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Two mistakes we have made when working with not-yet-believers

We love to work with groups of not-yet-believers, and we've learned many lessons along the way–mostly from our own mistakes. Here are a few of them:

  1. We've taken mature believers with us. Too often, those who have been Christians for a while think that a group of young believers or not-yet-Christians will benefit from their superior knowledge–and proceed to dispense that knowledge liberally. That will kill a group of people who are on the journey of getting to know Jesus. They don't want to be made to feel inferior or that they somehow haven't acquired the wisdom that others have. If you take mature believers with you, make sure they understand it's important they keep quiet. When we worked with Lisa, we left a wonderful mature couple behind when we left, but they understood that they were not there to lead, but as a stable force to help guide things from the background.
  2. We stayed too long and bred a dependence on the outsider. We had a wonderful group in the low-income housing projects. God was doing so much there that we stayed beyond our usefulness. When we finally left, after around a year, the people there were devastated. Since that time, we have always let groups know we will only be there a few months, and made sure that one of them leads right from the start.

2 replies on “Two mistakes we have made when working with not-yet-believers”

I like what you say and it is true coz i’m in a situation right now and actually i don’t know quite how to go from here. My friends are not believers, but really open about spiritual stuff. Its been a long time being friends with them, talking with them, hearing them and really how do i steer things from now. Its like they are into everything. They are both westerners!! By the way hi Felicity xx

Hi Shirley, great to hear from you. In that kind of situation, see if your friends are open to some kind of discussion based on the Bible. Could you say to them something like, “I’ve really enjoyed our talks about spiritual stuff and would love to explore what you think further. Could we spend some time together using a book from the Bible as a basis for our discussions?”

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