COMMON BARRIERS TO FOLLOWING JESUS
- “I don’t want to give up control of my life. How do I know Jesus will be better?”
The Deeper Barrier: They think that they can make better choices and decisions than Jesus for their life or they are afraid of failing to be a “good follower” of Jesus.
Helpful Response: Ask some questions to help reveal the deeper issues and allow your friend to grapple honestly with their barrier. Some questions could be…
- “How are you doing today at getting what you want out of life?”
- “Are there places where you feel like you don’t have control? How does it make you feel?”
- “What would happen if you tried to give up control but made a mistake?”
2. “I don’t want to be boring by becoming a Christian. Christianity is just a list of rules to follow.”
The Deeper Barrier: They enjoy how they live their life too much and/or have a skewed idea of what really following Jesus means.
- What do you think you would have to give up to follow Jesus?
- Is what you’re doing really making you happy? Are you still happy two days after having fun?
3.) “I’m not good enough to be a Christian. I couldn’t live up to what it means to be a good Christian. I don’t want to be a hypocrite.”
The Deeper Barrier: They are experiencing shame or guilt over their past.
- How good is good enough? What do you think God’s standard is?
- Spend some time in listening prayer about what Jesus thinks of the person.
4.) “I don’t know enough about all the other religions to just pick Christianity now.”
The Deeper Barrier: They don’t know if Jesus is good enough to stop their search.
Helpful Response: What would you need from Jesus to make you confident to say yes to him right now?
5.) “I don’t know enough about the Bible to become a Christian.”
The Deeper Barrier: Love of seeking and not of finding or perfectionism (needing to get their beliefs just right before becoming a Christian)
- What is missing from your knowledge base of Christianity? Do you think that you would be a better Christian if you knew that?
- When would you know that you knew enough to be a Christian?
6.) “I don’t want to follow a God who is (racist/ homophobic/ allows the church to be…)”
The Deeper Barrier: They have been hurt by the church or have witnessed the hurt of a close friend. Or They are afraid of having to stop caring for people or for a cause because they have placed their identity into that cause.
- Have you or a friend experienced a specific hurt by the church you can’t let go of? Is there anyone you need to forgive that has hurt you or a friend?
- Share stories of Christians who have worked hard for a cause (i.e. Protesters in the Civil Rights movement)