Perhaps sometime today God’s Spirit brought someone to mind who would benefit from your encouragement to know and walk with Jesus. This can be intimidating. Where do you start in terms of helping your friend spiritually? Here are three practical starting points.
Starting Point 1
For friends who have not yet followed Jesus, read and discuss the Bible together. Often when people are exposed to powerful biblical truths, they are drawn into a relationship with Christ. For those who are more eager, a weekly time together in a passage from the Gospel of John or the Gospel of Matthew is a good place to start. For many this will be informal and periodic, something you naturally insert in your time together.
Starting Point 2
For people who have just accepted Christ, or are right at the door, cover the basics of faith. There is a little Navigator booklet called Beginning with Christ that lays out five “assurances”—salvation, answered prayer, victory over sin, forgiveness, and guidance. As we studied the assurance of salvation together, my friend Josh realized that he wanted to put his trust in Jesus. (As you develop a discipling relationship, consider the NavPress Bible study Growing in Christ.)
Starting Point 3
For people who want to grow in Christ, teach them how to spend time alone with God. Some people call this having a quiet time. A good resource is 7 Minutes with God: How to Plan a Daily Quiet Time by Robert Foster or the little booklet by Mike Jordahl called Getting to Know God Through a Daily Quiet Time. These booklets are easily talked through in one sitting, then you can meet together to have a quiet time, modeling the process.
Remember—the person you are beginning a spiritual conversation with may not be ready for any of these three options. No problem! I offered to begin reading the Bible with a friend who said, “No, not interested.” However, he wanted to get together periodically just to talk. I encourage him spiritually and share some scriptural principles that relate to our lives and he is obviously encouraged when we meet.
Jesus interacted with many different people and He tailored His interactions to their needs. No matter the starting point, Jesus is calling us to deeper relationship with Himself and we have the privilege of helping others on the journey.
I pray you will be encouraged to invest in someone God places in your life—He will guide you and it will bless both of you!