HUNGRY FOR JESUS
WHAT WOULD THE CURIOUS SAY? “I’m curious enough about Jesus to investigate his life & teachings. I have a lot of questions like: How can I know it’s real? How can I experience God myself? What would a relationship with God do for me? I also may have questions about specific Christian beliefs. I’ll look at the Bible but I’d also like other proof that Jesus was really God.”
Almost all the people who came to faith in the scriptures would have been classified as CURIOUS (Ethiopian Eunuch, the Woman at the Well, Zacchaeus). Your goal with a CURIOUS person is to steward their curiosity and help them transition to belief. The truth is that genuine conversion isn’t fueled by a person’s curiosity but rather by the call of Jesus on their life. You’ll need to help CURIOUS people discover that Jesus is calling them.
It’s important to point out that people can confuse “believing” something with “fully understanding” it. That’s a standard that we don’t use for many other beliefs in our life (like believing electricity works even though we don’t fully understand how). Believing also doesn’t mean not having any doubts at all (a virtual impossibility). Simply put, a BELIEVER’s faith involves a person’s willingness to believe outweighing their tendency to doubt. “Doubt-free” faith probably isn’t very healthy. As long as doubt doesn’t cripple the entire process of belief, it actually can be a useful part of faith (driving both our humility and propelling us to God for answers). When a person gets stuck on a part of the story they simply can’t believe, tell them to ask God to “meet them there” and help them work through it with out shutting down the whole process (“I believe! Help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24).
1. Don’t just default to inviting a CURIOUS person to church or Bible study. Find a way to cultivate their curiosity through a relationship so they get used to a discipleship model.
2. To eliminate unwanted pressure and awkwardness, let CURIOUS people know that if they investigate Jesus with you…
- the speed of their exploration will be up to them
- they can explore without committing (but BELIEVING involves commitment)
- their exploration could either lead to something really special or maybe not
3. Use a combination of sources in your exploration. Curious people should want to know what the Bible says (more than the NOT CURIOUS) but may still want to consider other sources like science, philosophy, intuition or personal experience.
4. Help them understand that what they are interpreting as their own curiosity could be more of a calling by Jesus to follow him. It’s easy to confuse the two, especially if you don’t even know that there is a Holy Spirit that draws people to God.