Engaging Spiritually With Friends and Family Over Break

Does this happen in your experience?

  • Conduct a survey.
  • Separate surveys by interest, Yes/Yes, Yes/Maybe or No, Maybe or No/Yes, No/No.
  • Ask student leaders to follow up those most interested first.

If so, I wonder

  • Do most leaders find themselves following up in other dorms those most interested?
  • What if there are No/No’s on our leaders’ dorm floors? Must they choose between going somewhere else to “have a ministry”? or seek to be winsome with those No/No’s?
  • What are we doing to equip students to minister to those who initially say they aren’t interested?

Read on for ways to use the semester break to equip ourselves in ministering to those who appear uninterested.

We don’t usually survey friends and family about spiritual matters. Rather, we have an intuitive sense of their spiritual interest.

First, let me encourage you to print out a copy of the Missional Map. It was developed to help see that people don’t just easily fit into interested/not interested categories. Rather, it asks five questions about each person in our lives.

  • Do they Trust Me?
  • Do they have a Growing Curiosity about Christianity?
  • Are they Open to Change?
  • Are they Seeking God?
  • Are they Following Jesus?

If you’re familiar with I Once Was Lost by Don Everts and Doug Schaupp, these questions are similar to the five thresholds of faith a person must cross to come to Christ.

Take some time at the beginning of break to consider whom you will interact with and where they are on the map. What you will experience with your friends and family over break is more typical of what a graduate will face as they enter the marketplace. Ministry is far more relational and requires intentionality.

Second, familiarize yourself with 30 Ways to be Missional in your Workplace. While this is designed for recent graduate beginning work in their new jobs, it offers ideas for engaging others socially, serving others, and honoring them. These are very practical ways to build trust and relational capital with others.

Third, consider downloading Doug Pollock’s 99 Wondering Questions. You will certainly find some conversation starter questions that fit your personality.

And a bonus fourth, consider how to share your testimony in snippets. A three-minute testimony in conversation can become a monologue if we aren’t careful. But Snippets helps to keep it a dialogue.

What I think you will find is that the apparently uninterested are just “not interested yet”. We are giving ourselves permission to take the time necessary to be winsome, woo-ing, and salty. In the process, the trust we build can open the door to being able to create curiosity. As you do this, you will better equip those graduating from our ministries and entering the next season as a life-long laborers.

Fall Coaching Tips


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