Tailor Your Approach

Getting to the Gospel in Everyday Conversation

I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d gotten us into, but we paid for the special entry pass and entered the temple.

I was showing some friends around my city and made it a point for us to visit some of the larger temples in the area.

We walked around, observing the worshippers praying and walking in front of a gold altar displaying ornate, manmade gods. Our special entry pass gave us an opportunity to talk to a priest. He wanted to pray to his gods for us, but I quickly explained to him that we were followers of Jesus and prayed only to Him.

The priest said he knew of Jesus and began to explain that Jesus was a messenger, the Son of God but not God incarnate. I replied, doing my best to find the right words to explain the gospel in a way he would understand. The priest continued to argue his point, but seeing that we wouldn’t come to agreement, he prayed to Jesus for us and we finished our temple tour.

No matter if I find myself in a temple, a coffee shop, or the back of a taxi, when I’m in a conversation with someone, I do my best to look for ways to bring the gospel into it.

The Thread of the Gospel

Quilting runs in our family. Our girls will inherit quilts made by their great-great-grandparents, which I tend to think is a neat concept. An old quilt can somehow make a person feel right at home. Through the years, the fabric gets soft but the threads hold together. Each piece was sewn together uniquely by hand or machine—using fabric our grandparents and great-grandparents probably had as scraps from an old dress or shirt. A quality quilt will last for generations.

In the same regard, sharing our story of how the gospel has affected our lives has been passed down to us from someone else and is a unique story we share with others.

Second Peter 1:3 gives us assurance that “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”

Use Your Strengths to Reach Others in Your Workplace

When you look around your workplace, what do you see? Or rather, whom do you see?

You probably see people with various backgrounds and personalities. Some you may identify with and others you may find quite different from you. But do you see your workplace as brimming with outreach opportunities? After all, your workplace is probably where you spend most of your time second only to your home.

So how do you build relationships with people at work? There are nuances involved in work relationships such as trust and support. The key to navigating these nuances is to know your strengths and understand others’ strengths.

Start by taking a test to determine your strengths and different aspects of your personality. Think on each of your strengths and traits and take some time to write out ways you can use your strengths to build relationships with others. You don’t have to have almost all relationship-building strengths in order to accomplish that. All you have to do is work through different nuances with your co-workers by combining your strengths with theirs.

Connecting New Orleans with Jesus

Mardi Gras, great food, and the Saints equal New Orleans. It is one big city made up of unique and very diverse neighborhoods. It’s a city where only 11.6% of the population is evangelical Christian, said Ryan Rice, lead pastor of Connect Church of Algiers.

Rice, a church planter, spent his childhood in the Algiers neighborhood and in January 2009, returned to the neighborhood with his wife, Seane’. Here they are raising their 4 children: Ryan Jr., Brayden, Reagan, and Bailey. Reaching the residents and meeting their needs has required a “tailored approach.” The vision has been to find ways to proclaim a message of hope, healing, and restoration through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It began with family-centered outreaches such as movie nights, meeting at coffee shops, Easter events, and family nights at the park. Over time, trust has been built, allowing the Rices to work through the layers of beliefs that people have regarding what it means to know Jesus.

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