As you are obedient to Christ’s commandment to “go and make disciples,” your discernment will grow and you’ll begin to see opportunities to share God’s truth all around you. In fact, some opportunities may seem to drop themselves right in your lap.
But, many times, you will find yourself wanting to teach someone something they aren’t ready to hear. Jesus always took people’s “learning readiness” into consideration.
Here are some things you’ll need to know as that begins to happen.
1. You are not responsible for their response to the message.
Not everyone is ready to learn all the things you see they need to learn.
And among those who are ready, each person will have a different level of readiness. Some might be infants in their faith, only able to receive small doses of something that is easy to digest.
Others might be ready to receive a bigger, heartier filling.
You are not responsible for what a person receives and digests. You’re only accountable to observe and pay attention to what they need, and offer it to them in the best way you know how.
Don’t force-feed or overwhelm them, or they may disengage from the conversation.
Don’t undernourish, or they might leave less than satisfied.
2. Ask questions before you make statements.
The best way to know exactly what each person needs is to ask questions first, and listen carefully.
Try to get a good gauge of what the person knows about God, where he or she is personally, and what God is already doing in his or her life and story.
The more you know about the person, the more likely you’ll be able to feed them the correct amount, in the correct way.