Today I went out for a walk around our office complex building. I was thinking about a podcast I just listened to and about how to reach college students with our church, so I took a stroll around the parking lot.
While I was walking I remembered this commitment to share the gospel and thought "okay I should probably pray and think outward right now. I prayed something like, "Lord, help me walk up to someone and and humble myself and just meet them where they are."
I was thinking about all the times I've "gone bold" and tried to achieve a place in the conversation early on. So many times I've done the talking instead of listening to the Lord, and going at his speed.
As I turned the corner I saw a guy coming out of his car. He dressed very trendy (or normal for most people). I said, "hey, how you doing?" He surprised me by saying, "great!" and started walking towards me.
I said, "I know this sounds strange, but I was going for a walk and was praying for someone to share this booklet with. It's about joy. Here you go.."
As I was pulling out my newly-purchased-from-Mardel's Piper tract "Quest for Joy" he beemed, "What church are you from?"
After I told him he said he was with 121 Community Church in Grapevine. He was very thankful and we chatted about his church for a couple minutes until he had to go. Great guy. I was very thankful to meet him.
I kept walking and saw a guy at his truck emptying his cooler.
"Need any help?"
[Awkwardly] "I'm...well I was walking and praying to God about who I could share this with and thought I should come over here. Here's a booklet about joy, you can do what you want with it [lame]."
He was very thankful for it and noticed that it's from John Piper and he's read a couple of books from him. I thought that it was amazing to be having a conversation with a stranger about John Piper in a parking lot in Texas July before I knew his name. We chatted for a while about his church First Baptist Wylie and about the church I serve at. It was great meeting him and he was glad I stopped to talk to him.
So, two attempts led to two conversations with believers.
This differed from yesterday. In the hallway I played the back and forth game "should I go or not?" I was able to by God's grace start walking toward a guy sitting on a bench waiting for someone. I had some booklets in my pocket but no idea how to lead into a conversation.
"you waiting on someone?" [I thought if a stranger asked me that I'd think "get away freak..."]
I don't remember his response which shows you how well I listen sometimes.
"well...I was just over there and saw you and thought you might like something to read..."
[sort of blank stare]
Not knowing where to go I said, "there's also a card in there with an invitation to church. I serve as one of the pastors there.." [a lame distraction pastors have the luxury of using in awkward moments like this].
[more of the same stare]..."okay...thanks."
I walked away alive and to use the same author of the booklet from a sermon at T4G, feeling "real." This, not because the conversation went anywhere. In fact, it never got off the runway before going down. But the Lord helped me have courage to walk over to that guy when everything in me wanted to keep walking to the office. Thank you Lord.
Tell Someone Today...