“Be Mine.” “You Rock.” “Say Yes.” “Miss you.” “Hug Me.” These iconic conversation hearts outsell chocolate according to Necco Candy’s “History of Sweethearts.”

These witty phrases help us celebrate love and perhaps remind us of a simple truth—it’s hard to go deeper in any type of relationship without conversation.

But conversation doesn’t happen unless we make it a priority. In His ministry, Jesus made an effort to spend time with non-Christians. He was a master conversationalist!

If we are to reach the world for Christ today, we need to make Christ’s pattern our practice. But how does this happen? Here are three helpful steps:

1. Write a List—Think about the people in your community that you have opportunity to reach. This may include youth in your church, your neighbors, your dentist, your kid’s school teacher or coach, or perhaps a waiter at your favorite restaurant. Take some time to come up with as many people as possible.

2. Pray for Your List—Now that you have your list compiled, pray through the names on a regular basis.

3. Seek Opportunities for Spiritual Conversations—Building a bridge through spiritual conversations is an important component of sharing our faith. Start with basic conversation starters such as questions about family or occupation. Then go from there. Here are a few questions for starting ideas:

a. Do you think much about spiritual things?

b. How has this [insert specific experience] affected how you think about God?

c. Has anyone ever taken a Bible and showed you how you can know for sure you are going to heaven?

d. How do you think a person becomes a Christian?

e. What’s the last thing you think about before you go to sleep?

f. If you were to die tonight, do you know for sure you’d go to heaven?

g. Even though we’ve been friends for a while, I’ve never shared with you the most important thing in my life. May I do so?

h. I am glad you visited my church recently. May I explain a little more about what we are all about?

It may seem hard to get started, but with a little prayer and practice spiritual conversations will start to flow naturally.