Jesus’ calling applies to and empowers every believer. It’s not just pastors, cross-cultural missionaries and “super-Christians” who can really know Him and make a difference in the world. It’s you and me! God sent us as “missionaries” right where we live, work, and play.

A while back, I heard a leader ask his group to share the last time they led someone to Christ. You could feel the tension—some had never had the opportunity to do that. But then the speaker explained his new daily goal: to touch one person’s life every day so that they would be led toward Jesus.

When we talk with not-yet-believing people, do we spend more time focused on their sin (where they are missing the mark of God’s best) or upon the goodness and incredible nature of the Gospel?

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.’”

Here are some roadblocks to having a positive Kingdom impact...what can we do to avoid them?

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?

Over a period of a couple years, we got to know Chris, a server and bartender at our favorite Mexican food restaurant. Our friendship grew, and we began to have open and vulnerable conversations with him while he served us. One time when we visited the restaurant, Chris sat down, obviously quite disturbed. He went into detail about how he had gotten sloppily drunk the week before, and while at the restaurant had ended up arguing with a coworker. During the argument, he got so upset that he threw plates and glasses, breaking them around the kitchen. He was embarrassed, in trouble, and very vulnerable. 

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.