What keeps us from inviting people to know the Lord? Plenty of things could be offered, and among them is not kowing how to start the conversation, another is feeling too ackward about saying something direct, to say anything at all, another is not kowing where to take the conversation, another the fear of fouling it up because of not being able to think on your feet very well, and yet another is being rejected
How can one work through these in an effort to improve their personal work? Part of the answer could be role play – working through an outlined conversation of inviting people to know the Lord by reading it to someone you know and having them respond.
The best way I know of explaining this is to show you an outline of such a conversation (see below). This conversation is built around a person you know goes to church.
LEAD: You go to church right?
LEAD: Where does the idea of church come from?
LEAD: Jesus talks about where the church comes from. May I share the passage with you?
LEAD: Matthew 16:15-18. Would you read that out loud, please?
CONTACT: Reads out loud
LEAD: Where does that say the church came from? (help them see it says Jesus built it)
LEAD: How does Jesus built His church?
LEAD: Acts records the church’s beginning – Acts 2:36-47. Read that outloud if you would.
LEAD: How does that say Jesus builds Hs church (help them see that it says by people preaching about Him, people believing the message, repenting and being baptized in His name.)
LEAD: Who does that passage say Jesus adds to His church? (help them see it is the saved)
LEAD: Have you done these things to be saved and have Jesus add you to His church?
LEAD: How interested would you be in continuing to study this subject together like we’ve been doing – One on one, scripture by scripture, what does it say, what should I do about it?
LEAD: What would be the best days for you to get toghether and study?
LEAD: What time of day is best for you?
LEAD: Great, we’ll see you on __________ at ___________ to study.
In this outline only the lead person’s repsonse is outlined, to aid in the conversation being at least a bit more natural. The spiritual brother or sister who is responding as the contact has the ability to responsd as they would naturally or throw a bit of imagination in and be someone else. The lead gets to work through what it feels like to have a direct conversation with someone about spiritual matters and even direct them into impromptu Bible study.
We have begun role play one hour a week at Anaheim. We pair off and use pre-made discussions I’ve put together and encourage participants to bring their own to try out. For now we’ve asked all brethren who are playing the role of contact to keep it positive – avoiding the introduction of negative or hard things at this point. Later when we get more comfortable leading this type of discussion, we’ll throw in difficult responses from them.
Anaheim brethren are saying they are finding role play helpful. They say it helps them to sit down and think through a conversation they can imagine having with someone and then test it out in a nonthreatening atmosphere. I suspect it also helps them become more comfortable with what it is like to have and lead such a direct conversation with people about the Bible.
Just such a conversation was had with a recent visitor to the Anaheim Thursday night assembly. Everyone was paired off and only the visitor and I were left. The visitor was game to be the contact and I the lead. I read it nearly word for word adding in only little things as my contact introduced them. The visiting contact’s response to this conversation was interest with desire to write down the texts and discuss it further. We were not able to discuss it further that evening though a couple of weeks later when she called with a transportation request, we also studied and began where the above conversation left us off.
Role play is not the real thing but it can be conducted in such a way that it is not far from it. Role play offers an answer to perhaps many of the issues that limit us from being the personal works we’d like to be.
As with anything I post, if you’d like more information on how to introduce your congregation to role play or just benefit from it on your own, you’re invited to contact me. I will help in any way I can.
If you’d like to work together in person, let me know and we can pray that God show us a way to make that happen. I do live on wheels you know.
To God be the glory! Think Souls.