If you’ve ever tried to share your faith, it’s likely you’ve had that moment where you stand there thinking, “God is so big, and faith is a such a huge decision. Where do I start?” It can feel like a massive conversation, one that is pretty easy to talk yourself out of having.

You may have been trained in the past to use a Gospel tool — like the Four Spiritual Laws or the Roman Road. Those tools are great for getting past that awkward opening line, but what happens when you’re talking to someone who has heard the Gospel before but still has not accepted Christ? Where do you begin with that person?

What you’ll quickly discover is that no two Gospel conversations are the same. Every person you meet will be at a different place in their spiritual journey. That’s where understanding the concept of spiritual thresholds can really help.

Don Everts and Doug Schaupp from InterVarsity Christian Fellowship talked to thousands of people who came to faith as adults. They discovered that most people cross five specific thresholds on their journey to knowing God personally.

Five Spiritual Thresholds

1. Trusts a Christian. This is where your friends get to know you, find out you’re a believer, and learn to trust you (no matter what they’ve heard about Christians in the past).

2. Becomes curious. As your relationship deepens, your friends may become curious about Jesus and interested — at least on an intellectual level — in your faith.

3. Opens up to change. At some point, your friends will realize that something’s missing from their life and start to wonder whether that something might be Jesus.

4. Seeks after God. When your friends realize Jesus could be what they’re missing, they’ll start to seek him more intentionally – reading the Bible, asking questions, or getting involved with a Christian community.

5. Steps into the Kingdom. This is it! This is where your friends decide to give their life to Christ.*

Identifying where your friends are at in their spiritual journey will help you know where and how to start a spiritual conversation. If you’re not sure where your friend is on his or her spiritual journey, the easiest way to find out is to ask. Open-ended questions like, “What do you think happens when we die?” can be a great way to gain some insight into what they’re thinking.

If you would like to have more opportunities to learn to share your faith, consider becoming a mentor .

The term "Spiritual Thresholds" and their labels are taken from  I Once Was Lost  by Don Everts and Doug Schaupp. Copyright 2008 by Don Everts and Doug Schaupp. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press. .
updated September 2019