Recently Holly and I bought four counter height chairs through Craig’s list. The purchase had nothing to do with the death penalty or the instruments of its inforcement as the title might suggest. However, the interchange that occurred during their pick up, did involve life and death issues.
The conversation that follows is part of the interchange that took place at the time I acquired the chairs. I share it here with hopes that an example can encourage you to have spiritual conversations with people you brush up against day to day. In the interchange that follows, I am the Buyer:
Seller and Buyer: Greetings and small talk about the chairs, while loading.
Seller: “God bless you.”
Buyer: I’m glad you said that. Our congregation has an online study (as I handed him a busisness card).”
Seller: “So you are a believer?”
Seller: Offered some sort of affirmation
Buyer: “My daughter also says, ‘God bless you.’ I used to say it more but now I usually say, ‘Go with God.” I began to think that “God bless you” might not communicate all I wanted it to.”
Seller: “Yea, I guess people might not know what you mean when you say ‘God bless you.’ They may wonder which God.”
Seller: “Jesus did say come after me, so ‘Go with God’ would be good to say.”
Buyer: “Right. The online study covers seeing the Bible as God’s word, how to be saved and how to live for God in one’s family.”
Seller: “Sounds good.”
Buyer: “Alright, God bless you.”
Seller: “You too.”
Buyer: Just before climbing into his vehicle to leave, “Oh, do you guys have a church home?”
Seller: “We go to Cottonwood but it is big.”
Buyer: “I meet with a loving group of twenty to twentyfive. The location and meeting times are written on the back of the card I gave you. You are invited to meet with us.”
Seller: “Ok, thank you.”
Buyer: “Sure, take care.”
At this point I climbed into my vehicle and drove off. On the way home I got to thinking that I should have remained and felt out if they would have been interested in a personal Bible study. Upon arriving home, I texted them the following message, thinking that though it would not be as good as an invitation in person, it may still have a good effect.
Buyer (text): Thanks again for the table and chairs. I made it home without running into rain! It was wonderful meeting more believers. On my way home I began to regret not spending more time conversing with you. You are such a pleasant couple. I asked if you had a church home and invited you to meet with us, but neglected to ask if there was something you were looking for in a church home. I shared that I enjoyed having personal Bible studies with people, but neglected to ask if you’d be interested in getting together for one. There is a study I like to share with people that reaffirms one’s salvation and invites those not yet saved to be saved. I feel it is also an effective study for Christians to have in their toolbox for sharing Jesus with others. Would you guys be interested in getting together for a personal Bible study with me? I am horrible with names and yours have slipped from my memory already. Could you please share them again. Thanks. Also, our midweek study is tonight at the address I shared with you on my card. We are studying 1 Peter and would be honored to have you meet with us. I hope I have not come on too strong. I texted instead of calling so as to be a bit less forward. God with God.”
Let’s do a bit of analysis of the interchange.
I could have been the one to inject spiritual thought into the conversation first instead of the seller, but who initiates seems less important than making the most of the opportunity once it presents itself. You don’t have to be an initiator to have opportunity to talk about Jesus with others. Being an initiator will likely result in more opportunities, but opportunities exist for the non initiators among us too.
My part of the conversation could have been more direct as it often is. I often try to ask a spiritual question like, “Do you think most people will go to Heaven?” or “Are confident that if you died right now or Jesus were to return, that you’d be saved?” followed by a passage of scripture that lends the reader to further reflection (i.e. Mat. 7:13,14, 1 Jhn. 5:13). And had my part been more direct, there might have been a more desirable result (i.e. A personal Gospel study), but as it was it still lent itself to some spiritual reflection and a potentially a platform for further future interchange. There was an invitation for Bible study and worship and Christian fellowship.
The text. As I read it again in order to type it here, I realize that it was rather long for a text. However, long winded is who I am, it is how I communicate. Long or not, it was my best attempt that day, after the fact, to invite them know the Lord and become friends in Christ.
Whether our attempts at sharing Jesus are always our best or not, whether they are the best we can attain to or not, whether we see immediate fruit or any fruit from them in those we speak to or not (God knows even if we do not), is not really the point. The fact that we are engaged in the work our Lord and Master has given us to do with a sincere love for Him and the souls of our fellow man, is what the point is (1 Tim. 1:5, 1 Pet. 2:9). I do not mean to say in any way that we should not strive to improve and grow in our effectiveness in pointing people to Jesus, only that we should do our best with what we have now (Col. 4:5).
Introduce people to your Lord today! Do your best and trust God to do the rest!
P.S. Please share your evangelistic encounters with me to be posted on this blog in an effort to help fellow Christians be encouraged to engage the lost among them. Email your submissions to me at Honor4God@gmail.com. We can leave out your name if you’d like, replacing it with only the congregation or region you are from. ALSO, if you are encouraged by these posts, please invite others to view them too.
Keep thinking souls!