What to do when someone says, "Thanks but no thanks"?

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Johan is married to Annie. We caught up for a couple of hours and talked about where do you start with disciple making movements? 

These days I touch on big picture principles briefly but focus mainly on simple, skills that get people in the game. The principles are useless without faith and action. Johan went home and shared with a colleague. Here’s what happened.

Hi Steve,

I just shared my story with one of my colleagues.

I also asked If God could do a miracle in your life, what do you want?

But he did not have a request and said he is not that interested.

Shall I just let it here, or should I challenge him more?


My response…

Hi Johan

Well done for sharing.

Welcome to the first lesson: not everyone is ready, but you won’t know until you ask. Jesus had the same experience that’s why he told the parable of the four soils.

If your friend says he’s not interested there are some options:

  1. Ask him what would need to happen for you to become interested? If God really was out there, would you want to know him? Some people still say no.
  2. Don’t push the issue. He may not be ready. No need to challenge him. The offer of prayer was a challenge and he said no.
  3. Check in every now and again and see if things have changed. Offer again to pray if he mentions a special need in his life.
  4. Move on and keep looking for a responsive person.
  5. Maybe you have to pray for 100 people to find one person who is ready for a Discovery Bible Study. But the good news is if you talk to 100 you’ll find one who is ready!

Let me know how you get on.


Will Johan give in now that he’s had one knock back? I don’t think so. If he’s prayerful and obedient to share God will show up. Once he’s shared with 100 people, led some people to Jesus, begun a small Discovery Bible study group, trained some others, he’s ready for some more input. Most people give up before that happens and tell me, “It doesn’t work in our context.”