same. Your unique blend of cultural contexts, life experiences and personality traits sets you apart from everyone else. The same is true of the people you want to talk with about Jesus.

Knowing a person’s cultural context can help you get started. But the more you know about their life experiences and personality, the better the conversation is likely to go. Because when you understand the other person, you can personalize how and when you talk about God with them, making the conversation more productive and enjoyable.

So here are ways to think about life experiences and personality traits that can help you talk with someone about the gospel.


Life experiences

Understanding how someone came to their beliefs about God is just as important as knowing what they believe.

Take for example two people who are indifferent toward God. One experienced great success in life and never felt the need for God. The other experienced tragedy, felt like God was silent when they cried out for help, and now considers God unreliable. Neither of them think much about God, but both arrived at their indifference by separate paths.

When you know about their life journeys, you can approach a spiritual conversation differently for each of them. You are a living demonstration, translation and contextualization of the gospel for the people in your life. The more you understand them and their story, the better you can connect the story of the gospel to them.

So ask the person to share their life story, and listen carefully. If they share something vulnerable with you, make sure to treat that with respect. Show them by your facial expression, words and actions that you care about them.

Then you can ask one or both of these questions:

  • “What experiences in your life, including defining choices you’ve made, have had the greatest impact on your views about God and the world?” 
  • “Is there a time in your life when you believed something different about God than you do now? If so, what happened to change your beliefs?”



Personality plays a big role in how a person reacts to what has or hasn’t happened to them. Two people can live through the same circumstances but, due to their personality, arrive at different conclusions about God and self.

One truth to keep in mind is that personality is like an iceberg, meaning that it’s more complex than what you can initially see from the surface. So try to avoid making simple assumptions about anyone you talk with.

On a practical level, understanding someone’s personality can help you pick a good place, time and way to have a deep discussion about spiritual topics.

  • If you know that someone is easily stressed by noisy or crowded places, try to find or create a calm environment. Our mood, focus and level of vulnerability are all influenced by our environment. So it’s important to be in a setting where your friend or family member feels able and willing to talk freely.
  • If someone gets angry easily, try talking with them when they have eaten and are rested. The physical, emotional and spiritual parts of our life are all interconnected. Considering the physical aspects can help you avoid certain emotional reactions that would keep you from having a productive spiritual conversation.
  • If a co-worker seems shy and uncomfortable talking one on one about spiritual things, you could ask them to invite someone else to join in. Some people function best when they have downtime in the conversation to form their own thoughts. Talking in a group of 3-4 can give a shy person regular breaks from being the center of attention.

Pay careful attention to how the person acts and reacts in different circumstances. Ask questions about their personality, such as if they’re an introvert or an extrovert, and if they’re optimistic or more often pessimistic. If you’ve taken a personality assessment that makes sense to you, ask the other person if they’ve also taken it and compare your results. Then use what you learn to personalize your conversation with that person.

Because the more you understand your neighbor’s or family member’s unique life experiences and personality, the better you can customize a spiritual conversation for them. And the more personalized the conversation is, the more productive and enjoyable it’s likely to be.

Even someone you just met may be interested to talk about God


Hi! I’m Alex. And I’m going to share a story of how God helped me to talk about him with someone I had just met.

So, I just met this girl named Alexia and we started talking and I asked if she was interested in spiritual things. And she said, “Yes!” She seemed really excited and we went really deep, really fast. So, she loved talking about God and spiritual topics because it was nostalgic for her. She mentioned that when she saw a cross, she felt comfort and nostalgia.

With that, I asked if I could go through the Knowing God Personally booklet with her, which is a short gospel presentation, and she said yes. While doing that, Alexia mentioned that she had come from a religious background, that she had gone to church for a while, but that she had stopped.

And so, with that, it seemed that she knew some of what I was talking about when I shared the gospel with her. But she didn’t realize just how important Jesus was. And when I was sharing about Jesus, Alexia would say things like, “I love this! This is so good!” And it was genuine.

Finally, when we got to the piece of the gospel presentation that has a prayer, she mentioned that she didn’t want to accept Christ right there and then. She said she needed some time to think about that. But even with that, she gave me a big hug, which I totally did not expect. And she said, “I hope I see you again.”

And, I did see her again. We ran into each other a week later. And she shared — after another big hug — that she had been thinking about the gospel and that she had kept the Knowing God Personally booklet on her nightstand. So, she was seeing it every day and thinking about the gospel every day.

So that was just really sweet and so amazing to be a part of God’s plan and what he’s doing in people’s lives — especially with someone I had just met.

What will you say if God suddenly opens the door for a spiritual conversation?


Hi, I’m Jodi, and I’ve come to believe that God opens doors when we least expect it.

I went over to our neighbor Doug’s house to watch football as we usually do. And I knew he had just returned from visiting his 89-year-old parents, and that it might be the last time he sees his dad, for his life was coming to the end. So I asked him, “How was your trip with your dad?”

