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The Builder: Help people overcome the obstacles that are stopping them from knowing God.
Key skills: Prayer and gentle persuasion
In some conversations, you will encounter people who are spiritually stuck. These people need help getting beyond the objections or issues that stop them from knowing God.
When you encounter these barriers, it is time to transition to the third role of a CoJourner: the builder. As a builder, you will help people overcome obstacles in their spiritual journeys.
There are 3 commons types of obstacles: intellectual (questions of logic or philosophy), emotional (past experiences) and lifestyle (choices people think they will need to change to become a Christian).
On the surface these obstacles may sound quite different. But underneath they are all spiritual issues exploited by the enemy of our souls (Ephesians 6:12).
As a result, these objections must be dealt with using spiritual means. The 2 most important tools are prayer and gentle persuasion.
Never underestimate the power of prayer in the lives of those who do not know God. You may offer a quick prayer on the spot asking God to give you wisdom to respond to their complaint or obstacle (Colossians 4:6).
Or you may need to spend extended periods of time in prayer asking God for a breakthrough. A student prayer chain prayed for my father's salvation for 3 years before he came to faith in Christ.
Gentle persuasion involves a careful mix of grace and truth. Please don't talk with people as if trying to win a debate or prove them wrong. Instead, explain God's word in a safe and loving manner, often using personal experiences, insightful questions and meaningful stories to help people think differently.
The goal is to speak as "Christ's ambassador, as though God were making His appeal through us" (2 Corinthians 5:20, New International Version).
You don't need to have an answer for every person's objections to faith. The goal is to allow God to use prayer and gentle persuasion to remove obstacles so a spiritual conversation can continue to the core issues: who Jesus is and what He has done for us.
This is part 4 of a 5-part series. Next, we investigate the fourth role of a CoJourner: the mentor.
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