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’s 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 his or her spiritual journey. That’s where 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 and they discovered that most people cross five specific thresholds on their journey to knowing God personally.
The Five Spiritual Thresholds
1. Trusts a Christian. This is where your friend gets to know you, finds out you’re a believer, and learns to trust you (no matter what they’ve heard about Christians).
2. Becomes curious. As your friendship deepens, your friend 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 friend will realize that something’s missing from his or her 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, getting involved with a Christian community.
5. Steps into the Kingdom. This is it! This is where your friend decides to give his or her life to Christ.*
Get to know these thresholds and you’ll always know where to start the 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 share your faith, consider becoming a mentor.