Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Learning from the Best

I have found no greater pattern for personal evangelism than that of Jesus in John 4 when He meets the woman at the well. From this we learn five steps in connecting with others.

1. LOOK for divine appointments!

Jesus “had” to go through Samaria. Why? It was because God had set up for Him a divine appointment. Does God still do that? I believe that daily God orchestrates our lives and the lives of others so that we cross paths with lonely, hurting people that God has pre-ordained for us to rub shoulders with. If we are going to impact people we must always be sensitive to the Spirit, looking for possible divine appointments.

2. LEAVE your comfort zones

Jesus was willing to travel out of His way to keep this divine appointment. To do so He had to walk through the land of Samaria. Jesus was a Jew. Jews hated Samaritans. Jews would avoid walking on Samaritan soil for all they were worth. If we are going to impact people we must be willing to leave our personal comfort zones.

3. LOVE lost people

The Samaritan woman that Jesus met at the well had everything going against her. First, she was a Samaritan which would make her hated by all Jews. Second, she was a woman, which in that day would have been seen as nothing more than a piece of property. Finally, she was very immoral. Why else would she go to a well at noon to draw her water for the day? All the other women would have gone in the cool of the early morning hours. This woman wasn’t even accepted by her peers. If we are going to make an impact we must start each day by asking God to give us a love for lost, lonely and hurting people.

4. LEARN to start conversations

Jesus initiated a conversation with the woman at the well. If we are going to make an impact we must learn to do the same. It really isn’t that difficult. Here are some tips. First, smile. A smile is a great start to a conversation. Second, be a greeter. Never pass by anyone without saying, ‘hello.’ Third, ask good questions. These include questions about the other person and questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer.

5. LISTEN for a common interest

The best way to connect with anyone is to find a common interest. That’s what Jesus did. He used a common interest they both had at the well…water. From that topic, Jesus was able to share with this dear lady about the living water that only He could provide. If we are going to make an impact we must listen for common interests we have with others.

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