Michael Frost, in his book, Surprise the World, talks about living “questionable lives.” That is, living in such a way that nonbelievers will ask questions, wanting to know what’s up. Believers through history have exemplified such radical goodness that people took note and ended up following Jesus.

This past week, as I walked into the garage, an offensive odor hit my nostrils. Ugh! Something was dead somewhere in the garage. I ended up being late for an appointment and didn’t find the dead critter until later that evening.

It makes me think. Would our believing and (even more important) not-yet-believing friends say that the character and disposition of our lives are a pleasant aroma that points people to Jesus?

Last year on a plane, I sat next to a young man (we’ll call him Tim). We started talking about Christianity and church. “I am really turned off on church,” he said. “I overheard some of my parents’ church friends talking about political issues related to gay marriage and immigration in really hateful terms. I thought, ‘If that’s what it means to be a Christian, I don’t want it.’”

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.

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.

When I was a first-semester freshman in college, some guys showed up to my dorm room and asked me if I was going to go through fraternity rush. I had no idea what they were talking about! I soon found out that it involved parties, girls, and large amounts of alcohol. 

I was once asked to consider taking a new job in the organization I worked for at the time. I decided that getting counsel from some other people would make sense. But a business leader outside our organization was shocked that I would ask others' opinions.

Is it just me, or do toddlers seem to have a built-in independence muscle? How many times have we heard a three year old say, “I do it!!”? The problem is, we don’t grow out of it! We just put a more adult spin on it. It must be a result of the fall of humanity!