How to Progress Your Conversations with Unbelievers

Nate is a disciple-maker in South Asia. While back at the States' temporarily, he is on the lookout for unbelievers to befriend and invite to Discovery Bible Study. Read below to see how Nate is making disciples!

Social Gatherings Helped Nate Reconnect with an Unbeliever

Though I am back in the United States from the field in South Asia, I sought for opportunities to interact with unbelievers and found that a social dance was taking place. Wanting more people to attend, I invited a friend Johnny from the Boy Scouts with whom I hadn't talked to in almost 2 years. I texted him, and he showed up! We had meaningful conversations and, since he was available, thought we should meet up again. About 4 days later, a few of my friends wanted to do a boardgame night. I forgot about Johnny and was reminded while we were hanging out to invite him. A text later, he said he'd be over! We ended up hanging out with him until after midnight and had several good casual and meaningful conversations.

Prayer Led to a Spiritual Conversation

The next day, I hosted my Disciple Making Community (DMC). While talking through the Conversation Quadrants, I asked for my DMC to pray that I could move from meaningful to spiritual conversations with Johnny. I explained to my DMC how great it would be to see him and another good friend of his to read Scripture together. Another 3 days later over the weekend, he came over with a mutual friend to say hi before our mutual friend went back to school after Memorial Day. We had a casual conversation for an hour. Finally, two days later, my younger brother and Johnny came back one evening after golfing. We decided to smoke cigars in our man cave while watching the sunset. While enjoying really good conversation, I saw that I could easily transition to asking about his Catholic background and took the opportunity. He responded that he backed away from Catholicism and isn't sure about his spirituality.

God Orchestrated a Discovery Conversation and DBS!

As we continued talking, Johnny shared about previously attending a mutual friend's college group and studying the Good Samaritan story. I asked him how the story went and he beautifully retold the story in a simple way. I asked what he learned from it and he shared, "If that's what loving your neighbor means, then I've never really loved my neighbor!" He shared that the story also taught him that we must love God and our neighbors in order to get to heaven. He asked me whether I know if I'm going to heaven. "I do know..." I replied. "But it's a longer story to explain here." Instead of explaining everything to him then and there, I asked if he'd like to do a DBS. After I provided a brief description, he said he'd be interested! I explained how its best do DBS with a few friends, and he said he had a Catholic Vietnamese friend from college who might be interested. We are scheduled to meet this week! I'm praying that Johnny's friend would come too and for their hearts to bear good fruit!

Lessons Learned:

The first lesson from Nate's story is pretty self-explanatory. We must spend time with lost people in order to make disciples! Even while Nate is living away from his initial mission field in South Asia for a time, he continues to put himself out there to find people whose hearts God is drawing. His obedience led him to Johnny. Second, there's no pre-determined amount of time it takes to go through the Conversation Quadrants. The Holy Spirit can move slowly or quickly according to God's greater plan. In addition, Nate interacted with Johnny on numerous separate occasions within a short timespan, allowing them to progress their conversations. What matters most is consistency, prayer, and keeping an eye open for the conversations and friendships with unbelievers who God puts in our path!

What kind of conversations lead to disciple-making?


Disciple-making conversations are about inviting unbelievers to discover God in the Bible, not inviting them to church. It's about listening to people so you don't give them a cookie-cutter pitch. It's about long-term relationships, not one-time interactions.

Listen to the podcast here.



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