I became a Christian at the age of 11 through reading a book from my school library (Treasures of the Snow by Patricia StJohn). I had no direct contact with any Christians that I remember. I understood an absolute minimum, but when I finished the book, I went down to a shady grove at the end of our yard, and on my own, made a commitment to Christ that has affected the rest of my life.
The extent of my understanding was as follows:
- there were things in my life that I wished I had never done (major issues like stealing candy from my mom's purse and lying to get myself out of trouble!)
- God would forgive me and I could start all over again with a clean slate if I said sorry to Him and asked Jesus to take control of my life.
- Jesus wanted to live inside me by his Holy Spirit.
When I gave my life to Jesus, a divine transaction took place and I was flooded with joy. I intuitively understood that Jesus needed to be King and Lord in my life (although it took a while for me to work that out in practice). Within a couple of weeks I led my friend next door to the Lord too and together (again with no outside help) we began to grow in our faith.
I am in a minority. The vast majority of people surrender to Jesus through the help of a friend.
If we are to see the Kingdom expand through multiplying disciples, then ordinary people need to share their faith with their friends and those they come in contact with.
Do the people in your church know how to share the good news of the Kingdom? What is this good news? There is a just and righteous King who, by sacrificing his life, has made a way for us to enter his Kingdom. Now that he lives within us, wherever we go, the King goes, and he has all authority. (Check out my previous posts on this subject here and here.) The King desires to live out his life through us, both individually and corporately.
An interesting activity is to ask the people in your group to decide what is the minimum a person needs to know in order to become a Christian. What would a five-year-old need to understand? Then have them break into pairs and share with each other this good news, again using no Christianese.