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Episode 8: The Changing Face of Evangelism

Sharing our faith must change as our culture changes. So how do we keep up with our vocabulary and our strategy in this ever-changing world? Listen in to Episode 8 of the B.L.E.S.S. Podcast where Dave Robinson, the Director of Cru City’s Movements joins Host Gary Kendall, Catalyst for Love KC in Kansas City to tell about a recent shift a marketing study revealed. 

Transcript

Gary:  Welcome to the B.L.E.S.S. podcast where we join Jesus where He’s already at work–where we live, study, work, and play. I’m excited about my guest today, Dave Robinson.

Dave Robinson is the Cru City Movements Director, and I’ll let you, Dave, tell what you do in just a moment. First, let me say to those of you who are joining us that it’s a privilege to come alongside you. We see the B.L.E.S.S. podcast as a way of equipping, training, and then blessing you as you go out to bless others.

When we have these kinds of podcasts, these talks, our purpose is to enable you to find that God is already at work and you are simply joining Him. We have great confidence that everybody is on a spiritual journey and God is at work ahead of us. All we do is come alongside Him. And so, as we have these times together, we just want to inspire you to go out and trust that God can use you just like He is using the stories that we’re going to tell today.

Dave, why don’t you take a moment and introduce yourself and then tell what you do.

Dave:  Well, my wife Karen and I have been with the ministry called Cru, which was formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ International, for a little over 40 years actually. We give leadership to Church Movements which is coming alongside churches to multiply communities that worship and are in community together but live as missionaries too to increase the number of multiplying disciples that can actually create new churches throughout the U.S.

Gary:  Dave, why don’t you take a moment and introduce yourself and then tell what you do.

Dave:  Well, my wife Karen and I have been with the ministry called Cru, which was formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ International, for a little over 40 years actually. We give leadership to Church Movements which is coming alongside churches to multiply communities that worship and are in community together but live as missionaries too to increase the number of multiplying disciples that can actually create new churches throughout the U.S.

Gary: And you have international experience.

Dave:  Yes, for twenty-nine years we focused on Eastern Europe and Russia. We moved back to the United States eleven years ago. This was a great experience. Gary, you visited us while we were there.

Gary:  I went to Hungary twice.

Dave:  Dave Kahre opened doors there. Dave and Cindy used to be members of your church right? And actually, we lived in Olathe before we moved to Budapest.

Gary:  I remember meeting you like one time before you went or maybe you’d already gone and come back.

Dave:  Yeah, it’s been fun to have our lives kind of cross. I’m so glad that you are in this little cohort in which we participate where we’re encouraging people to take the gospel forward in relevant and authentic ways.

Gary:  Yeah, sure. So Dave and his Cru team lead a conference in KC called The Changing Face of Evangelism. We can work together. That’s what Dave’s referring to. And beyond that, we have a big vision to reach Kansas City for Jesus.

We at Love KC (lovekc.net) feel like we are on a parallel path with Cru. We love the unity in our experience. I’m sure it’s bringing a huge smile to Jesus’ face.

Dave: I believe that in the longest prayer Jesus prayed, unity was a dominant feature of it.

Gary:  John 17. Jesus prayed we’d be united, right? I think part of what holds us back is that sometimes we are not unified. But when we are it is one of the ways the world will know we are His disciples.

You know, Dave, we had breakfast about a year ago now maybe. And in that breakfast, you were sharing with me about some groundbreaking research that you came across. As you were sharing it with me, it just made my heart beat fast. I could think of people I knew who fit some of the different categories about which you were sharing. I got ideas even while you were talking about ways to better communicate with people this life-changing truth that we love about Jesus. And I wondered if you could sum up some of that today. And then maybe give the listeners a link or something they could go to later to find out more information.

Dave: You bet. I’m happy to do it. You’re referring to research that our ministry. Cru did just a few years ago when we rebranded. When we rebranded Campus Crusade for Christ International in the United States, we came up with the word CRU, which is just short for Crusade, which is what we always called ourselves. We realized that we didn’t rebrand our messaging and so three years ago we hired a firm that did message marketing and long-story-short they went to 19 different cities throughout the United States and interviewed and surveyed various non-Christians in relationship to our messaging just to get their response.

We came away learning some very valuable things. And, I would say the most valuable things are–I would summarize them in a few ways. It’s not rocket science, but one is that Christianity is neither relevant nor authentic to those who don’t follow Jesus. It is like, wow, that’s sort of, it should come to our heads that way, but it’s just not relevant at all. And it doesn’t appear authentic at all to those who don’t follow Jesus.

The problem is that in our day there are 160 million people who consider themselves “post-truth.” Barna calls them a post-truth person. There are 8 markers. The top three would identify them as not going to church, not believing in the Bible and they would say I don’t believe in the existence of God. They’re not believers. So 160 million is a lot of people out there that that need the gospel.

