Put this on your hook...
As I write this article, I'm washing clothes and getting ready to travel. While I should be packing, I'm thinking about fish! No, I'm not planning on doing any fishing in the next few weeks, nor have I been listening to others talk about their fishing expeditions. All I did was read one verse from the Bible, and I got hooked!
When Jesus called two sets of fishermen brothers--Peter and Andrew and then James and John--to follow him, he said, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
In our missionary work, Cesar likes to joke that he can catch a lot of fish in Guatemala with gringos. Put an American cowboy on a hook, and he can catch a lot of Guatemalan cowboys. Put an American cowgirl on a hook, and he can catch EVEN MORE Guatemalan cowboys!
Being the bait...
While being good bait may not seem very desirable, it does lead us to a deeper question. What kind of bait works on your friends? Cesar has figured out a way to use North Americans to catch men and women in Latin America. Are we figuring it out where we live?
This is where our mission work has boomeranged and gotten some of us excited about evangelism back home. After much deliberation, we believe that catching men and women for Christ can be easier, more fun, and more productive if we help normal, everyday Christians engage in three vital behaviors.
Vital Behavior #1: Initiate Spiritual Conversations
All spiritual fishing expeditions start with a spiritual conversation, and someone has to start the conversation. In our Play. Story. Eat. process, we have two standard questions that help get a conversation flowing.
The first is "What are you grateful for today?" The second is "What are you concerned about today?" The first question opens the dialogue with something positive. The second question helps us not gloss over a potential area of worry, pain, or trouble.
After listening a bit, then it can be appropriate to offer to pray for the person's concerns and thank God for their blessings. Different variations of these two questions work just as well. We can ask, "What's good in your life?" and "What's not so good?" Another friend of ours asks, "What's happy and what's crappy?!"
Catching fish with our ears...
The key to initiating spiritual conversations is not talking a lot. It comes in asking a question and then listening. If we listen well, the person will tell us how to capture their attention for God. And this leads us to the next vital behavior. In the next update, I hope to share that with you!
10:02 PRAYER (LUKE 10:2)
Pray for Bill Burrows and me as we travel to Nebraska this week. Pray that what we do there will be mutually beneficial as we ask for help on our projects while also offering to partner with them to reach their friends for Christ, too.
Also pray for Betty Hemeyer, one of our most faithful prayer warriors. She lost her husband Cal this last week after his long battle with Parkinson's disease.
We are grateful for your partnership in helping us respond to the increasing opportunities to do mission work both in the USA and Central America. Thanks!
Start a spiritual conversation this week with someone. If something good happens, let us know!
Talk to you soon!
PS...Here is our itinerary
- April 21...North Platte, Nebraska...Nebraska Church Leadership Conference
- April 22...Farnham, Nebraska...Lonestar Cowboy Church
- April 23-27...somewhere in Nebraska!
- April 28...Ord, Nebraska...PSE training @ Ord Christian Church
- April 29...Sand Hills Baptist Association meeting in North Loup, Nebraska
- May 3-10...Guatemala...Steve
- May 5...Dodge City, Kansas...Regional Kansas/Nebraska Church Leadership Conference...Bill
- May 19...Belton, MO...The PSE Experience @ LifeQuest Church