Monday, October 30, 2006

Thoughts.....on evangelism.
Evangelism starts with communicating your story and God's story, right?
Wrong.
"We seemed to have condensed sharing the love of Christ to a mechanical formula. Traditionally speaking, Christians often view evangelism as getting the seeker to listen to us while we share a verbal witness - give our testimony in the hopes that they will better understand the gospel. We're missing a step, we're omitting a critical part of the process -- the other person's story. Non-Christians are eager to tell their stories. I've never met anyone who didn't want to share their story. I've just not met too many Christians willing to stop talking long enough to listen."
How can we expect someone to hear us if we're not asking questions and listening? Discovering stories means listening. Really listening. Really paying attention. In fact, it means becoming the best listener on the block. Ask follow-up questions and then listen some more. Understand where they are coming from. It's when people truly feel heard and understood, that they begin to trust you enough to hear and understand you. Then they'll be ready to listen to your story --- and God's.
Hopefully, you've begun to develop authentic friendships with your neighbors. You know their stories. You care about them. They care about you. Now what? Through prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the next step is discerning steps. Now is when you invite them to church, right?
Maybe. Maybe not.
The next step may be to meet a need. Offer to pray. Encorage them. Provide a helpful resource. Or, it might mean further developing the friendship...taking it to the next level.
Right now there are people in your neighborhood and in mine who are lost, disillusioned, and far from God. What if we developed a friendship with them? What if we offered to hear their story...in the front yard, over coffee, over a meal? And what if we discerned some best steps we could take to move our relationships to the next level? What if our neighborhoods became places to truly love our neighbors -- both in words and with actions?
3-D Living is not about filling a big auditorium with people.
3-D Living is a simple approach to loving God and loving our neighbors. And it's a desperately needed paradigm shift in evangelism. It's seeing others a real people instead of projects. It's letting them know they matter....because they do."
Taken from "3-D Living" an article in Willow Leadership Magazine.

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