By David Evans
TBMB Evangelism Director
On occasion, I have the opportunity to do office work in a public location (coffee house, library, etc.). I enjoy doing this because I get to bump into people who are not church people. On this particular day, I saw a couple walk in. The young man was mute and the lady with him was his translator. They shared sign language, laughs, smiles and together communicated to other people. They were amazing to watch.
Although the young man was mute, he had the ability to communicate to his interpreter. The need to communicate to other people is a great need, desire and joy for every human being. When sharing Jesus with people, they need to be able to communicate with you.
(1) People far from Christ desire to be heard. I have shared faith with other folks for a couple of decades now. I remember many times that I was with someone who attempted to share faith without listening to the person that they were sharing faith with. The frustration was obvious with the person far from Christ. The person, that I was with, seemed oblivious to the frustration. We need to listen to be heard. I love hearing the stories of people that I meet and allowing their story to be a bridge to sharing the gospel.
(2) People hurting desire to be understood. Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, continues to remind us, “Hurting people hurt people.” I cannot think of a week that I have lived that someone has not said something mean or out of the way toward me. I am reminded that although particular words are chosen to “push my buttons” the real language was not spoken. Another thought: when I sit down at a restaurant and ask the waiter/waitress how I can pray for them, I typically get an emotional response. They typically tear up. They have found someone that desires to pray for their wounds and pain. They have found someone that understands and cares. People are most often ready to listen if they know you care.
(3) Worn out people desire empathy. Hard workers like to be noticed. People that are past the point of burnout desire someone to empathize with their preparation, dedication, workload, burnout, frustrations, etc. Empathy can be a great tool to break through the stubborn hard heart of those that are burned out.
Sowing the seeds of care and love are helpful bridge builders for the goal of presenting the gospel. Sow those seeds but do not stop at sowing. Our mandate is to present the gospel to a hopeless world. Utilize seed-sowing methods to build bridges so that the person far from Christ will be more receptive. B&R — Contact David Evans via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, for Great Commission ideas check out “The Reaching App” by searching in your app store or visiting www.TheReachingApp.com.