Answer – Winter 2016
“I wanted to leave her in a place where she had a chance to respond in her own time…”
These were the thoughts from one of the Dallas Theological Seminary students involved in our Resident Leadership Program. Originally from Canada, Dave is in his second year of a dual major focusing on Christian Leadership and Biblical Studies and he was praying that he would get the opportunity to continue his conversation with Jocelyn.
They had been chatting for over an hour and their conversation had progressed with a surprising acceleration. Jocelyn was transparent from the very beginning in sharing about a recent breakup and the reason behind it. “The guy ended things because he struggles with lust and I don’t have a problem with it.” Dave thought he was going to help her transition from this breakup. But as the conversation continued, he realized that it was less about a breakup and more about unrepentant sin. Jocelyn didn’t have a problem with lust because she just gave into it. She told how she had shared with the young man that she enjoyed having sex. Dave realized that this young man was just trying to keep himself pure. He needed to help Jocelyn see her behavior differently and understand God’s love for her.
Instead of trying to control the conversation like he might have done in the past, Dave paused and asked Jocelyn what were her thoughts. It was then the conversation turned once again and she realized that she really hadn’t thought of a meaningful relationship with God but now knew she wanted to find a godly man. Dave replied, “the best way to do that is to be a godly woman”. Jocelyn felt the shame of her past sexual life and felt she couldn’t be clean and pure. She was filled with guilt and that she had ruined her chances – it was just too late for her. Dave relayed the story of the Samaritan woman who lost all her dignity because she gave it away to men who didn’t deserve it, BUT when she put her trust in Jesus, His love was bigger than her shame. At this point, Jocelyn kept trying to avoid this specific conversation seemed like she was going to leave the chat. Dave sensed it wasn’t the Holy Spirit’s timing. He encouraged her to explore a relationship with Jesus and gave her the text number to continue their discussion – and prayed…
Imagine the excitement as Jocelyn came back to chataboutjesus.com and connected once again with Dave. The conversation picked up exactly where it had left off, but this time Dave sensed her need to take the next step. Instead of focusing their discussion on a failed relationship, he challenged Jocelyn to focus on a relationship with Jesus Christ. She was “not proud about giving up her virginity and just wanted to start over.” Dave let her know that only Jesus could offer her the newness that she desires and asked her if she would like to pray. She did want to pray – and not for anyone else, but just for herself. She added that maybe that is why the guy walked out of her life. Dave offered an amazing insight; “I think God used a godly man to introduce you to a true relationship with the most godly man, Jesus.”
These types of conversations are exactly why Dave is involved with the Need Him Global Resident Leadership Program. Although he is working with a local church, he wanted to have the opportunity to have authentic and unfiltered conversations with non-Christians. He feels the program building his confidence and helping him more concisely share the Gospel to those working through life’s various issues.