Checklist to Stay Spiritually Intentional
Excerpt taken from Chapter Four of Across the Street and Around the World: Following Jesus to the Nations in Your Neighborhood…and Beyond by Jeannie Marie
Only the Holy Spirit can give people new life. But we can do specific things to foster opportunity for spiritual conversations and action, if we’re conscious of doing them. When I used to visit my friends, sometimes I would get so busy having fun, I’d neglect to notice spiritual opportunities to go deeper. So I made a list of questions to help me remember to encourage my cross-cultural friends to consider and follow Jesus—while still having fun! This is even helpful with my own family.
I find that these common sense spiritual activities often occur in this order, And some activities repeat many times. This progression can apply to any friendship— for those who follow Jesus and those who do not . . . yet.
Take a minute to think of a few key relationships in your life right now. Ask yourself these questions, checking off the activities you’ve done with these friends. When you’re finished, look at the empty checkboxes. Pray and ask God what he might want you to do as a next step with each friend.
Have I prayed a blessing over their home and family?
Have I mentioned the name of Jesus and established in a natural way that I’m a spiritual person?
Have I told a story of Jesus or the Bible in relation to something happening in everyday life?
Have I prayed with them about an immediate need, asking in the name of Jesus Christ?
Have I shared any Scriptures from my daily time with God that might be encouraging?
Do I know where they are hurting most or feeling lost?
Do I know what things from their past need to be addressed to remove barriers to God— “rocks” that lie on their path that prevent them from being able to trust God?
Have I helped them get access to the Bible in their own language, in a version that is easy for them to understand?
Have I invited them and their family to read the Bible with me?
Have I encouraged them to obey the scripture that we are reading together?
Have I encouraged them to share with others the scripture that we are reading together?
Have I praised evidence of change in their lives and hearts and in those of their family?
Do I ask about evidence of change in the lives and hearts of those they are sharing with?
Have I encouraged them to meet on their own to study and obey Scripture as a community?
Am I coaching them as they start to take responsibility for other people’s spiritual growth?
I’d love to hear any experiences you have when you try these, or new ideas that you find helpful!