The third step of the "hunters" (of dropout believers) strategy is to "pursue"; in other words, to begin a focused process of engagement with the dropout believer—but only after the Lord has affirmed to us His desire for our pursuit of this particular individual.
In other words, develop a relationship with a goal of restoration to the body of Christ. In order to develop such a relationship, we must actively engage with them. How? Going back to basics, there are several aspects of building such a relationship.
1. Conversations: calls/personal interaction
3. Correspondence (emails/text/social media, cards)
First, let's consider conversations.
Depending on our regular interactions, there will be conversations involving personal contact with the dropout believer. There are several considerations specific to building a relationship with a dropout believer. Remember—our goal is not to get them in church next Sunday! This will come later.
Here are several tips that are helpful in building these relationships:
1. Connect consistently two or three times a month.
Fewer engagements than this are inadequate to effectively build relationships. More than this may become a nuisance.
2. Pray with them.
Sometimes people will share a concern, difficulty or trial that is on their mind or affecting their lives. Don't say "I'll be in prayer for you." Ask if you may pray with them about that. Usually the response will be yes!
3. Pray for them.
It is important to take time to pray for the person. We need to pray for restoration and removal of strongholds and obstacles in their lives and for God's will.
Consider the two or three people in your sphere of influence who are dropout believers, whom the Lord has shown you to engage with. Begin the process now. For more depth on this, read Hunters of the Harvest, chapter 10.
Louis Posthauer is the executive director of Hunters of the Harvest Ministry. He has been actively involved in the local church for 37-plus years and currently serves as a lay leader and teacher at Living Word Church of the Nazarene in Houston. For more information: huntersoftheharve
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