Living in 3D:
Discern Next Steps – Part 1
Scripture Reading: Philippians 1:1-11
Key Verse: Philippians 1:9-10
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ
So far “Living in 3D” has taught us that we should develop friends and discover stories. Today we see the final section: Discern next steps. After we have done our best to build first level friendships, done the work of listening for “their” stories, then we must ask God to help us discern where to go next. As we said earlier, this is not a “cookie cutter” type process; every person must be seen as unique—no one approach fits everyone.
A possible next step could be providing more resources for the person to read. Some people, who are far from God, need a lot of information to move them toward a saving faith. Our next step may include handing them a book on why we believe in Christ. A good book we use at the church is The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus, by Lee Strobel. In my opinion, if we develop a friendship, and have listened to them, they will be open to us handing them a book. Doing this step, without the first two steps, is likely to bring rejection.
“Hanging out” with people who are far from God, is a possible next step. God’s timing is always a huge factor and we must be sensitive to authentic openings. In other words, we Christ followers tend to be impatient in these matters and can become manipulative.
Obviously, a next step may be to invite them to church or a church social event. Some are ready for these things sooner than others.
Father, grant me your spirit of discernment that I can be used of you. Lay someone on my heart that I can focus my energies. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.