Salvation on a napkin

We talked with a young pastor yesterday. He’s planting a church and populating it with people he leads to Christ.

So where are all these new believers coming from? Normal conversations. What kind of conversations?

Out comes the napkin and a marker, and then he talks us through the following sketch:

Salvation on a napkin

It goes like this. You’re born, and at some point you’ll die. Jesus Christ, an actual person in history who claimed to be God, spoke of eternal life after death. Where are you at with Him?

Not interested? That’s normal. No one is interested at birth, and many are still not interested at death.

But some become interested. They think about it. They pay more attention. It’s on their radar.

Some of those people actually look into it. They seek. Maybe they feel conviction or despair, or maybe they read the Bible or pray. It looks different for each person, but the common thread is seeking.

Then the light goes on. Blinded eyes see, deaf ears hear, hard hearts break. Faith and repentance open the door to Jesus Christ the Redeemer. Conversion.

After that it’s about growth, fellowship, maturity, service, and eternal life with God.

This sketch takes a few minutes to explain, and then our guy hands the pen to the other person and says, “put a dot on this timeline that shows where you are right now.”

If they’re not interested, he doesn’t push. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job. If they’re interested he makes a few suggestions. If they’re seeking he says, “Good — keep seeking, because the Bible says seek and you will find.”

And if they’re ready, he introduces them to Christ.

Why are people responding to this simple exercise? Apparently because they can picture themselves in it. It’s not a list of propositions to agree with. Once they see their place in “life with God,” it’s easy to talk about it.


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