Lately, I've become aware that the people I encounter fall into two groups. It may look obvious, but it's not quite what you think at first.
There are people who take God seriously, and people who don't.
I attended an event with the CS Lewis Foundation the other evening (my daughter works for them). One thing I always enjoy about this group of people is that they are smart, mostly well-educated, nice, often funny, but the important thing is that these are people who are in touch with God and understand prayer. The conversation has a high level of spiritual content. The common factor is willingness to learn from a man who sought to follow God seriously.
The night before I had been with some family. These are also nice people who are also reasonably bright and often funny. The difference is that the conversation has little, if any, God content. These are people who do "believe in God" and are even in a church most Sundays. They try to do the right things. However, they pretty much plan their lives around their own abilities and desires. I know that if I were to recommend prayer, I know that at least one response I would get is "that's nice and all that, but you have to be realistic and do it like this." I also know that it's my job to demonstrate rather than nag.
We all pretty much live in a world that operates on "reality", the kind you can touch and plan and worry about. People who take God seriously live in a world that has a spiritual dimension. Like my flat tires, unexpected things happen but we are taken care of. God seems to be sending more such people my way. Last week, I had one person prefix a suggestion he was making with "I've been praying about this...", and another was describing a time that "God really took care of us in this." Our life groups are a place that take God at His Word, where group members want to see God work in their lives, and want to experience the power of prayer. Group shepherds are called to openly live as Paul told Timothy: Follow me as I follow Christ, and Jesus Himself said that He in turn follows God. Above all, we are called to live lives that take God seriously.