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Learning to follow the Holy Spirit with not-yet believers: Idea #3

We love to start with groups of people the majority of whom do not yet know Jesus.  Right from the start we have them talking about what God is doing in their lives (a concept know as prevenience–God is at work in the heart of the unbeliever before they know him) and praying, and we encourage them to listen to what God might be saying to them.  I have never known any unbeliever to have a problem with this, and if they are encouraged to do this before they become believers, it is never a problem later on.

In the past few months I have come across some ideas for working with new groups by David Watson that facilitate this.  He asks each person in the group to share:

  • What has gone well lately that gave you joy?
  • What has caused you, or someone you know, stress lately?

As people share, it is easy to move from the first question into saying, "Let's praise God for this,"  or "Let's talk to God about this situation."

You may ask, "Is this following the Holy Spirit?"  If someone brings up a problem, do you think God wants to deal with it?  Of course he does.  And it is easy to ask people to give any impressions they think God may be giving them as they pray about the situation too.

5 replies on “Learning to follow the Holy Spirit with not-yet believers: Idea #3”

Hi Felicity,
Interesting thought, asking not-yet believers to identify what God is doing in their lives, and listen to his voice. Theological implications wrt “receiving the Holy Spirit” at point of faith.
Very thought provoking – thankyou! I appreciate your whole site here.

Many new believers have a wonderful open communication with Holy Spirit until doctrines and older Christians start questioning the validity of them. The Spirit is grieved and withdraws when they start to question Him and it is a huge struggle to regain that initial love relationship. Why do we do it?

Some doctrines have taught that God does not hear an unbeliever, which is simply not true. God is always seeking, always drawing men to himself. He desires relationship so much that he sent his only son to suffer and die to gain them. Awakening them to be aware of his interaction with them is the single most important thing that we can do to fullfill the great commission. We are to make disciples – of Jesus – to turn them to him, to his light, to his grace, and allow his life to enter in, and his spirit to lead them.
Your simple words have great signiicance. Thanks much.

Really encouraging, thanks Felicity. I spend my Sunday morning’s at an organic market (in Brisbane Aus) selling my organic shampoo. It’s a realy friendly hippy community with lots of people sitting around in groups enjoying the sunshine and talking, I usually have at least one encounter with a person of peace or seeker each week and while the air vibrates with bongo drums and pan pipes I see the Holy Spirit at work in a place I would have once embarrasingly thought of as a no go ungodly place. Thanks for your great blog, I look forward to reading each post.

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