7 Steps to Sharing Your Faith and Leading People to Jesus
People desperately need Jesus — how amazing is it that God loved us so much that he couldn’t leave us in our sin-separated state — He sent Jesus to rescue and ransom us from sin; and give us life!
I made the decision to give my life to Jesus over 30 years ago as I knelt down by my mother’s bed and repeated a simple prayer to submit my life to Jesus and to following him! I’m thankful for a mom who knew how to lead me to that point of prayer to accept Jesus, and thankful for my dad and other Church leaders when I was young that taught me how to share my faith and help lead other people to Jesus.
So, I’d like to pass along a few simple steps to help explain why we need Jesus and how people can respond to His grace. Before we get started in this, it’s important to note that leading someone to Jesus isn’t supposed to be a robotic scripted kind of thing, it should be relaxed and natural, but full of passion as you share about the grace of God. (For additional support in sharing your faith or discipling someone you’ve led to Christ, check our simple and sleek looking book called, Following Jesus)
7 Steps to Leading People to Jesus
The first thing you do when leading someone to Jesus is to focus on loving them. The Bible says that Jesus came to earth as a response to his love for us — not out of obligation. So when we are sharing our faith or you’re witnessing to someone, let it be out of care, compassion and love for them, not a religious formality or to try to impress people with your spirituality.
Having said that, when you have made that connection, and the conversation gets to the point of you asking them about their relationship with God, and you know that God is creating a moment to lead them to Jesus, here are a few key verses that you can walk them through to explain their need for Jesus and how to respond to His free gift of salvation.
1. God Created You and Loves You
As you begin the conversation, remind them that they are not an accident, and that God created and loves them so much. In that process refer them to the verse almost everyone has heard at least once; John 3:16. This verse shows them that God loves them and loved them enough to do something about it.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
2. Sin Separated Us From Him
Now we remind them that sin is what separated us from God. It started with Adam and Eve and continues with us today. Sin is simply missing the mark, or disobeying God. And we’ve all done it. So you can read this verse. Romans 3:23 helps set up the problem that we’ve all sinned and fallen short of the standard that God has.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
3. Our Sin Needs to be Paid For
Not only did we sin, but the cost of that sin was high. Actually the cost of our sin towards God is so high that we deserve death. And even if we did try to repay this debt or bridge this gap of sin, it wouldn’t be enough in our own ability, so God sent Jesus. We deserve death, but God gives us the gift of eternal life through Jesus. Jesus paid the bill for our sins!
And not only did Jesus come and pay the debt for us, he did it in advance for us whether or not we accept it. He doesn’t wait for you to get your life “fixed up”, he loves you right now even in all of your sin.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
4. God Wants A Relationship with Us
Many people can assume that God is just an angry God that doesn’t love them or that isn’t interested in them. Often people feel like God is up in heaven just waiting for us to make a mistake so he can punish us. But God massively proves otherwise when we see in John 3:16 that God sent His only son to pay our debt. But the verse right after that John 3:16 is awesome and shows the heart of God towards us. John 3:17 says that Jesus didn’t come to destroy us for our sin but to save us from our sin.
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
5. Deciding to Follow Jesus
At this point you mention that through Jesus, Salvation & Grace are a free gift. Which means it’s not something we earn; but something we receive. These next two verses in Romans give them the next steps in how to receive grace and forgiveness for their sins and be reconnected in their relationship with God. The verses highlight two key things, Declare and Believe. We must declare that Jesus is Lord. This means that we are submitting our life to his leadership and purpose in our lives. We also have to Believe in our heart that Jesus died and was raised to life for us.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
6. Praying the Prayer of Salvation
Often times we can get nervous about this part because we might assume that this prayer has to come from a pastor or that it’s an exact formula that you have to get right, but it’s really simple and anyone can lead someone through this. The prayer of salvation is basically a version of the verses in Romans that I just mentioned about declaring and believing. So when you ask the person you’re talking with if they are ready to make the decision to follow Jesus, and they say yes, then have them join you in repeating a simple prayer after you. Something like this could work:
God, I know you love me and have a great plan for my life, I also know I’ve sinned and I’m asking you to forgive me of all my sin. Thank you Jesus dying on the cross for my sin and raising from the dead to give me life. Today I choose to follow you Jesus with everything that I am. I receive your grace and declare that you are the leader and Lord of my life and that I am your child. Amen!
7. Next Steps After They Get Saved
First of all, this is a huge moment! So be excited with them. Celebrate the reality that they are fully forgiven and have eternal life and that God is wanting to walk with them in a greater way not just in the afterlife but in this life.
This new season they have just committed to is no small thing, and they will need lots of help along the way, (Just like you do). So a few key next steps to help them with are:
- Prayer – Let them know they that can talk/pray to God all the time and he wants to hear from them and speak to them.
- Bible – Help them get a Bible. Paper or Digital. I recommend you help them download the YouVersion Bible App. Show them how to start a Bible reading plan.
- Church – We weren’t designed to live in isolation. If this new Christian is going to mature and do all that God has called them to do they will need to be connected to the community of the Church. Get them connected with you at your church or another one.
- The Basics – Now that you’ve led them to Jesus, your next step is to help show them how to follow Jesus. So take the time to share your life and how you live for Jesus in your everyday life. Also show them how to obey and follow God’s word. [Basics are things like: Water Baptism, Holy Spirit, Obeying God’s Word, Loving and forgiving others, finding their place in the Church community, and sharing their faith]
I know that may seem like a lot, but this is an overview guideline so that you can feel confident in leading someone to Jesus. But don’t get caught up in feeling like you have to say everything exactly right, Just focus on reconnecting people to a God who loves them like crazy. In Acts the Bible says that the Holy Spirit comes on us to be his witnesses. I’m praying that all who read this would receive that boldness from the Holy Spirit to share your faith with those in your world! Go for it!
—— FOR CHURCH LEADERS:
If you’re looking to strengthen your church’s discipleship strategy and process, check out our e-course called, “Discipleship & Assimilation Essentials”