3 Benefits of Connecting before Correcting
In my last post I shared how a battle for an armrest turned into an opportunity to share my faith. While this was happening I was actually reading the book The Daniel Dilemma by my pastor Chris Hodges.
After getting off the plane I would later come to the chapter “Connecting before Correcting”. In it Pastor Chris begins with a story of another uncomfortable encounter on a plane. Eventually the door opened for him to share the gospel. I thought this was pretty interesting considering how similar the story was to my own and that it took place I was reading this very book.
This chapter ended up being one of my favorites from The Daniel Dilemma. Here are some of highlights.
Highlights from The Daniel Dilemma
As followers of Jesus we have real hope. And we’re called to share it. But how we share it makes a difference.
Sharing your faith is all about relationship, not being right or slick presentations.
We’re not trying to prove we’re right. We’re just trying to be effective.
Jesus connected with people before he corrected them.
People don’t care what you know; first, they want to know that you care.
We have to earn someone’s respect before we can build a relationship. And we have to have relationship before we can have influence.
Evangelism is not telling people what they should do; it’s telling them what happen in you.
I used to feel a lot of pressure when it came time to share my faith but also didn’t want things to get awkward. Eventually that changed when I shifted my perspective from convincing people I was right to valuing people in my community. Instead of trying to make a point I began focusing on making friends. If we do a good job of that eventually the other person will ask about the things we care about and talking about our faith will happen naturally.
Three Ways This Helped Me Share My Faith
Takes the Pressure Off
When we put all this pressure on ourselves things get weird and the other person can sense this. We stop being authentic and it turns people off. Sometimes we even put pressure on people to hear our point which actually takes away from it.
Sets Other Believers Up for Success
Even if you don’t get to “close the deal” you can still set the next Christian that person encounters up for success. When you genuinely care about others because they are people and not just a potential convert or worse, someone on the other team, then they are more likely to hear out the next Christian they meet.
Listening may be our most effective tool in evangelism. I am often surprise by what I am able to learn from those in the past I only saw as someone I wanted to teach. Sometimes you don’t know what you need to share until you have first listened to someone else share. Not every person you meet is someone God wants you teach. Sometimes God brings people into our lives he wants to teach us.
Stand Firm & Love Well
I was so excited to hear that Pastor Chris was writing a book on how to stand firm and love well in a culture of comprise. I love how he is always able to balance loving people in a relevant way and sharing God’s truth. If that sounds like something you would be interested in than I recommend checking out The Daniel Dilemma for your self.
What were your favorite parts of The Daniel Dilemma?
Do you have a favorite airplane story?
What happens when we get connecting and correcting turned around in relationships and in ministry on a larger scale?