Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Opportunities are everywhere- be prepared!

Recently, I was contacted by some readers. One woman named Karen, stated that she actually witnessed at the ball park during her son's game to a woman that claimed that she and her husband were Christians but that her husband's foul mouth should be excused and no, they did not have a Bible! She said she is really burdened for the lost more than ever since her pastor has also been preaching about diligent, consistent evangelism among Christians.

Opportunities are everywhere! Karen boldy proclaimed the Gospel and this woman is now thinking very seriously about what was said. The seed was planted and she was awakened to the state of her soul. The other woman, named Shannon, is reading and learning and is going to try witnessing soon but asked for more specific transitions when witnessing. Praise God!

I will share with you an experience I had last week. My family volunteers once a month by cooking a meal for about 50-60 people at a facility where families reside while their children are in the hospital. I prayed for an opportunity to witness to someone tonight since I'd had company for the last week and couldn't get out as often.

That's the first thing you do: pray for God to not only provide opportunities but for Him to open your eyes to them as they present themselves.

While in the kitchen, a girl came back and commented how good the food smelled. My husband is the main cook and had come up with the menu this month. He says cooking relaxes him. I can't ever say that I've experienced relaxation while cooking- ever! It turns out, she was a volunteer named Jamie. She just had an engaging personality and so I asked a little about her. I was genuinely interested.

That is the the next thing you should do: cultivate an attitude of genuine care and concern for those around you who may be lost and show genuine interest in them. This isn't a "score" you're trying to tally. Check your heart. It's an obedience thing.

When you genuinely care, you won't need a script to get you started. I asked her how often she volunteered and found out she was a college student and what her major was. Here's how I led in, "Wow! Sounds like you're really busy with school, work, and volunteering! Are you able to still be active in church?" (Just assume they go to church until proven otherwise.)

This is a generic, non-offensive way to at least bring up the topic of spiritual things. She said she had not really been to church in awhile due to her schedule. I shared that when I was in college I worked full time and went to college full time and it WAS hard to find time to goto church and read my Bible.

Be real. If you've had struggles, share them in an appropriate manner. You never want to share your past and revel in it or make it sound like 'those were the days', but if you have had a pertinent struggle, be willing to share. But, don't make something up if you haven't had that struggle.

I relayed to her how busy my life had been in college and I said it is even more busy now that I'm married, have 4 kids, teach, and work part-time. One way that I take advantage of little pockets of time (traffic jams, doctor's office, or just being a passenger in the car) is to carry index cards with scripture written on them. Get a binder ring at an office supply store punch a hole in the index cards and write scriptures to hide God's word in your heart. She thought that was a great idea and said she would try it.

Since I'd already brought up church, the next question I asked was, "Are you a Christian?" She said she was. I asked her, "If I had 3 minutes to live and I looked in your eyes as I was dying and said, 'I don't know if I will go to heaven, what should I do?', what would you tell me?" She got really quiet and almost had a bewildered, panicked look on her face and said, "I don't know."

At this point, I shared again that I had answered the same way in the past. I also shared with her my mistaken belief that once I'd accepted Christ that I just had to act really good to stay in "good standing" with Him.

If you haven't already, take some time and write out your testimony. Rehearse it. Don't despise your "lack" of testimony if you have not been arrested, drug-addicted, alcohol addicted, and to hell and back. I was on the same road to hell before I humbled myself, repented and believed even though I'd never experienced the dramatic things others have. My testimony is in the column to the right. Keep it short. I used to think that I didn't have a testimony. I had to repent of my pride because I still thought I was pretty good compared to some people and God really didn't have to do much to save me. Oh my wretched heart! When I realized the gravity of my sin, I was cut to the core and wept at my arrogance and disdain for Christ's sacrifice! I've talked with many who say they can't come up with a testimony. I say, then you're still too prideful and haven't come to the foot of the bloodstained cross.

I then asked her, "How do you think you get to heaven?" Since I'd just given her a 3 minute to live scenario, this is a natural, non-contrived next question. She said, "You just need to be really good and pray and treat people kindly." She said this with such sincerity, you could tell she walked her talk. It appeared she really tried to live this way. But, that isn't good enough. We can never be good enough.

This is a great time to take someone through the good person test. Take some time and remember what thoughts were going through your head the first time you took the test and realized you weren't good enough to go to heaven. Share those thoughts and your reaction with the person you are sharing with. If you do not know the good person test, click at the top of the column to the right, "Are you a good person?"

After I took her through the test and she saw the gravity of her situation, she was very concerned. I love what happens next: give them the Good News! Share with them that as they stand before God on the day of their death, the gavel of justice is coming down and before it comes down, sealing their fate, Christ pays their fine for the crime that they committed and takes the punishment they deserved and He is the only one who could because he was morally perfect. By now, the Gospel is resonating with them in a way it never has before.

She said she had never heard it this way before and it made so much sense. She thanked me not once, but several times. This isn't prideful when I share this, but I can't tell you how many people have an intense fear of rejection or fear offending the stranger they are sharing with. In one-on-one conversations, it generally doesn't happen. If you are standing on a street corner preaching, that's different. You are warning them their lives are in DANGER! This is no time for fear!

She made me promise not to leave before she could get my e-mail. We hugged and she had to go to the front desk.

As far as being prepared, 1) always carry tracts in your car, purse, Bible, diaper bag, backpack, etc. 2) Purchase some extra copies of the book, The Way of the Master complete with a CD of the message Hell's Best Kept Secret. Keep them in the trunk of your car, under the front seat, wherever you're going to be. Hand them out.

Before I left, I exchanged information with her. I also gave her a copy of Way of the Master and the CD Hell's Best Kept Secret. I told her she'd really enjoy the disk because the guy has a great sense of humor and she'd love is accent. I said it would really reiterate what we talked about tonight.

Last but most important, pray for those that you have spoken to. You have just planted the seed. Agree in prayer with the Lord who desires all to come to salvation. If you exchange information- follow up with them!

Tomorrow, I'll tell you why this evening was more productive than I thought...

1 comment:

Karen said...

I am ordering some tracks tonight!! That is awesome.. can't wait to hear what happened!