And although we as Christians know that evangelism is important we also feel intimidated and unprepared to share our faith with this ever-growing crowd that believes that, you know, truth doesn’t really exist. They also think that those who do believe truth exists are only trying to manipulate and control you. So we’re up against quite a tiger here.

Gary:  I thought you were going to say post-Christian, and then you surprised me when you said “post-truth” and I’m going to guess, correct me if I’m wrong, so they don’t believe there is one truth. It’s not just Christianity; they’re disregarding. It’s really more of relativism. They don’t believe that there is a truth, right?

Dave:  So it is interesting that the William R. Merriam Webster dictionary always produces one new word every year and in 2017 the new word for the English language was “post-truth.”

And you’re right, that is really what it means. Human reason is suspect today because basically, the truth is relativistic. You have yours I have mine, but nothing is ultimate or for everybody. My daughter and I call it “pan-tolerance.”  It goes beyond showing respect for differences of opinions and says no, pluralism is the way we should go in every respect. Pluralism today means every idea, every conviction; every thought is equal to the other.

Gary:  And nobody has it right. So for a lot of Christians, their whole paradigm is sharing, I’ve found the truth or let me show you the truth.

Dave:  Exactly.

And whereas this post-truth, 160 million out there, are saying there is no group like the church, and there is no book like the Bible that has any right to tell me how to live or to guide me. I’m going to figure that out on my own. So we’re up against quite a bit. So that’s why we did this research and what we came up with was many things, but I could summarize a few in saying that one of our biggest problems is that the people that are in our cities today and they view us as talkers and not listeners. They don’t believe we understand their worldview and we want to tell you all the time.

Gary:  I think they’re right.

Dave:  Yeah, they sure are.

And we’re realizing, and I think the church has figured this out already, but it’s not really about events that are going to recapture their imagination (events inside the church), but it’s moments outside the church as you’ve said where we live, work, learn, and play. Right?

It’s where we show the love of God but particularly where we show that we understand them. Conversation and understanding lead to connection. Right? And yet conversational skills is something we need to rediscover when we bump into a post-truth person. And so we’ve developed this curriculum called, The Changing Face of Evangelism and the Well being of the city.

One of the things that we encourage people to do because they’re terrified by hold the whole idea of evangelism was to introduce a paradigm called Co-Journers. There are four roles. The first role is to explore then to guide then there is the Builder and to Mentor. There are just two skills that we train them in. Everybody can do this, which is–to ask good questions and listen. And so if you can ask good questions and listen you can you can be a really good evangelist today, and that’s encouraging.

Gary:  But it is not what most people think of. If you say the E word, most people think of “telling.”

Dave:  Yeah. No, we need to change that narrative. So I give you a couple of stories. There’s a guy, I’ll call him Sean, who drifted off the street into our church, New Life City Church downtown not long ago. And when Sean came in, you could tell he was out of place. He didn’t really know why he was there. He just felt compelled to come in. When I met him, I introduced myself and said hey, “sometime,” I would like to get to know your journey, your spiritual journey.” This something we train people to do. We call it the “sometime” strategy. Everybody can say that, Sometime, I’d like to hear about your journey, your spiritual journey.

Sean said, “What do you mean my spiritual journey?”

I said, “Well whatever means to you. But typically whatever brings you meaning or purpose or whatever your concept of God might be. I’d like to hear about your journey. I’m willing to tell you my journey.”

That simple question led to coffee after coffee and eventually Sean spent many, many, nights in our home so we could get more talk time. He ended up joining our church and going to Haiti and helping with the youth. But really early on, in the conversation, he confirmed his faith with me in Christ. He is an up and coming artist in the city.

It’s wonderful to see Sean’s growth, but he is out there in his mid 30’s. He’s a millennial. He’s a mixologist. He’s been living in this post-truth culture for years, and yet he was missing something.

You said something fascinating earlier, that everybody’s on a spiritual journey and we don’t start those journeys. Right? Even with good questions, they’re on that journey because they are made in the image of God. They are spiritual creatures, and some are stuck. Some are moving away from God. Others are moving toward God. Sean was moving toward God whether he knew it or not but we can join that journey and discover that God’s already at work. It’s a great, great, story but he’s doing the work.

Gary: You used the word, mixologist. I need to ask you what that is.

Dave:  So a mixologist is a fancy term for “bartender.” Actually, it’s the, you know, it’s the cool term. And that’s Sean. I mean he’s really doing wonderfully with the Lord, and it all started with him reaching out.

Gary:  So just help me in terms of duration, like start to finish. I know there’s no magic timeline, but I do want to frame this in terms of–it’s not something that happens overnight.

