Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Meeting New People - Part 2

Click here for Part 1.

“In order to lead souls to Jesus there must be a knowledge of human nature and a study of the human mind. Much careful thought and fervent prayer are required to know how to approach men and women upon the great subject of truth” (Ellen G. WhiteChristian Service, p. 226). 

I.                   A Quick Review

a.       Become a “People Person”

                                                  i.      Ask a lot of questions

                                                ii.      Listen to the answers

                                              iii.      Initial contact should be “agenda-less”

II.                Taking the first step

a.       Where to meet new people

                                                  i.      It is best to engage individuals in conversation that you have the chance of seeing repeatedly

1.      Quick “drive-by” witnessing may not be the most effective method

2.      Being friendly to everyone is important, but quick conversations with individuals probably shouldn’t be of the “are you saved” variety?

a.       There are exceptions, of course—but this should only happen when you know the Spirit is impressing you to do this

                                                ii.      Involve yourself in the community in which you live/work

1.      Use your hobbies/interests to meet new people

a.       Join clubs/groups that align with your interests

                                                                                                                          i.      Stamp collecting club

                                                                                                                        ii.      Book clubs

                                                                                                                      iii.      Photography clubs

                                                                                                                      iv.      Basketball leagues

b.      When you meet people this way, it is easier to converse with them because you naturally have a mutual interest to talk with them about

2.      Befriend co-workers

a.       Eat lunch with them

b.      Invite them over for supper

3.      “Use” your children (or grandchildren)—if you have any—to become acquainted with other kids and their parents

4.      Introduce yourself to your neighbor!

a.       This can be tricky, especially if you’ve had the same neighbors for 25 years and you have never taken much of an interest in them before

                                                                                                                          i.      Don’t knock on their doors and say, “Hello, friend, I am your Christian neighbor and I want to tell you about Jesus.”

b.      Here is an easy way to get to know your neighbors: ask them to do you a favor!

                                                                                                                          i.      Ask them if you can borrow a rake or shovel or some type of appliance that you don’t have but need for yard work

                                                                                                                        ii.      Ask them to keep an eye on your house while you are away for a few days

1.      You don’t necessarily want to give this information to someone who is “shady,” of course, but more people are trustworthy than we probably think

                                                                                                                      iii.      Ask them to pick up your mail for you while you’re gone

c.       Invite them over for a summer barbecue or pool party

                                              iii.      We need to be intentional about our relationships!

1.      Luke 15:1-3

a.       If we understand the Gospel correctly, we will naturally initiate relationship just as Jesus did and does

                                              iv.      Free time must be utilized to foster friendships

1.      We cannot by “shy”

2.      There is no such thing as a “silent Christian”

a.       The phrase is an oxymoron

                                                v.      When we form friendships with individuals, it opens up a “network” of others that we can meet as well

1.      Friends

2.      Family

3.      Co-workers

1 comment:

Brent Buttler said...

I like the way you approached this topic. I am a firm believer that evangelism/witnessing should be a process, not merely an event. To use a somewhat political vernacular, we are surrounded by "untapped resources" Witnessing to people that we befriend is a surprisingly simple, and cost-effective, means of spreading the gospel. We just have to make the effort to get out of our ruts, and off our you-know-whats.