David Platt, the author of the book Radical, recently called the Sinner’s Prayer superstituous and has two posts online in which he talks about how to lead someone to Christ.
I think he makes some good points, such as letting a person be alone with the Lord so you don’t inadvertently push them when they’re not ready and being willing to help disciple that person if they choose to follow Christ. But here, I wanted to add something that I didn’t see addressed in Platt’s articles (which is not a critique, mind you).
If I could add a point to his list, it would be this: make sure the person understands that they don’t need to understand everything about Jesus before they go after him.
We give the Twelve disciples a lot of crap for not understanding half of what Jesus says in the four gospels, but I think we tend to overlook something that’s admirable about them. None of them felt they needed to understand Jesus before they could go after him.
I think there’s something beautiful about that kind of trust. I think that the disciples continued to stay with Jesus, despite their many questions about him and his teachings, is proof that their allegiance was genuine. They didn’t understand everything their teacher said and they had plenty of questions. Still, they wanted to be with Jesus. Like I said before: beautiful.
So my advice would be, don’t wait for your mind to catch up to your allegiance. If you want to be with Jesus, then be with him. And when you have questions and don’t understand, don’t fret: you’re standing where the Twelve once stood, too.