Ripple Effect


One of my favorite books is “Just Walk Across the Room” by Bill Hybels. He shows how a spiritual conversation can begin with something as simple as walking across a room to talk to someone. God will show the next step, then the next, which might start a ripple effect that ends in a chance to introduce someone to Christ. The sometimes-scary thought of talking about Christ with another person seems less scary when we think of the first step as just walking across a room.

  • Does the thought of having a spiritual conversation with someone scare you? Does it help to think of it as merely showing an interest in someone and asking a question?


26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:

“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.
33 In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”

34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What did the angel tell Philip to do? What kind of place was Gaza?
  2. What might Philip’s response have been to being asked to go to a desert? How did he respond?
  3. How did Philip start the conversation with the eunuch?
  4. What happened during and after their conversation?
  5. What do you see in Philip that encourages you?


God’s plan for growing the church is based on one person telling another about Jesus. Philip just “rose and went” and look what happened next: He found the eunuch who invited him to “come and sit,” a simple invitation that he accepted. He “opened his mouth” and began to share what he knew of Scripture. Obedience led to an invitation, which led to a conversation, which led to another person believing, all because Philip “rose and went.” Don’t you wonder what the ripple effect was among the eunuch’s staff, family, and his friends?

  • Pray that God would create that same willingness in you to “walk across the room,” and ask for opportunities to do that.
  • Thank him that he uses ordinary people like us to grow his church.