Updated: May 4, 2021
Faithful friendship and conversations over time lead to Discovery Bible Study!
Trevor is a disciple-maker in Eastern Europe. He began a friendship with Ivan before the pandemic. Over the past year, Trevor remained faithful to prayer and intentional engagement through the Conversation Quadrants. As a result of Trevor's obedience, God drew Ivan to participate in a Discovery Bible Study!
Casual to Meaningful Conversations through Prayer
Ivan is a non-believer and the father of my son's classmate. We began our friendship casually by waving at each other at the school parking lot. One time, we ran into each other at the grocery store and chatted. After talking a few more times outside of school, I told Ivan, "Hey, we see each other a lot, why don't we get coffee some time?"
We met for coffee regularly, starting with casual conversations that gradually became meaningful. Ivan usually lead the conversation and brought up meaningful topics!
Much of this is due to the prayer I've mobilized for Ivan. Through Facebook prayer groups, sending videos to believers requesting prayer, or joining prayer meetings, I always asked people to pray for him. One day, he opened up about some events from his past that sent him on a journey of exploring spiritual things.
Then, the coffee shops closed down due to quarantine. We opted to go on weekly walks at a nearby park. What initially felt like a barrier was actually a blessing in disguise! I sensed that our walks together were more relaxed and less intimidating for Ivan than sitting eye-to-eye over coffee.
Spiritual Conversations to Discovery
Ivan continually brought up spiritual topics and asked for my opinions. One day, I responded to him with,
"Ivan, what you just said reminds me of a story from the Bible I read this morning. Can I share it with you?"
"I would love to hear it," Ivan replied.
I shared how Jesus said, "If you hear My words and obey them, you're like the man who builds his house on the rock. If you don't, you're like the man who builds his house on the sand that gets washed away by the storm."
"What do you think about that, Ivan?"
"Trevor," he pondered, "it seems like we Slovenes are choosing to build our house on the sand—and it's not working." He continued, "Also, it's easy to just say you love someone. But, here Jesus says, if you really love Him, you'll do what He says."
"Wow," I marveled, "that's pretty profound."
I continued to take every opportunity to respond to his questions by sharing what I was reading from Scripture. There were other times were it felt appropriate for me to pray for him and he was open to it. He responded by asking how he could pray for my family. That is just one example of how Ivan and his family are generous to us. They've invited us into their home, which is rare in Slovene culture.
Making the Invitation to Discovery Bible Study
A couple of weeks ago, we were having another conversation and I told Ivan, "Almost every time we meet, we talk about God, the Bible, and spiritual things. Would you like the opportunity to open the Bible, read it together, and discover what it says?"
"Well, what do you mean?" Ivan questioned. Apparently he got the idea that I would just give him the Bible, he would read the whole thing, and come back to me. Instead, I explained to him the Discovery Bible Study (DBS) process—how we read the word, ask questions, obey it, and share it.
"Next time we meet," Ivan concluded, "that's what we're going to do!"
Trevor's story demonstrates what the Conversation Quadrants can look like. Trevor began his friendship with Ivan over a year ago with frequent casual conversations. Trevor mobilized prayer for Ivan and maintained regular conversations with him. Eventually, Trevor invited Ivan to talk over coffee, which started to happen weekly and led to meaningful conversations. Through prayer and consistent meetups, God led Ivan to ask spiritual questions. Trevor followed the Spirit's leading until a God provided an opportune moment to invite Ivan to read the Word with him and Ivan readily accepted. To Ivan, it felt so natural to say "yes" to DBS because of the friendship of trust and openness he had built with Trevor. Finally, Trevor let Ivan—and the promptings of the Holy Spirit—guide the conversations. Trevor never forced spirituality into their talks. He simply kept his eyes open to where God was already moving. After all, only God can draw people to Jesus—our job is to join Him in that process!
Whiteboard Explainer Video on Conversation Quadrants
Learn how to talk to your friend who don't know Jesus just like Trevor. This short, shareable explainer video will tell you all you need to know about Conversation Quadrants. Click here or watch below!