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Profiling the Prospect
Profiling the Prospect presents a methodology for matching spiritual awareness profiles of evangelistic prospects with specific plans for bringing those prospects closer to redemption in Jesus Christ. The component parts of the methodology are: 1) determining the specific level of spiritual awareness of a prospect, 2) matching the prospect profile to one of seven specific levels of spiritual awareness types, and 3) tailoring a plan for the prospect of that spiritual awareness type into a unique Redemption Plan for the individual prospect. The prospect’s level of spiritual awareness is discovered through behavioral analysis techniques. Determining where the prospect fits relative to seven specific levels of spiritual awareness is accomplished by matching key behavioral attributes to those of the seven levels. Unique Redemption Plans are developed by updating and expanding suggested plans available at each of the seven levels of spiritual awareness.
Profiling the Prospect also presents an analytical toolset and associated helps designed to assist evangelists and Profilers in navigating through the process described above. The text takes a God-centered approach to determining His activity in the life of the prospect. It helps the Profiler recognize the prospect’s responses to God’s revelation in his life and leads him through a series of simple steps to advance the prospect toward redemption in Jesus Christ.
Specifically, Profiling the Prospect helps provide the steps missing in most evangelistic approaches. That is, it suggests taking the time to determine the prospect’s level of spiritual awareness and tailoring the evangelistic presentation to respond at the proper level. While God’s approach to bringing every person back to Himself has some common attributes, it is still a unique experience for every individual. Since Jesus Christ is the only author and finisher of our faith, we must discover what God is doing in a specific life in order to best assist God in the next step (Hebrews 12:2). Profiling the Prospect lays out the characteristics of seven different levels of spiritual awareness, depending on the prospect’s behavior and/or responses to a few noninvasive questions or observations regarding his beliefs. Once we determine the spiritual awareness level of the prospect, the Profiler can respond to the needs of the person at his specific level of need and understanding. This procedure tends to supplement and assist God’s work rather than supplant, confuse, or ignore it.
Felsburg devotes an entire chapter on the sovereignty of God in his earlier book, How God Gets You Back. There he describes how God reveals Himself to all people (chap. 2). Knowing that God is working in the lives of these people, and that He is the authority on the needs of any specific person at any given time, suggests that any meaningful success in ministering to the needs of that person must be done in line with what God is doing in him. This implies a necessary level of humility in a Profiler as he realizes that he is following God’s lead rather than God following his.
Profiling the Prospect discusses the use of profiling techniques to discover where God has already taken a given prospect. Examples of the successful use of profiling are found in criminology, medicine, psychology, sociology, psychiatry, geology, astronomy and many other fields of science. In many of these fields, practitioners have learned to collect evidence from patients in order to plot an appropriate path of recovery, assistance, or treatment. In the field of evangelism, the Bible provides us with detailed profiles for the Christian and the non-Christian alike. It also provides specifics about our God and His enemies. The Apostle Paul provides a profile for Christians that includes love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (Galatians 5:22-23). He also provides one for those who are not under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness and reviling are elements of that profile (Galatians 5:19-21). These profiles can be very helpful in performing an initial impression of a person in order to determine the best approach to reaching that person in the future. That is, how a person acts reveals his heart. So, why not formally recognize the use and recent advances in profiling technology for the people under our ministries, whether they are members or prospects? As he learns the characteristics and beliefs of these people, the Profiler can determine how much God has revealed to them regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When the profile is complete, a plan can be developed that recognizes God’s work with the individual prospect to that point in time. Executing the plan under God’s leadership will gently lead the prospect toward the goal of becoming a Christian; i.e., becoming justified through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-10). Hopefully, the relationship developed between the prospect and the Profiler during this stage of spiritual investigation will allow the Profiler to play a significant role in the spiritual growth of the prospect during the sanctification process after his justification experience is completed (Romans 5:1-5). This later work responds to the need to close the back door on growth in God's Kingdom by assuring that the new Christian will have a support group within his chosen church. This friendship, camaraderie and acceptance into the Christian community will help fulfill the human need for belonging and enhance the new believer's desire to remain engaged in the growth process.