Reaching Out

Entering a Secret, Magic Kingdom

One of the greatest adventures in life is to step into another person’s life, to be like a child entering a secret, magic kingdom, where another person shows us around the events and places of their past, the joys and sorrows of their present situation, and the secret place of their desired future. But we can only experience this if we are willing to embrace them and love them as they are, and walk with them in their sorrow and pain as well as their joys and triumphs, all with no judgment or condemnation. For if they get a whiff of rejection, the door will slam shut and we will be on the outside, like seeing the outside of a house in the neighborhood.
It is by listening and asking (and showing unconditional love), the first two skills taught in the Every One His Witness program, that we can be invited into another person’s life. At first, we may just be invited on to the front porch, but if we demonstrate that we are trustworthy, we may be invited into the living room.
Some tips on listening:

* Be fully present with the person, not thinking of other things you have to do today.
* Maintain comfortable eye contact and body language.
* Avoid distractions (like your cell phone).
* Give the person feedback; support and enlarge upon what they are saying to engage in the conversation.
* Don’t interrupt, and don’t assume you know what they are going to say.
* Don’t mentally be thinking of a rebuttal.
* Most importantly – leave your judgment at the door. Judgment is Lord’s responsibility; we are to just love them and plant seeds of truth and the Gospel.
Only when we understand another person and what is going on in their lives can we be effective witnesses to our Lord. And always remember – we are to be quick to listen and slow to speak. (James 1:19-20)
To God be the Glory
Board of Evangelism