God is already at work in the lives of the people around us. Our aim should be to discern where He is already working and come alongside Him to help people find hope in Jesus. We hope you can use this "My Circle" template to prayerfully consider which people in your circles may be open to the Gospel. Simply download and print out the template, write the names of those you know, pray for them and then look for opportunities to share the Gospel.
Openness to the Gospel
Like familiar landmarks that help you know that you’re getting close to home after a long journey, there are a few indicators that might be signs that someone is looking for what only Jesus can provide.
A person might be open to the Gospel when they…
… recognize life isn’t what they hoped it would be.
We tend to be closed to Jesus when we think we can handle life on our own. But, when we come to the end of ourselves or life is beyond what we can handle, we are open to help from others and maybe even from God. If someone you know expresses disappointment, stress, frustration or fear about life, there is a good chance they are open to things they haven’t previously considered. This is a great opportunity to share how faith in Jesus has made a difference for you when life hasn’t been what you had hoped for.
… admire something about you which you credit to God.
A healthy marriage, peace in the midst of busyness, joy when it doesn’t make sense, forgiveness when someone wrongs you, comfort in a time of loss, and friendship within the church are just a few of the gifts God gives that are beautifully attractive to others. When someone notices a difference in you, they are probably seeing something in you that they want, too. You can point them to the real reason for what they are seeing and share with them the work God is doing in your life.
… bring up spirituality in conversation.
This is almost taboo in our culture. So, when someone does it, you can be sure that it has been on their mind and this could be an opportunity for you to guide the conversation toward Jesus. If the comments are positive in nature, discern how you can extend an invitation for them to come to a place that will satisfy their spiritual thirst. If their spiritual comments are negative or critical, understand that it is probably coming from a place of disappointment or pain. Compassionately seek to understand and see if you might be the one who can help them understand who God really is and what the church is really suppose to be.
Care, Prayer, Share
If we can make the most of the moments in which people show openness, we might be able to help them take a step toward Jesus. As we approach people in our circles, these three steps will help us.
The first to do for someone is CARE. This means you love, listen, and learn before you start talking about Jesus. By this, you show they matter to you and to God, whether or not they ever believe in Jesus. Through a relationship, you will discern the best way to point them to Jesus.
We must depend on God through PRAYER. He gives wisdom about what to say and discernment about when to say it. As you develop relationships with people, pray for God to give you +ONE to share His love with. And then keep praying that God will guide you and use you as you make yourself available to Him.
When God answers your prayer and someone demonstrates openness to Jesus, SHARE the Good News of Jesus, your own story or even an invitation to a service on Sunday. With the help of the Holy Spirit, you’ll discern what the right next step is for them.