Ministry Tip of the Week
Sherry Weddell, in her book Forming Intentional Disciples, calls it the "Thresholds of Conversion."
There are five basic thresholds of conversion in the average walk toward Christ: trust, curiosity, openness, seeking, and intentional discipleship. Our goal is to become wise enough to recognize where people are at in the conversion process, and patient enough to supply only what they need to get to the next threshold. Let's briefly look at each threshold:
1. Initial Trust - A person is able to trust or has a positive association with Jesus and "church stuff" (not the same as personal faith)
2. Spiritual Curiosity - A person is intrigued by or has a desire to know more about Jesus and "church stuff" (but is not yet open to personal change)
3. Spiritual Openness - not a commitment to follow Christ, but an openness to the possibility of personal and spiritual change
4. Actively Seeking - an urgent spiritual quest; the person has transitioned from essentially passive to actively seeking God
5. Intentional Discipleship - the decision to "drop one's nets" and make a conscious commitment to follow Christ and to order one's life accordingly.
Notice the final stage of conversion is not perfect sanctity. Intentional discipleship is how Weddell categorizes those of us who are not yet saints, but want to be. That's the real goal. Once this final threshold conversion takes place, the Lord is given full permission to reign over our lives, and that's when everything changes. But it takes time. It begins slow. And it begins with us. Simply "going to church" is not enough. Do you trust Jesus and the Church he founded? Do you have a desire to know more? Are you open to change? Are you actively seeking to know God more personally? Have you dropped your nets?