Tim Keller in his book Center Church talks about conversion as a series of mini-decsions that people make along the way. “…faith often works as a process, not only an event. It can occur through a series of small decisions or thoughts that brings a person closer and closer to the point of saving faith.”
Awareness: “I see it”
They begin to clear the ground of stereotypes and learn to distinguish between legalism or liberalism.
eg. “She’s religious but surprisingly open-minded.”
“You can be a Christian and intelligent.”
“A lot of things the Bible says really fit me”
Relevance: “I need it”
They begin to see the slavery of religion and irreligion and are shown the transforming power of how the gospel works.
e.g. There must be some advantages to being a Christian
An awful lot of normal people really like this church
It would really help if I could believe like she does
Credibility: “I need it because it is true.”
This is a reversal of the modern view that states, “It’s true if I need it”. If people fail to see the reasonableness of the gospel, they will lack the endurance to persevere.
e.g.. I can see the Bible is historically reliable
You can’t really use science to disprove the supernatural
There really were eyewitnesses to the resurrection
I see now why Jesus had to die – it is the only way
Trial: “I see what it would be like”
They are involved in some form of group life, in some type of service ministry, and are effectively trying Christianity on, often talking like a Christian – even defending the faith at times.
Commitment: “I take it”
This may be the point of genuine conversion, or sometimes a person will realise that conversion has already happened, and they just didn’t grasp it at the time. e.g.. I am a sinner I need a saviour I prayed a prayer to ask Jesus to forgive me I will live for Jesus
Reinforcement: “Now I get it”
This is the point where the penny drops and the gospel becomes clearer and more real.
It seems to me that these are good things to take into account as you design and think through what things you might include in a course that helps people investigate Christianity. But there are probably a whole bunch of other mini-decisions that need to take place prior to #1 before a non-Christian would be willing to accept an invitation to church or a LIFE series etc.