I recently finished Everday Church, by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, and in this tome they list four points of intersection where you can point people in a Godly direction.
Before I list the points of intersection let me share some context. First, these points are directed at the everyday questions of life. Such as, “Where are my car keys?” Or, “What do you think about my dress?” Or, “Will my kids ever pick up their laundry?” These simple questions point to something deeper- how we interpret life. For example, if we cannot find our car keys we might quote our version of Murphy’s Law. If something can go wrong it will. Murphy’s Law is an interpretation of life. If her boyfriend doesn’t like the dress and she says disparagingly, “What do men know about fashion?” She is interpreting life.
Everyone interprets life. According to the authors this interpretation is what the Bible calls “the world”- collective reinterpretations of life that shape us and to which we contribute. They go on to assert that opportunities arise when a person’s interpretation of life breaks down. Any view of life breaks down at some point without God. If believe in self-reliance- then cracks appear when life gets difficult. If we believe a series of events that will satisfy us (I’ll have this kind of job by this age, this many children, this kind of home) then cracks appear when the fixes don’t make things right.
Everyone is trying to find salvation. They probably will not ask, “What must I do to be saved?” But everyone asks what must I do to feel fulfilled, satisfied, and accepted. The majority of people are pursuing salvation by the wrong means- whether that’s a marriage, pleasure, success, prosperity, or happiness, a host of other pursuits, or even by conforming to some church lifestyle. Each pursuit has its own set of laws that the person must conform too. That conformity comes in the way of condemnation. If a person values hard work, then they will condemn idleness. If they like the latest fashions, then looking “uncool” becomes the harbinger.
It’s in this salvific pursuit where we can find points of intersection toward God. Here they are:
Creation refers to the assumptions people make about life. What do people think rewards them in life? Who are their heroes? What makes them feel happy?
The fall refers to when their life breaks down. This intersection point happens when life doesn’t work out the way they planned. It points to what is lacking in their life. Who do they think is responsible for the struggles they face?
Redemption is what they think they will make life better. It also refers to the escape mechanisms people use to “get away” from this world, like partying and getting drunk.
Finally, consummation. It also points what they believe will deliver their hopes and dreams. This can be something like education or finding the right guy or girl for their life. What are they sacrificing in order to achieve their dreams?
These are all points of intersection where we can point people in the direction of God.
So how do we point them to God?
Here are some questions you can ask when you are talking to a friend about such issues:
- What do you want?
- Why does this matter so much to you?
- How’s that working for you? (The Dr. Phil question)
Here are some questions to ask yourself about the person you are reaching:
- What do they believe about God?
- What do they want? What are their idolatrous desires?
- How much do these desires control their lives?
- Which part of the Gospel is most relevant to their life?
- The greatness of God’s love?
- The glory of the risen Savior and the hope of resurrection?
- The goodness of Jesus in his righteousness bestowed upon us?
- The grace of Jesus shedding his blood on the cross for our sins?
The most powerful part of helping someone have a relationship with Jesus is to pray for them and be willing to be the answer to that prayer.