The process of coming to faith is a journey, though most of our evangelism training on scripts and presentation all focus on the end point of the journey.
I recently read I Once Was Lost: What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us About Their Path to Jesus by Don Everts, Doug Schaupp (Authors)
They take a look at the journey to faith and have seen that there are five distinct phases of the journey. The journey may not be linear, but these phases are discernible.
- Distrust to trust – trusting a Christian
- Complacent to Curious – the shift of spiritual thirst.
- Closed to change to open to change – hardest threshold to cross (personal life)
- From Meandering to seeking.
- The actual conversion to the Kingdom of God (surrender).
Related discussion guide: http://ivpress.com/title/disc/3608-thresholds-article.pdf
Knowing this journey of faith moves one from technique to wonder and prayer and discovery of how we can help people move forward.
The remaining chapters in the book look at each of these stages in detail and suggests skills and habits we Christians should undertake to help a person move through these phases.
I’ve seen other books that focus on the conversation at the end of a journey, when a person is ready to hear the gospel, and the skills you need for that particular conversation.
This book helps us see what evangelistic role we can play along the way.
This book would make a great personal or small group study for those who want to grow in their faith sharing skills.
The concept of the spiritual journey is one that I use in my personal evangelism workshops. This book will become one of the recommended resources in my course.
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