Yesterday I met a couple of young adults from church for lunch. They wanted to see me interact with our server. They both share their faith, but like most are nervous about it. We had a delightful time talking with our server, praying for her, asking her about her faith, and leaving her information about our young pros ministry and a Story booklet. They had such a good time they already plan to come back to visit with their new friend next week.
I’m nothing special as a witness, but I know it helps to watch others as we learn. If we want to learn to be like Jesus, it makes sense to learn from Jesus. If we want to tell others the good news about Jesus, we might want to see how He talked with people. For instance, we read about 40 examples in the Gospels of how Jesus interacted with others. Each is unique. What can we learn from a 30,000 feet look at these?
- Every encounter was unique. Jesus offered an unchanging message, but He delivered it uniquely to each person and situation. There was no one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approach to reaching people. Do we seek to deliver a presentation to others or to adapt the unchanging gospel to communicate with the person in front of us? Yes, this takes more time to learn than just offering a rote presentation, but in the long run it will help the witness to grow and to be more effective in communicating Christ.
- In the vast majority of encounters Jesus didn’t “preach” at the person; He engaged in a conversation. He did not merely present the truth to others, He asked questions, and answered theirs. Think of the woman at the well, the rich young ruler, and so many others. The average person has 27 conversations a day: what if you simply inserted Jesus into your conversations more?
- Jesus was approachable. He allowed people to come to Him with questions. In the Gospel of Matthew the majority of conversations Jesus had with others began with the person approaching Him. Are we approachable like that? Do our coworkers, neighbors, or others feel comfortable speaking to us about spiritual things?
- Jesus sought people. He sought to speak with Zacchaeus. He sought His disciples. Who are you seeking to speak with about Jesus?
- Jesus seized opportunities. When He encountered the woman at the well, He seized the chance to tell her about Himself. When the disciples, Pharisees, or others questioned Him, He took such questions as an opportunity to reveal truth to them. What if we started looking daily at every conversation as a ministry opportunity and seized them for the gospel?
If you want to learn more about sharing Jesus with others, check out my new book Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out. You can see it here.