Have you ever found yourself unprepared when a conversation with a skeptic or seeker turned spiritual?
There have been times in Rick’s life where he has wondered if he said the right thing during a conversation of faith, or if he should have re-worded something. Eventually he came to a very important conclusion:
“If you’re really listening to the Lord it’s not that you become perfect, you become His vessel. That is what is more important here than saying it perfectly, I often say it very imperfectly. ”
We need to remember that we are never going to be perfect or know all of the answers, even as ‘God’s mouthpiece.’
“If you look back and you say, ‘I think the Lord used me in that and I was obedient to Him, and even though I’m not the perfect mouthpiece – I’m a Moses or an Aaron – they didn’t say it perfectly either and I’m like that.’”
“Trusting that God in fact was there and got to work in their heart, and God used me as His mouthpiece; that’s the critical transaction right there.”
As Christians, we are given the powerful opportunity to introduce people to Jesus who don’t know Him yet. Rick explains that conversion is a process and it doesn’t necessarily happen quickly for people.
“I just want him to go one inch closer to Jesus and if it’s two inches, that’s just frosting on the cake.”
It’s important to know where our skeptic friends are at along their journey of meeting Christ. Rick shares 5 thresholds of conversion that are helpful for Christians to learn:
1. Trust a Christian
2. Becoming curious
3. Opening to change
4. Seeking after God
5. Entering the Kingdom
“People cross these thresholds as they progressively come to faith. Our job is to be patient with them and hang in there with them, and just keep talking and praying and bringing them along.”
When we introduce Jesus to other people, it’s crucial that we have an understanding of who He is. Rick shares an encouraging reminder from one of his mentors:
“The best reason to consider Christianity is its chief figure and that would be Jesus.” Jim Sire, author of The Universe Next Door.
Knowing who Jesus is will help us explain Christianity better, and provide wisdom in reaching lost souls for Christ.
“What is his identity? Once you establish that, well that’s the heart of Christianity. To make Jesus a compelling figure and that means we really have to know the Gospels, we have to know the Jesus of the Gospels; not just the Jesus of our wishful imaginings. Being thoroughly rooted in the detail of the Gospels is one of our callings I think as evangelists.”