Christian researcher George Barna painted a picture of the Eager Conversationalist – a person who had conversations about faith more than ten times a year. Looking at these individuals – these eager conversationalists, five common characteristics emerged, depicted in this EAGER Profile:
The EAGER Profile
Eager conversationalists are people who:
· EMBRACE THE GOSPEL. They have a clear and certain understanding that salvation comes from belief in Jesus Christ alone and forgiveness of sins comes only through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
· APPLY SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES. Not only do they say faith is very important in their everyday lives, but they actively seek to grow their faith through prayer, reading the Bible, and attending worship regularly.
· GRASP THE CALLING. These individuals know that are part of the “priesthood of all believers”. They accept a personal responsibility to share their faith other people.
· EXPECT SPIRITUAL CONVERSATIONS. While some actively seek opportunities to share, many say spiritual conversations happen unexpectedly. This group is ready and willing to participate when they happen.
· RESPOND CONFIDENTLY. Overall, these individuals feel qualified to share their faith and are glad when they do. They feel peace and joy; they laugh; they aren’t afraid even though they know these conversations are sometimes difficult.
Source: Lutheran Hour Ministries – lhm.org
· TIME: This process may take place over a period of weeks, or in just an hour or two with the person next to you on an airplane.
· RELATIONSHIPS: It’s all about developing a relationship with that person. They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
· COMPASSION is key; Jesus had compassion on people, so He reached out and ministered to them.
· SURPRISE OR PLANNED: Spiritual conversations may happen unexpectedly, but they may be in fact divine appointments in which our Lord arranged for us to meet a particular person at a particular time and place. (In a divine appointment, three people are present – you, the other person, and the Holy Spirit.)
· A DIVINE APPOINTMENT may be you having lunch with a friend, talking with the plumber who comes to your house, or a brief conversation with the person holding a sign and asking for help at the street intersection.
· DON’T WORRY: We are not to worry about what to say; the Holy Spirit will give us the words to say. It’s about being ready to respond when the opportunity presents itself. And sometimes we just plant seeds.
· SLOW DOWN: When we slow down from our busy schedules and take a few moments to smile and relate to the people who come across our paths, it can be a totally different experience.
· OPEN THE DOOR: Everyone has some religious experience, often with a church. So we can ask them where they are from, what was their religious background, and if they are still involved in that church (as we share our background as well). This can open the door to a spiritual conversation.
· RELIGION HURT: Many people have had hurtful experiences with churches or other religions. We need to be aware of that, and minister to them with the love of Christ.
Everyone has a story, is broken, and needs our Lord. So let us reach out and engage them in spiritual conversations with the love and truth of Christ, for time is short, eternity is forever, and we are not guaranteed tomorrow.
To God be the glory