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Encountering Jesus

Session 4

Encountering Jesus

Active Seeking and First Conversion

Opening Prayer

20 – 30 mins | Page 14

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When they brought their boats to the shore, they left evervthing and followed him.


5 mins | Page 14

  • “Do you believe a personal relationship with God is possible?” – this is the fundamental question.
  • A person has to say “YES” to this question before they can make progress along the journey of faith.
  • The movement from Curiosity to Openness is one of the hardest progressions of the journey.
  • We can serve outsiders better by placing ourselves in their shoes, imagining what it’s like to be them.
  • Also: eliminate barriers, provide space for questioning, provide an experience of something beautiful, share personal testimony and stories from Scripture, capitalize on openness as a secular virtue.
  • Someone has moved into the Openness stage when they are ready to admit to God and to themselves that they are open to the possibility of personal and spiritual change.


6 – 10 mins

Personal Verification

10 – 15 mins | Page 15

Privately consider the following questions:

  1. When in your life have you earnestly sought after God, or the truth? What came from it?

  2.  Did anyone help you in your search? What role did they play?

  3. Have you ever had an encounter with Jesus that changed everything? Or, can you point to a time in your life when your relationship with or understanding of God grew deeper?

  4. What was that experience like? What changed for you and in you?

Emmaus Walk

15 – 20 mins | Page 16

Pair up with someone, go for a walk or find a private place to talk, and discuss the following questions:

  1. What stood out to you from the video or from your personal verification time?

  2. Where are you seeing God at work in your life? What are you thankful for?

  3. Where are you struggling right now? What do you need prayer for?

Pray out loud for your partner. You can pray a prayer you know or pray from your heart.

Large Group Discussion

20 – 30 mins | Page 16

  1. What do you think most people are seeking?

  2. What are some things that Bobby talked about as helping him to understand God’s love for him

  3. What do you notice about Bobby’s story as it pertains to faith and encountering God, and making a decision to leave his “old life” behind?

  4. What are some ways that we can help someone who is in Openness to move into Active Seeking?

Practical Application

5 – 10 mins | Pages 16 & 17

  1. Are there any conclusions you have come to regarding ministry in your setting?

  2. Is there anything you feel called to put into practice, either in your personal life or as a parish staff/team?

  3. If so, what and how will you implement it? Who will hold you accountable?

Closing Prayer

2 mins | Page 17

Mary, Mother of the Church and our Mother, present our prayer of thanksgiving to your Son. Beg from Him the graces we need to be faithful disciples who follow Him with enthusiasm and joy. May our witness to the love of God bear fruit in our archdiocese, parishes, homes and hearts. Teach us to be God’s joyful witnesses, to radiate Christ in all we do, so that all people might know, love and follow your Son through this life and into the next. Amen.

Going Deeper

Learn more about the threshold of Active Seeking and the first Decision Point, which is First Conversion, by reading pages 16-17 in the PED Info Packet. Take notes or mark any questions you have and bring these to the next session.