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Seeking God?

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If they've never heard of Jesus, how do you get them to investigate the legitimacy of the Gospel? Invite them to be detectives! Paul Johnson shares clues that lead to compelling conclusions.

Have you time for a story?

I have a ministry position with our Baptist convention (CNBC) – that's my day job – SHARE team leader.

… almost all who come have had no exposure to God at all.

But I have a volunteer ministry too – my kids say I have two fulltime jobs. I lead a student church called ROOTS, the Jr High, Sr High and university students of a Mandarin-speaking Chinese church in Calgary. We have 25-30, sometimes 40 students in the room Sundays. I'm the only non-Chinese.

It's a fascinating experience, ROOTS is, because almost all who come have had no exposure to God at all.

We're the first to share anything concerning the Gospel with them – the very first.

That was Tara, a 14-year-old Grade 9 student. She first came to ROOTS May 2009, just before Mother's Day. When I emailed to thank her for coming and told her we'd love to help her find God, she wrote back:

“I haven't been to church much, so I don't really know a lot about God. I'm willing to learn but clueless!”


I'd been reading Keller's The Reason for God, where he recommends we treat the arguments for God as clues that cumulatively point one to God. I wrote her back, asking if she wanted to be a spiritual detective, looking at clues I'd send her. Tara loved the idea. She's a brilliant girl, fluent in both languages, taking French immersion, and grade ten piano.

I sent her a clue a week until the end of June. The clues didn't so much give answers, as raise questions.

Tara wrote me fascinating questions, like “Could conscience be like a phone call from God?”

I couldn't sustain the study/writing for the Clues during the summer, so I asked if we could start again in the fall. She agreed, then asked if I could help her get a volunteer job. I responded that we could both pray, and if somehow God showed us a volunteer job for her, could we count it as a Clue? I was having fun with her, but she liked that too, and said yes.

Within the week a volunteer at ROOTS, who works for the Calgary School Board, asked me if we had any students who could volunteer for summer classes. Tara got the job, and said, “Absolutely yes!” when I kidded her about it being a Clue. I'm sure it was – a bonus celestial one!

We completed the series in early November. When I asked her a few weeks later, did she knew there was a God now, she again said, “Absolutely yes!” I followed up with, “How close are you to responding to Him?” She said, “Very close!”

Very close indeed, because minutes later, after we'd reviewed the Good News, she prayed her way into the kingdom – she did, and W did a week later, then M – two other ROOTS students, all because they were getting and completing the Clues. Now they've all gone through our 12 New/young Believers e-mails, and are pushing on and up. Maybe ten have gotten them by now, including Jing, somewhere in cyber-China.

So they have a life to them, these Clues, and I'm pretty fond of them. They're an informal, sometimes cheeky way to help seekers become believers. Great fun!

I'm delighted to share them.

Paul Johnson, SHARE,, Cell: 403.816.6981.

Related articles

The nine clues appear as a series of nine articles on

Clue #1: Design
Clue #2: Information
Clue #3: Beauty
Clue #4: Complexity
Clue #5: Laws
Clue #6: Word
Clue #7: Scene of the Crime
Clue #8: The Corpse
Clue #9: The Mystery

Originally published on, March 17, 2010.

Used with permission. Copyright © 2010

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