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Enable Yourself for Life-Changing Interactions

Jesus’s approach to relating to people focused on asking them questions. He knew how to immediately touch their hearts. In his book, Joseph Umidi focuses on the 100 questions that Jesus asks in the Bible, providing practical ways we can follow His example. Joseph explains, “When we open our eyes to the questions of Jesus, we see that much of the identity, values, heart, mindset, and vision that Jesus forms in the first disciples, and still, forms in us come from what those questions do when we engage God with them.” By learning to be an effective communicator you can connect powerfully with family, co-workers, and with people in your community. This starts with believing in people. Joseph explains, “The first step of a breakthrough conversation is stepping into a larger belief in the person you are talking to… No matter what you ask, when you ask, or where you ask, it’s how you ask, from a position of belief, that can make your day and their day; and that, my friend, will make all the difference.”   

The questions that Jesus asked open the doors to people’s hearts. Joseph categorizes them into the acronym D.O.O.R.:

  • “D” identifies direct questions which point straight to the heart of the topic without beating around the bush. Jesus asked the disciples  “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15). We may ask a direct question like, “How do you think God intends for you to handle this situation?”
  • “O” identifies open questions that open the door to an area of conversation but let the person decide if they want to go through that door. A good example of this is when Jesus asked the two confused disciples on the Emmaus road, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” (Luke 24:17). They were sad that Jesus was crucified but they didn’t realize that He had risen and was walking with them. In everyday conversations we might ask an open question like, “Could you tell me a little more about that?”
  • “O” points to ownership questions that require a person to take the initiative to answer the knock and open the door to Jesus. For example, when Jesus asked, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to this span of life” (Luke 12:25). We may ask someone, “How might your actions have contributed to this situation?”
  • “R” stands for revealing questions. The Lord asked Adam and Eve a revealing question after they sinned, and they were hiding from His presence: “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). We may ask ourselves or our loved ones a revealing question like, “What does your response to this say about who you are or what you are called to do?”

Decades ago, Joseph and Marie both accepted Christ after being asked a question. It began on a ferry ride in Nova Scotia when Pastor Trenholm asked God to show him who needed a transformational conversation that day. After he took a quick nap and woke up, the first couple he saw were the Umidis looking over the side of the ship’s rail. Approaching, he asked if they had seen any fish yet. They responded, “Ah, no. Today is our first time on the boat.” He asked, “What are you coming to see on this trip?”  Joseph said, “We are looking to buy some land and live here.” Pastor Trenholm then responded, “I can see you are launching a new beginning in your lives. I can help you see something and someone who could give you the best new beginning you could ever dream of.” That conversation, which began with a question, led to them accepting salvation that very day.

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


Author: Jesus the Master Coach (Lifeforming Institute, 2019)

Executive VP, Regent Student Life

Ministry leader with New Life Ministries

Married to Marie, founder, The Man Called Jesus

Adult son, three grandchildren


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