We just spent six weeks discovering “What is Hope?” and now it’s time to share that hope.
The next six weeks will revolve around starting conversations that lead to proclaiming God’s Word and His Will for all mankind - a restored relationship with Him.
Need to start at the beginning? Read Week 1 here.
I read some research that said up to 80% of people aren't ready to make a change—even when they know it’s necessary. So where does that leave us? Do we just back off until people figure out their stuff?
Below are common stages of change. They apply to all of us.
Not ready to change
Thinking about making a change
Ready to make a change
Taking action to change
Maintaining the change
Whether you're a parent, mentor, small group leader, manager, etc., your role is to lead people a bit further down the road, one step a time, toward discovering and pursuing their next stage.
It’s important to be realistic with yourself about where people are and how they move. People don’t change stages until they’ve found their own internal motivation—no matter how much you try to help them to move forward.
And even when someone finds internal motivation to change, that doesn't mean they automatically identify what to do next.
For most people, the scariest element of change is the unknown. This is where your conversations can help people visualize their options and reduce their fears. You can ask questions like, “What do you want to look different a year from now, and what do you think you could do differently between now and then to get there?” Then, lead them to uncover a few small, timely, achievable steps to move in the right direction.
Remember, we’re not pushing our ideas; we’re asking questions to uncover something inside them that knows where they should go. We’re helping people put words to something they’ve felt but didn’t know how to say.
Let me be specific. As a Christ follower, you have a unique advantage. You don't have to rely on your ability to come up with good ideas, or even the perfect questions. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is alive in you and the person you’re coaching. If they're willing to allow that Spirit to do what He does, all we have to do is ask, listen, and invite Him to do His work.
In Colossians 1:18-20, Paul reminds us of Christ’s immense relevance to people who desire to see others change and grow. The reason Christ became human, why He chose to live on the earth, was so every person (and all of creation) could be restored. So, when getting to the next stage of change seems impossible, remember who is the one making change and restoration possible.
We’re talking about a good model for conversations, but don’t forget this: Christ’s power to renew any of us is the single most important dimension of any development conversation you could ever have. Because of that, sometimes you need to just stop talking and pray for Christ to lead.
Pray: Jesus, thanks for the reminder that You are the change-maker. Holy Spirit, please lead all of the conversations I’m a part of.
(These devotions are based on: “Conversations” created by Life.Church)