Leading People To Jesus One Step at a Time
I grew up in a culture where I learned to believe in God from my earliest years of childhood. In my little preschool Sunday school class I heard that sin was disobeying God. I heard stories about Jesus and believed them to be historically true. But somewhere along the upward path of faith-steps, I stopped and remained stuck for several years.
Then one night I was driving my Dad’s car on the way to pick up my girlfriend. Oh by the way, it was a “hot” car and I was going too fast. I drove into a sharp curve which happened to have a lot of loose gravels scattered all over the pavement. The car turned sideways; I lost total control; I thought my life was going to end then and there! But somehow, the car managed to straighten up and slow down until I could regain control. Well, right before that curve was a sign I had seen and ignored many times—a sign very much like this one:
That experience began the process of “unsticking” me in my faith journey. But it wasn’t enough.
Then I met a young lady—my friend’s girlfriend—whose life was very different from mine. She was a Christian, but not the kind of Christian I had ever known—except for my mother and a few older people. Just watching her life and knowing mine, I knew that she was a genuine Christian, not just a lip-service “Christian” like so many of my friends and high school classmates. Her life bumped me up the steps in my faith journey, but not enough.
Then my best friend, a beer-drinking carousing buddy, surprised me one day by telling me he had “gotten saved.” I didn’t exactly know what that meant, but I saw immediate changes in his life. Again I moved up a step in my faith. He invited me to attend a church service with him, which I did out of curiosity as to what had changed his life. God’s Holy Spirit pierced my heart with the message from God’s Word that night. My faith took a major forward and upward step, but it wasn’t enough.
Later that evening, my newly converted friend came looking for me. When he located me, he pulled his car up to where I was standing, opened the door, and said “get in.” I saw a Bible on his front seat and realized I was trapped. It was late at night and most normal people were asleep, so he drove to my home. We sat down around the kitchen table and he read a lot of verses to me about salvation—verses someone from his church had helped him mark. It was a bit awkward because he was a baby Christian and didn’t know what to say, except to read the verses and tell me how they had changed his life. That was enough! I didn’t pray a “sinner’s prayer,” but I vividly recall my heart yielding in faith to Jesus that night. I felt the burden of my sin lifted.
We think of conversion as a single act—and ultimately there is that single act of faith when we are born again. But there are lots of steps in conversion. The word itself means “to turn,” and there are many “turnings” on the way to the ultimate conversion when an unbeliever turns to put his or her faith in Jesus—simultaneously turning from sin and the falsehoods he or she formerly were trusting.
At Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship, we have illustrated this faith journey to repentance and faith in Jesus with what we call the Good Soil Scale.
In the next few articles, I’ll say more about the Good Soil Scale, explaining it step-by-step. But you can learn more about it now, and even download a copy from the Good Soil website: The Good Soil Scale
There's a well-known Chinese proverb that says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
A journey of faith, from wherever your friend is, begins with that first step of believing and trusting what God says about our sinful natures and His remedy for sin. Evangelism is simply leading an unbeliever (non-Christian), step by step in his or her journey toward complete faith in Jesus. God’s Word and the Holy Spirit provide the “what-it-takes” to turn us from unbelief to belief at every step of this journey.
To learn more about this journey and how it applies to you, visit below: