Saturday, March 31, 2007

Disicpleship and Strangers


A member of our church posed a question to me today in one of my sites: “how does one approach strangers in public places, with a view to discipleship?” My response to him: I do not usually approach strangers. It is only when an opportunity presents itself that I do.

Examples of these are during a flight (since you are stuck together and usually have no choice but to talk), at a children's PTA meeting, waiting in line at an embassy to get a visa, chance meetings with a friend of a friend, meeting a Filipino overseas and the like. Even then I take it very slowly.

The common denominator to all of these is there is something shared no matter how small. You are in the same plane, same school association, have the same intention to get a visa, same friends or same nationality. Approaching people from the cold is not easy and is very risky because you could be misunderstood as it is not a normal thing people do.

However, there are unique opportunities when meeting strangers. Fact is people don’t like it when people have an agenda or “have something to sell”. You and I definitely have one albeit a good one that will benefit them for eternity that has no direct benefit to us. It doesn’t change the fact that people become suspicious when approached from “the cold”.

The key to reaching strangers is to build on existing relationships. The deeper these relationships go the wider your potential ability to reach others get. People whom you think you know are actually still strangers in one way or another. Deepening those relationships is the key to more relationships. Don’t forget that the foundation of all relationships is trust. Trust then builds more trust and extends to others.

As I look back, it was the people who trusted me who introduced me to many of the people I have been in discipleship. Whether that was a student, a businessman, athlete or a senator trust gained from one relationship is what brings more relationships.

Take a lesson from God. How quickly did you turn to Him? Didn't He use people you had a relationship with to draw you to Him? Relationships take time. As I have said before: "Discipleship is relationship" as such “slow is fast!”

remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:12-13

See other Post:

Prayer and Cheddar Cheese

4 comments:

Mike Watkins said...

Joey, this is gold. I only wish that it could become an integral part of modern evangelism equipping. As a young believer I was taught how to “sell the message”, but I was too shy at the time to accomplish much. This post de-mystifies witnessing. Thanks

Cherlyn said...

Pastor Joey, Wow! You have put evangelism in such easy to understand terms. It's difficult to know when or to whom to give the message that we know and we want to share. Thank you for the clarity!

Annabelle said...

Hi Pastor! I was so over joyed and inspired as i read this blog.I am attending the VCF Malate service for almost 3 years.I was also discipled by a stranger before and now Iam greatful and amazed to God because He changed me more than I can imagine and God is continuously molding me into a better person! Thank you! we are praying for you!! ..Annabelle

Annabelle said...

Hi Pastor! I was so over joyed and inspired as i read this blog.I am attending the VCF Malate service for almost 3 years.I was also discipled by a stranger before and now Iam greatful and amazed to God because He changed me more than I can imagine and God is continuously molding me into a better person! Thank you! we are praying for you!! ..Annabelle