And he said, “It was good, we got to spend some good quality time together. My mom was there most of the time, holding his hand. And at one point I overheard a conversation. My dad said, ‘Honey, I’m not sure that I’m going to heaven.’ And my mom squeezed his hand and said, ‘Oh, honey, you’re a good man.’”

And Doug said he didn’t know what to say. So he looked at me and said, “Jodi, what would you have said?”

And I responded, “Well, I probably would have read Romans 10:9 to him out of the Bible, that says, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, that you will be saved.”

Doug’s response was, “Is that it? That’s all you need to do?” And I said, “Yeah, that’s what the Bible says. So I probably would have asked him if he believed that and then prayed with him.”

With tears in his eyes, Doug said, “Wow, I need to go call my mom.”

So, when I least expected it — watching football on a Sunday afternoon with a neighbor that doesn’t invite spiritual conversations very often — God opened a door for us to have that great spiritual conversation.

How does knowing someone’s cultural context help you talk with them about God?

If you could have a conversation about the gospel today with one person in your life, who would that be?

Maybe that’s an easy question to answer. What can often be more difficult is approaching the conversation. The spiritual side of life is a huge subject. What’s the best way to transition to a spiritual conversation and talk about the gospel with this specific person?

Learning about their cultural context can help with that. A person’s cultural context is made up of all the different overlapping cultures that have influenced how they view God and the world. This includes their family background as well as the culture of their friend group, neighborhood, school, workplace and any other community, past or present — a soccer team, for example.

So here are two ways that understanding a person’s cultural context will help you talk with them about God.

1. Knowing the person’s cultural context helps you transition to a spiritual conversation

The first thing to do is ask questions like, “Can you tell me about your family?” and “Where have you lived so far in your life?” As the person answers your initial questions, listen carefully. What they say will give you valuable clues that will help you personalize the spiritual conversation you want to have with them.

For example, if your co-worker answers a question by saying she attended Catholic school for 12 years, that won’t tell you what she believes about God. But it shows that she’s likely not new to talking about him. So an easy transition to a spiritual conversation could be to ask about her spiritual experience at the school.

On the other hand, what if your neighbor says he grew up in China? In that case, you might not want to begin by talking about a personal relationship with God. Instead you could say, “I know that in communist countries many people believe God does not exist. Is that true of the part of China you grew up in?” The person’s answer will likely indicate what they personally believe about God’s existence and will give you the opportunity to ask follow-up questions.

Here’s another benefit to listening carefully. You’ll be able to see if the person is more likely to be highly individualistic or defer to other people’s opinions. The other person may also have a different sense than your own of when it’s appropriate to talk about something. Understanding that will help you personalize the spiritual conversation for that person.

2. Knowing a person’s cultural context helps you personalize the way you share the gospel with them

Once you’re in a spiritual conversation, keep your eye out for an opportunity to talk with the other person about what Jesus has done for them. When that time comes, knowledge of the other person’s context will help you decide how best to communicate the gospel and if using a gospel tool is the right way to go.

Remember, the gospel message itself never changes. But personalizing the way you talk about the gospel can help the other person understand it more easily and deeply.

What if you’re talking with someone from a culture that places people in social positions of honor or shame? In that case, you might use the Honor Restored tool in GodTools. If the person lives in a culture with an awareness of the reality, presence and power of spiritual forces, consider using the Power Over Fear tool.

In the end, knowing a person’s cultural context will not help you overcome every obstacle to talking about your faith. But it can help you identify ways to start the spiritual conversation and to personalize the way you share the gospel with that person.

Knowing the Holy Spirit is working can help you not feel nervous


Do you ever feel nervous when you think, “This might be a moment where I could share my faith,” and you kind of clam up and wonder, “What am I going to say?”

You know, one of the things that I do is I pray. I just say, “Lord, as I’m with this family member or a friend or some stranger on a plane, if there’s an opportunity to talk about you, I pray you’d open up the door for me.” And then I can just sit back and know the Holy Spirit’s working and that as I talk to someone the Holy Spirit is already prompting the conversation and working in their heart.

So whether that’s sitting on a soccer field watching my son play soccer, or whether that’s traveling on a plane, there are opportunities to talk about Jesus. And that’s what I love so much about GodTools. It provides both training and simple gospel presentations that I can memorize or share on my phone.

I can think of two situations where God just opened up doors. One was in the summer when I was with my son and he was playing soccer. I had an opportunity to talk to a dad who was struggling with different health issues with his son, and just talk about praying and asking him how I could pray for that.

And that opened up the door for him to share about his background. And even though he was originally from a Muslim country, he was exploring who God is. So I just basically shared with him how God loves us, how Jesus died in our place for our wrongs or sins, and how through trusting him, God opens up the way to know him personally. And so that was an opportunity just to share right while I was watching my son play soccer.

Similarly, I had an opportunity on a plane where the person was sharing about the spiritual experience he had as part of a training with the government of Canada. It was part of an indigenous experience he had. And again I just had an opportunity to share about how God can be known personally and use that as a launching pad to talk about faith.

And so, I believe you can too! God is at work all around us, we just need to trust him and open our eyes to see what he’s doing.