05b. Finishing the Conversation – The Diagram

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

John 1:12

What and Why


Watching someone make the journey from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light is one of the most rewarding experiences this side of heaven. God removing a person’s sin and clothing them in the righteousness of Christ is breathtaking. Watching it happen, being used by God in that process, is thrilling. In a blink of an eye, the grace of God does what no man could.


Not every spiritual conversation ends in such a grand moment. It is one thing to have a general conversation about Jesus and Christian beliefs. It is another thing to move a conversation to the point in which we invite someone to place his/her faith in Jesus, the Savior of all.


In this lesson you will learn how to guide the conversation, bringing someone to the point of decision.

Learning from the Word


Read Acts 16:25-34

Click for the text


Here, we find one of the best questions in Scripture – “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”   Something happened in the heart of that Roman soldier. He woke that morning to a normal day in which his mind would wander along its typical paths. But something changed. He concluded that he needed salvation.


What do you think the Roman soldier was expressing through his words: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”


What do you think the Roman soldier was expressing through his words: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”


In verse 33, we find that the soldier’s question was used by God to bring a lost person to Christ.

What is the significance of Paul baptizing this Roman soldier?


In this story, we see the soldier coming to a personal conclusion. Why was it significant that the soldier saw his need to be saved?


In the prison of Philippi, a Roman soldier changed his self-perception. He became aware of his need. His new realization changed the questions he asked.


Many people have a set of questions that they ask about God and spiritual realities. Often, those questions don’t lead them toward the Kingdom of God. Consider the following questions:


♦  Am I really all that bad?

♦  Does it really matter what I believe?

♦  Aren’t I better than the average person?


Behind these questions is a self-perception. An inaccurate spiritual self-identification is always a major barrier.

Connecting to the Truth


Helping people move to an accurate spiritual self-identification


The Diagram contains a few questions designed precisely for the purpose of helping someone identify their spiritual state. As you present The Diagram to someone you ask the following question: If you had to put yourself somewhere in this picture, where would you be?


This question asks a person to make a choice. They can identify with the top line of the graphic which would mean that they have chosen to believe in Jesus. Or they could identify with the bottom line of the graphic which would imply that they haven’t placed their trust in Christ. There are several answers that might be given when you ask someone to place themselves in the picture.


If someone identifies with the lower line (they haven’t trusted Christ) we can easily move to the next question, “Where would you like to be on this diagram?”  


If someone identifies with the upper line we should respond positively, being grateful that they affirm that Christ plays an important role in their lives.  We might respond saying, “That is great, can you tell me about the time when you made your decision to trust Christ?”  Such a question invites the person to share their testimony.  As they tell you how they trusted Christ you will discern if they understand the central role of the gospel, and faith in Jesus.  


 Sometimes people can’t identify with either the upper or lower line.  They might creatively describe being in a different location on the diagram.  Such creative answers tell us indirectly that they do not see the upper line as fully representing them.  That self-identification is significant.  It permits us to press on to the next question – “Where would you like to be on this diagram?”


Which line best represents your life?

This question invites someone to make a self-assessment.  When they suggest where they best fit in the diagram they open an important window for discussion.

The lower line of the diagram

If someone identifies with the lower line in the diagram they are expressing an important perspective. Currently they do not believe they are trusting Christ to connect them to God. You can probably move on to the next question that explores what they would like to be true of their lives.

The top line of the diagram

If someone identifies with the top line of the diagram they are making some sort of positive statement about the importance of Christ in their lives. It would be appropriate to ask, "Can you tell me about the time in your life when you trusted Christ to restore your relationship with God?" This question will invite them to share their story with you.

Neither line. I see it differently.

Some people don't prefer "either/or" questions. Some people see themselves as not fitting in the diagram you have drawn. In that they didn't identify with the top line you learned something about their view of Jesus. For the moment they don't appear to be trusting him to restore their relationship with God. Knowing this, you can move on to the next question

Simulation time


We learn best by doing. We master a skill through practice.


Both you and your practice partner need to read over the three options mentioned above. In this simulation you will use the diagram to help your partner make a spiritual self-identification.   Explain the end of the diagram to your partner and ask the first question. Your partner will respond with one of the three answers mentioned above. You will then interact with your partner’s response.


Run through this exercise three times interacting with each of the responses that are typically given.


Looking at the next question:


Our desire is to give a person an opportunity to place their faith in Christ. The following question, “Where would you like to be on the diagram?” can help some people move toward a moment of decision. Obviously there are different answers to this question.


If someone would like for the upper line to represent them, it is appropriate for you to continue to explain how they can believe in and receive Christ. You can give them an opportunity to pray, placing their faith in Jesus.


We need to be prepared to interact with someone who responds saying they want to remain on the lower line. One approach is to mention that the day might come when they are interested in trusting Christ. Therefore, we would like to briefly explain how someone can do that.



Simulation #2

With your practice partner simulate both answers to the question, “Where would you like to be on this diagram?”

The third question

There is one last question to ask, “Would you like to trust Christ, placing your faith in him to restore your relationship with God?” Asking that question can be used by God to bring a person to the point of decision. If they want to trust Christ, share the prayer that they can pray. Invite them to pray, either using their own words, or following after you.

If someone receives Christ or is already a believer

When someone receives Christ, or you find that you are sharing with a believer, it is wise to ask two more questions.

♦ Is this message meaningful to you?

♦ Which of your friends would you like to hear this message?

Encourage the believer to write down the names and share with them.

"Where would you like to be on this Diagram?" 

“Would you like to trust Christ, placing your faith in him to restore your relationship with God?”

Taking Action


Go with a friend or someone who shares your passion for Christ. Share your faith and help someone identify where they are spiritually. Ask the Lord to prepare the way so that you might be able to invite that person to place their faith in Christ.



Reflecting on what was learned


What did you learn about helping someone make an accurate spiritual self-identification?


What went well during your conversation?


What might be improved the next time you share your faith?


Was there a point in the conversation when you wanted to enhance the interpersonal connection but found it difficult? Reflecting on that moment, do you have any ideas of what you might try next time?


Talk over this experience with your discipler or trainer. Ask them to share what they have learned about connecting with others.


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