Dr Bob Mayo

Bob Mayo

Ask and you will be answered - doctoral Doctor Bob gives quick, clear and concise responses to the issues of the day. Is it best to be popular or most popular in your class? How Christian is too Christian? Is kissing going out? All questions come from the Bridge family of young people, youth workers, friends and others. All submissions can remain anonymous. Join up and start asking...

How should I approach a friend who used to come to church then abruptly stopped? They already know the basics etc, but have decided against it - where should I go from here to encourage them to try it again?

Question

How should I approach a friend who used to come to church then abruptly stopped? They already know the basics etc, but have decided against it - where should I go from here to encourage them to try it again?

Answer

Think in terms of taking the church to your friend rather than taking your friend to the church. Invite him/her to come along with you to a church youth group, look at some Christian websites together, give him/her something to read. If he/she is not interested in any of these, at least in the short term, you will not be able to persuade him/her to come back to church.  Will (18) told me that he had found himself in exactly the same position with a friend of his. Will realized that there was nothing he could do and that if he pushed too hard he would lose the friendship. Remember always that it is God’s job to convict not your job to convince. Listen to your friend and understand his/her reasons for stopping coming to church; this keeps the friendship open and makes sure that your friend does not feel judged. The Bible says that we should always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks and being ready to give the reason for the hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15) means that it is not always you who brings the subject up.

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