Perhaps sometime today (or even as you read the title of this post) God’s Spirit brought someone to mind who would benefit from your encouragement to know and walk with Jesus. This can be intimidating. Where do you start in terms of helping your friend spiritually? Here are three practical starting points.

Sometimes the “good Christian life” is just plain busy. We find ourselves in a rut, or some would say, a “bubble,” surrounded by other Christians and not quite sure how to deal with those in our lives who haven’t yet decided to follow Jesus. What does it look like to have authentic, fun, and lasting friendships with people who don’t yet have a relationship with God, to the extent that you’d make their top five when times get tough?

Since our house (and the houses of our neighbors) burned down in a wildfire five years ago, we have had the pleasure of closer friendships with neighbors and others in our community. One friend that I’ve gotten to know over these years is a guy named Jim. He and I were getting together every once in a while to catch up. A couple months ago, I wanted to check his interest in moving forward spiritually. I asked, “Jim, what would you think about reading the Bible together regularly?” 

Depending on where your friend is spiritually, here are three starting points in helping him or her grow toward Jesus.

     I think most of us are willing to disciple someone; we just need some basic steps to follow in helping other people grow. Here are some principles to remember as you start meeting with another person with the goal of helping him or her grow spiritually.

Opportunities for discipleship can come when we're "just passing through." What if the most spiritually fruitful encounters we have depend on our own flexibility?

   What if Jesus hadn’t kept His eyes open to the opportunities around Him? We live in broken world that needs Jesus. Simple disciplemaking demands that we have our eyes open for opportunities to help people begin following Him.

I remember sitting heartbroken in a church service the week after my mom had died suddenly, at the age of 64. I was 41 years old. Pam and I had been attending the church for a year, and had been teaching a Sunday school class for several months. But I realized that not one person in the congregation even knew that my mom had died. 

As we continue to discuss making disciples, I have one more illustration to share that could be a practical tool to help you visually explain how a God-glorifying life should look.

Here's another resource to help you effectively make disciples.