The greatest purpose of our lives is to help people say “Yes!” to Jesus. But what do you do when that actually happens?
First, you’ll experience huge joy. Nothing is as fun as watching a friend be reborn as a brand-new Christian. Celebrate! Thank God for letting you be a part of something so amazing. Write this date down so you won’t forget the miracle you witnessed.
After you wipe the big grin off your face, you should focus on your friend. He or she is going to need encouragement over the next few months. Don’t panic. You don’t have to be a pastor or a theological whiz to do this well.
Here are some practical ideas to help you get started:
- Be available and take initiative. Your friend will have lots of questions, so offer to get together regularly. If you don’t hear from your friend for a while, get in touch and suggest meeting up.
- Point your friend to the Holy Spirit. No one can serve and obey Jesus without the Spirit’s help. Make sure your friend understands how to practice the Spirit-filled life.
- Focus on the big stuff. Your friend might be living a less than perfect lifestyle That’s OK. Focus on the things that Jesus cared about most: loving God and loving people. The Holy Spirit will take care of the rest on His own schedule. If your friend asks you a question like “Do I need to stop partying now?” you can gently point to relevant Bible verses.
- Be honest and open. Being a Christian doesn’t guarantee a problem-free existence. At first, it might even create more problems for some people. Be willing to share some of your struggles with your friend so he or she will know it’s OK not to be blissfully happy all the time and it’s fine not to have everything all figured out.
- Dig into Scripture together. Reading God’s word is a key habit to build, but it may feel really weird to your friend at first. Try reading the Bible together so you can compare notes. The Gospel of John is an excellent place to start.
- Pray This is a happy, confusing, life-altering time, so pray for your friend often. Also, show him or her how to pray too.
- Get your friend connected. It’s impossible to be a solo Christian. Help your friend find a church or small group so he or she will have lots of support.