I don’t know about you but when I converted to Christianity I wanted everybody to experience what I experienced as soon as I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I wanted my husband, my sisters, my mom, and even most of my friends to go to this amazing Church with me and live what I lived. The problem was… I was doing the exact opposite of what I intended to do! I was being controlling and I wasn’t guiding others to God!
Pretty soon they were all asking me (kindly) to back off! It was difficult at the beginning but I finally understood that I wasn’t supposed to push them, I had to be an example… just by being me, guided by God.
I guess I failed a few more times before I finally let go.
I started to realize that I needed to guide others subtly by stepping out of the crowd. Let them see that I really wanted to learn about God and that I wasn’t only seeking for certain benefits without committing.
As Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you.” (John 6:53). We need to participate actively in the Cross to have eternal life. We must be 100% committed to living by His commandments and Word. We should follow Him constantly and avoid the crowd, no matter what. Once we do this, people will start wondering and seeing true changes in us… changes they’ll want to experience.
Then, they will come to us and we will be able to share our experience and be part of this:
“go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
How do we get better at it?
I know you must be thinking… Ok, that sounds nice but how do I do it?
How do I get to guide others to God without controlling and without shooing them away?
As with anything we want to be better at, we must be taught and trained. So the most important thing you need to do is to make sure that the Church you are attending is focused on developing those who want to be disciples and shaping them to be good leaders. Remember that in Ephesians 4:11-12 Paul tells us which are “the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.1 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”
Thus, you should be growing in your relationship with God because the Church (all of us) is meant to be built. And the point of it is that that’s what you will be doing for others, too. But you’ll do it through the discipleship of others, instead of controlling them.
Discipleship is teaching, it’s to convert others into followers of Jesus and help them shape their character in Christ. We are encouraged to preach the Word and teach, correct and rebuke patiently… encourage others with good teaching. (2 Timothy 4:2) Which sounds completely opposite to “controlling” to me.
There are some big no-no’s* when you want to guide others to God
And some that will help you decide if you need to attend another church or congregation
- Abuse of authority: look for your own benefit. “Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.” (1 Peter 5:3)
- Use some sort of spiritual abuse: manipulate. Tell or use false prophecies and give false hopes.
- Create an oppressive or controlling atmosphere: threat people of they don’t do what you expect them to; not allowing questions.
- Have a “superiority” attitude: “My church is the only one that tells the truth”. “My leader is the best.”
- Lead with a tyrant attitude: “A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.” (2 Timothy 2:24)
- Make sure everybody consults the leader(s) before making an important decision.
- Be a leader or a person that breaks up relationships and decides which relationships are “better” for the disciples.
- Demand the confession of certain sins. (It must be a voluntary act and it must lead to the victory over the sin. Instead of pushing others, we should pray for them. James 5:16)
- Demand that they only attend your church.
- Have some covenant that demands loyalty to any leader or to any person for that matter.
- Speak badly (or even curse) of those who leave the church you attend.
- Blindly believe everything someone in your church says. You must always compare what is being told with the Word of God. (That’s why it’s SO important to know it and read it every day.)
*All these no-no’s are mentioned because they are real. #12 is very important because there have even been cases where church members manipulate others and lead them into situations involving some kind of sexual abuse.
A Big Do!
- PRAY, pray, and then pray some more. Ask God to dispel and take away any impulse of controlling others (from every relationship and every situation). Also, ask God to help you trust in his grace and to use you as a channel to share that grace with others.
Never stop blessing the Lord, and thank Him in every circumstance and follow his commandments and his Word.
I hope this post has helped you identify some ways in which you can guide others to God without being controlling.
If you think this might be helpful to someone you know, don’t hesitate and share it with them.
Also, please comment below and let us know your thoughts about this topic. What has helped you guide others to God? What piece of advice would you give others?
Don’t forget you can always go to our private Facebook group to discuss this topic and learn from others or even better to help others in this wonderful journey.
Be gracious and don’t forget God’s love never fails.