As we engage in the harvest, we are looking to have intentional spiritual conversations with people to gauge where they are at. Are they open to God? Are they hungry? Are they already on the journey to discovering Jesus? The diagram below from Paul Watson’s ‘Contagious Disciple Making’ training is a great pictoral of the different types of conversations that we can have with people in the harvest. as we seek to find those that might be disciples in their communities.
Conversations we have with people are to be natural but also intentional. We want to move people from the casual conversation (family, weather, sport etc) to a more meaningful conversation (maybe feelings about a particular subject). Then to a spiritual conversation (is God real, do you believe in God?, prayer etc). This will help us to gauge whether the person is spiritually open or not, and whether they are sharing this out. From there we want to go deeper so that the conversation can go from spiritual to their own discovery of following Jesus. This is done through the DBS. This process can be quick or go over many months, (years?!) depending on where the person is at and our part in being the link in the chain, and is to be completely undergirded in prayer (relates to the intentionality of all our conversations).
We can also use the diagram as an aide to prayer, by drawing it out and putting the names of our friends / contacts in the quadrants where we think they are spiritually. Our prayer is to see them move from wherever they are to eventually discovery and following Jesus for themselves.
Here is a great example of a spiritual conversation:
“Today (7-3-17) I went on a ship which has mainly Chinese officers, and a few Filipino crew. I was actually looking for a particular contact of mine, but it was the wrong ship. I went to the mess room for lunch; this is where everyone hangs out and is the main place I can meet and mingle with guys. I happened to be sitting next to a young cadet officer. He was friendly and happy to talk (perhaps to improve his English?) so we had a chat. The conversation was at first very casual; I found our his name, his marital status and where his hometown is. He had only been on the ship 2 months, and had 4 months to go on his contract. By listening, this also gave me permission to share a bit about myself, which I did briefly. He then asked if I was on a ‘mission’. I wasn’t sure what he meant so asked a bit more about that, and then he wanted to know if I believed in God. The conversation had quickly moved passed meaningful to being spiritual. I said ‘yes I am a follower of Yesu.’ He then explained that on his previous ship the 2nd Officer would talk to him about God. He said he wanted to hear more but the officer was transferred. He then said when he joined this ship, he had ‘asked’ God to send him some more people like that so he could talk with them. In Hong Kong, 2 christians visited the ship before it left the port and gave him some stuff to read. Then they come to Brisbane and he meets me. We talked for a while but I had to leave the ship; I gave him a gospel of John in Chinese / English and he said he would read about Yesu. There were even some positive signs of him sharing his thoughts and questions with the other crew. So now this ship is on my ‘to visit’ list for next month and I hope to be able to help this sailor move to the journey of ‘discovery’ toward Yesu through DBS, although I don’t know how that will look just yet.”
– Trevor Phillips