Houston, TX (ANS) – On a recent trip out of town, I had a couple of hours at the airport before my flight. I decided to put my iPhone and book away and watch for opportunities for conversations. Sure enough I discovered several. I noticed that simply by making eye contact, smiling, and greeting people was often all it took to connect with people and begin conversations. One man had a shirt with USNR on it. So, I asked what the letters stood for. A lady had a university’s name on her jacket. I asked, “What is your connection with that university?” Those comments opened the way for finding common interests and meaningful conversations.
Prayer with Expectation
When we pray for witness and ministry opportunities, observe and expect God to answer, we can be assured that He will. Sometimes He answers in extraordinary ways. It’s actually easy to make friends, when we show ourselves friendly. Jesus had something to say about that. That day at the airport I had more than half a dozen meaningful conversations, and a few of those turned to spiritual matters. When we travel, or go places and encounter new people, we can expect an occasional divine appointment.
Helping Others Follow Jesus
As I have traveled extensively over the years, people often ask me what I do. One of my common answers is to tell them my professional occupation, then I sometimes say, “I help people follow Jesus.” It is amazing the direction the conversation takes once I mention the name of Jesus. It’s an excellent way of gaging the level of spiritual interest people have. Some light up with joy and an opportunity to make a new friend. Others will react in very different ways. Many have come to the Lord by implementing these simple methods.
Prayer-Care-Share: Everywhere and all the Time
When we are intentional and proactive about actually being ambassadors of Christ and ministers of reconciliation, we can fully expect God to work in and through us to impact those around us. Many followers of Jesus feel intimidated or fearful about reaching out to witness or minister to others. The “Prayer-Care-Share initiatives” have been instrumental in launching believers into a new dimension of being salt and light. We may not see tangible results every time, but when we faithfully sow the Seed of God’s Word, reach out in the name of Jesus, we can expect to occasionally connect with receptive hearts.
It’s not really an option, but a mandate for each of us who are followers of Jesus, to communicate His love and message and make disciples. Some important questions would be, “How do we get started, and what kind of first steps should we take?” It may seem too good to be true, but if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart. He will put His desires in our hearts to obey Him and engage in His Kingdom building activities. It may also seem to be too simple, but the cutting edge of our Lord’s Great Commission is to demonstrate the love of Jesus and tell people the truth about Him. That, of course, can take many forms of expression.
Concepts of Orality
The concepts, methods and principles of orality are being used to equip God’s people to be more creative and fruitful in communicating the gospel and making disciples. Of course, prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit are foundational. He is unlimited in the ways He can use each of us as we make ourselves available to Him. Trusting and obeying seems pretty obvious, but that’s all it takes.
Calmness in the Storms of Life
One of the stories we use in our Orality Training is, “Jesus Calms the Storm.” We discuss the significance of that phrase, “there were other boats with them.” A lesson from that is how people are impacted when they observe the work of God. Other lessons from Jesus calming the storm is when he rebuked the wind and spoke to the waves, He said, “quiet, be still” and the there was a complete calm. We often discuss how His Word still has power to bring calmness in our (storms of life) difficult times, and how His Word and our words have power to change lives.
Our Unconscious Influence
It could be that we are unaware of the influence and impact we have on others. People observe our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. It’s not just about telling, but it’s about show and tell, demonstration and proclamation. People need to see and observe, as well as hear the Good News of Jesus. A great promise from Scripture is when Jesus said, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” So, we need to make sure we are living in the fulness and power of the Spirit. A friend of mine, in relation to sharing our faith, says, “If is doesn’t come out of our life, it just doesn’t come out.”