By no means the definitive work on the subject, the chart I posted was simply my attempt to quantify not only what the process can look like in a person’s journey toward Christ, but the believer’s role in that process.
In this post, I’d like to go behind the scenes of the chart, so to speak, to highlight a couple of the big picture implications to us as believers, particularly as it relates to our being an "obstacle remover" in a person's journey toward Christ.
As a reminder, this is not about devising some kind of grand scheme to achieve the noted outcomes; nor is it about manipulating a person through the process.
It's about being cognizant of the "obstacles" that are likely to be present in a person's journey; noticing what the Holy Spirit is doing in their lives; and understanding how we can be an "obstacle remover" in that process.
Furthermore, this post is not about how to strike up a conversation and share the Gospel with complete strangers that we meet at the beach, park, or laundromat.
As important as those "divine encounters" are in the overall work of the Holy Spirit, our focus right now is on the people that God has already sovereignly placed in our everyday lives -- friends and relatives (both near and far), neighbors, colleagues, co-workers, classmates, students, teachers, clients, customers, associates, employees, supervisors, club members, community contacts, service providers (barber, handyman, etc), and just about anyone else we have continual contact with during the normal course of life, even if we don't yet know their name!
That's a lot of people!
Now granted, those who are completely indifferent or antagonistic toward all things "Christian" usually don't want anything to do with a follower of Christ, not to mention the fact that we only have the time and capacity to relate to a few anyway. However, since we're talking about people that God has sovereignly placed in our everyday lives, is it at all possible that He might just have something in mind for them, and that it could very well include us?
Though we know with the utmost of certainty that God is at work drawing men and women to Himself from across the globe, is there any reason to believe that it somehow excludes the people in our lives? If they are not there by accident, is there any reason to assume that He does not want to use us in the journey of at least a few?
Assuming He does, how then do we find "the few" amongst the many? How do we know in whose heart God is at work especially if His work is only in the early stages of their journey? Is there a way to identify who it is that God is leading us to so that we can be an "obstacle remover" in their journey toward Christ?
No easy answers, for sure, but perhaps there is a way!