God is One Step Away

God is one step away. We believe no one is too far away from God or unable to take one simple step toward Him. An extraordinary life in Jesus is available to everyone if they are only willing to take that one step.

Have you ever thought about the cost of not inviting someone to church? The cost of not sharing your faith?

We spend a lot of time thinking about what makes us comfortable in church. The atmosphere, the music, the sermon. However, shouldn’t we be more concentrated on why so many of our friends and family aren’t here with us? As a church and as individuals, we must learn how to engage those who don’t know Jesus. This booklet is designed to be used as a tool to engage you on a deeper level of prayer, form thoughtful habits, and build relationships with an emphasis on sharing your testimony and invitation. We hope this tool serves you well as you engage with the people around you and see them as Jesus wants you to see them.

Building Habits

A habit is defined as “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Each of us has a habit in our life that took time to develop. Whether it is going to the gym, reading the Word, or spending habits, developing the right habits is important. What if we thought about “relationship building,” “faith sharing,” and “church inviting” behaviors as habit forming?


In his book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains that forming a habit requires a cycle of cue, routine, and reward.¹ Anticipation of the reward helps motivate us to acknowledge the cue and follow through in the routine.

For example:

Cue: Your alarm goes off at 5:10am
Routine: You get dressed and go to the gym
Reward: You feel healthy and less stressed

Think about the places you frequently go to. Do you want to connect and build relationships with people that are at these places or are you just there for your own benefit?

Consider starting each day with the five questions on the next page. If you are asking yourself these questions, you will begin seeing people differently at the places you frequent. You won’t see them as obstacles or people you are trying to avoid, but as people, you want to develop relationships with and the opportunity of a connection!

Consider starting each day with the Pathway Daily Devotional. During your prayer time, ask yourself the questions listed below.

1. Am I praying for divine intervention?
2. Who is in my circle of influence?
3. Who is keeping me accountable?
4. What is my expectation for this?
5. What is the cost of not making time for this?

Relationship Building

All relationships are different, but they do have a predictable sequence of starting and developing. The following three steps help spell out exactly what relationship development looks like:

1. Starting the Conversation

If you want to make a relationship a priority, first you have to learn how to start an initial conversation. For some, it’s easy to approach and talk with people, but for others, it’s nerve-wracking. Here are four steps to start a conversation in an easy and non-threatening way:

  • Notice: Find something simple in which to engage someone.
  • Approach: Ask a simple question related to what you have noticed.
  • Intentionally Listen: Ask them something referencing what you heard in the form of a question. Listen with the intent of serving them.
  • Learn: Take away one-two things you learned and check back in with them at a later date.

2. Building the Connection

After the door is open from good conversation, begin finding ways to build a good connection together. Remember these points:

  • People Engage On All Platforms. Engage on their platform. If they like to text, text with them. Pay attention to those commonalities.
  • Don’t be afraid to share who you are. Be open and honest. As you tell more of your story, it builds common ground and shared experiences. This is also a great place to share the testimony of your life with Christ.
  • This isn’t about you. People's lives are messy so don’t be afraid to meet them where they are. Don’t allow your fear of someone’s life to dictate how you engage with them.

As you build the connection, notice that the door will open for simple invitations to begin. Consider having a play date for your kids, getting coffee, or having a double date night.

3. Taking Temperature & Inviting

As you build a connection, the door for invitation will open. You have to pay attention to it, but also know how to proceed through it. Observe and listen for cues of a sudden life-change such as “I lost my job,” “I just moved to the area,” “We just had a baby,” or “My family is going through a divorce.”

As you hear these cues, this is where you take the temperature of the situation and determine if this is a good time to extend an invitation to church or share your story (or a testimony).

As you extend the invitation or share your story, pay attention to the response you get. Think of it as a stoplight:

  • Red Light: Not open right now to hear about God or being invited to church.
  • Yellow Light: Their response may be somewhat lukewarm. Proceed with caution.
  • Green Light: Open to the extended invitation and ready to take a next step.

As you extend that invitation, there may be times where they express apprehension or not being ready. If you observe this type of red light behavior repeatedly, you could consider extending a different kind of invitation to something church-related. For example, if they say no to coming to the Weekend Experience, invite them to an event at your campus like a movie night or invite them to watch the broadcast at online.pathwaychurch.com. These activities can help break down barriers and previous ideas.

Remember, even if they repeatedly say no, don’t stop caring and building the relationship. While it may seem fruitless to you, the invitation plants a seed and reminds us to rely on God to be in control.

Managing Fears & Expectations

The cost of not inviting is so much greater than the risk of being vulnerable. Remember that each one of us shares fear in talking to someone about church and God. Whether it is fear of rejection, being seen a different way, or losing friends, we all have it. Keep this in mind as you engage.

If they ask a question about church or God, it’s okay if you don’t know the answer. The worst thing that can happen is we give them an answer that doesn’t make any sense or isn’t correct. Instead, say something like this:

  • “That’s a great question. I’m not sure I know the answer to that but I would love to find out with you.”

Remember, you are not their savior and your goal isn’t to save their life. Your goal is to be a friend and be there for them. There are things you may not know how to work through or navigate through. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Don’t forget, even as you share your story, know that people may not change immediately. It’s important to understand that we shouldn’t expect change immediately. Our main goal should be to connect and share our story.

The rest is up to God. We are just to be faithful. In a way, this frees us up from the result.

Exercising Good Follow Up

Once you have extended the invitation, you need to have good follow-up with them. It’s not a “check the box” and move on to the next one mentality. Here are some good follow up steps:

  • Drop casual hints. Don’t be afraid to drop reminders of what you have talked about. Consider saying that you may be still praying for someone that needs it or reminding them of an event.
  • Ask good questions. No matter what the response is, ask good follow-up questions. This is a great way to stay connected. If they have a child in swim lessons, ask how that is going. This is all about being interested.
  • Tag in extra help. Sometimes there may be multiple people who know the person with whom you are connecting. Don’t be afraid to include them in the process.

Your Story

Build your story:

  • • What was your life like prior to following Jesus?
  •  • What caused you to consider following Jesus?
  •  • How has following Jesus changed your life?

Things to avoid:

  • • Overly spiritual stories 
  •  • Church words and terminology
  •  • Share it in under three minutes

Practice sharing your story:

  • • Practice out loud with a friend
  • • Provide each other with constructive feedback

Daily Prayer

God, Open my eyes to where you are working today. Give me boldness to encourage, serve, and invite people you have placed in my life. Use me to share the good news of Jesus. Amen


¹Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit, charlesduhigg.com

Make the Invitation

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