That’s one reason I joined IVCF on campus rather than the other main Christian group I’d started attending first. IVCF practiced friendship evangelism. The other group trained people in a one-size-fits-all approach. I will give the staff member who offered me a ride to church and used the time to mentor me as a sheep returning to the fold a lot of credit for meeting me where I was instead of handing me the usual fill-in-the-blanks study in their program for new followers.

But a few months later someone higher on her staff confronted me after a meeting and basically told me if I didn’t join the discipleship training group that assumed total Scriptural ignorance I might as well leave the group. Since my now-husband had been trying to explain the difference between the two groups for a couple of months and had been encouraging me to switch, the ultimatum gave me the motivation to finally do it. Inductive Bible studies allowed me to ask the questions I really had.

I think it’s important to listen to people and find out where they really are when we are sharing the Gospel. I know the Holy Spirit can use anyone using any method. One of my former Sunday school pupils started in the organization I left and is now training overseas staff. But that organization would have stifled my own growth even though it made Melanie bloom. We are all different, and I think that’s the point. Jesus treated people as the individuals they were, and I think we need to do the same thing.

Christian, bereaved adoptive mom, blogger, amateur nature photographer, voracious reader. Married 54 years. Central Coast of California.

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