So many Christians believe that sharing the gospel is leading someone to Christ. I say that’s only the beginning. To lead someone you have to be going somewhere yourself. So let’s look at what it means to lead.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Lead by Example” but what does that actually mean? If you’re going to “lead a horse to water”, you have to be going to the water yourself. If you expect that horse to drink, you need to drink yourself, be willing to demonstrate. In other words, you have to show people an example worth following. Sharing the gospel is important but is not the end game. 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7 says, “And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.” Paul is praising the people in Thessalonica, about how well they set an example for others. They were not merely speaking the words of the gospel, but they were living lives transformed by its message.
However, no matter how well you set an example, you need to be sure you’re not just a good looking ship without a rudder. In other words, what is steering you? It’s interesting that to the church of Thessalonica, Paul mentions that they are doing a good job of becoming “imitators of the Lord”. But to the church of Corinth, he says “follow my example as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Paul is ensuring that he himself is following Christ so the can be an example for others. If you look good on the outside but are not following Christ in your private world, how can you possibly lead anyone?
Bottom line is this, leading someone to Christ begins with you following Christ, then telling people about Christ, and continually setting the example to follow until they are mature enough in their own faith to follow Christ themselves. At that point, they’ll begin to replicate your example by leading others to Christ. With this, you have not only made a believer but made a disciple.
Afterall, the “Great Commission” does not say to make believers, it says to make disciples.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”