Dave:  No, with this person, it took, you know, weeks for him to confirm his faith in Christ. But it took months to have the assurance of salvation. That’s a good question.

In Hungary where we lived for so long, and it’s true in post-truth America, I would say that one thing that we’ve learned is that there are five or six realities people need to experience before they become a Christian. They need to be exposed to people who have been influenced by Christ not just one but a few. The other would be exposure to a whole community where they’re living incarnationally with them, like what you teach at Blesseveryhome.com. You know, you bring people into the neighborhood or into your home. They need a place where they can belong before they believe. They need exposure to God’s Word. And typically, most people need at least one or two questions answered.

Gary:  That’s better than choosing a duration of time. Yeah, it helps to highlight that there is a process.

Dave:  Yes, Sometimes we catch a person at the end of their process, so we get to see the fruit fall fast. But for most, when we are at the beginning, it takes months. Gary: It was really freeing for me to think about the fact that so often God will use a conversation to take a person from, say, A to B or B to C or C to D instead of like A-Z. I think there was a time in my life where I thought that if I was really, you know, if I had something to offer God and man, I could meet someone then lead them to Jesus (in one conversation).

What I’ve learned over time is, that kind of thinking works against me. If I’m just available, and I really am thinking one step, one dialogue, one conversation and let’s just see what God does with that, it’s better. I know I’ve used this with you, but I often think about Ping Pong. If I served the ball over and they serve it back then, you know, our hope is to kind of get a volley going. I don’t want to smash the ball. I want to keep this volley going.

Dave:  Yeah.

Gary:  And if they lose interest and they stop hitting the ball then I think, OK, well, that’s probably all the interest they have for now. Of course, I’m listening to the Holy Spirit too. There are times He says, push further. Sometimes I feel that nudge. But many times I feel like God is patiently waiting for them to really have the desire. Because when they have a desire you can go a long way, and it really sticks, but if you want it more than they want it they start actually backing up. You can almost feel it in their words and in their language. You can even see it in their posture sometimes.

Dave:  That’s really good. Yeah. And I love that image of playing Ping Pong and the way we serve the ball back. You know that would be with our words and our questions. One thing that we have learned from this research that we did is that we need to use words meant for people and not for the pews.

Language is communal, which means that we learn to speak the same way when we experience some each other’s company. We share experiences at the same time. If the majority of the culture is increasingly not experiencing or conversing with us, then our words are not understandable. It’s like we speak a foreign language. We’ve got to really watch it. And when we do this super well, I mean, we really have to explain things and not use churchy words.

Gary: My favorite thing right now is questions. You know, like, what do you mean by that? Or help me understand. Tell me more. Those seem just to draw people out. I always try to stay away from anything that could be answered with a yes or no.

Dave: That’s really good. Not that not long ago I was talking with a homeless person at a homeless food pantry outreach that we were doing. This person wanted to speak. He was just open, you know, he was saying that he got stabbed. And in that his whole life cycle got stolen. He wanted to be in a different city. And so I asked him, “What gives him hope?” Just that question led to the gospel.

Gary:  Yeah. So that’s really good. Other questions are how do you overcome fear? What gives you meaning and joy? What gives you hope? I mean there are so many great questions we can ask.

So that leads me to think of a question for you, Dave. In the way that you’re describing this, do you have kind of a go-to plan that you use?  Let’s say you have a person that wants to hear the gospel, do you have kind of a go-to way to present it? Or do you select one from the 20 you know depending on what the situation is?

Dave: Well, if I feel the time is right to explain the whole gospel my go-to is to share something we call, the gospel on a napkin. But instead of sharing that right now with your audience, I would say, go to my toolbox. I’ll share it with you.

I typically do my one sentence testimony when I think I have a receptive audience. It’s really three sentences. If people say, after some time, I’d like to hear your journey–your spiritual journey. Then we sit down, and I share my journey.  I say my journey has something to do with my relationship with God. I’ll ask do you still want to hear it? And they always go, of course. So then I feel like I’m giving it because they asked for it. I want to be open about it. Even as a trained professional, I get intimidated. I don’t want to make the person feel super awkward while I’m sharing it.

I typically start with my one sentence testimony where I take two words of what my life was like before I became a Christian. Those words are, “postponing emptiness.” And the two words after I became a Christian are “moving towards abundance or just towards abundance.” I tie those two experiences into how I became a Christian.

I say, well, there was a time in my life where no matter what choice I made I was only postponing my emptiness. I really wanted to pursue my concept of truth and meaning, so I read the New Testament. I discovered everything I’d thought about God was wrong. He wants a relationship with us. Understanding that, I began to move toward abundance.

Typically they go, what do you mean moving toward abundance? Or what do you mean, He wants a relationship with you or me? Or what do you mean, postponing your emptiness? And so I can, instead of just keeping on talking, now I’m invited to share. In just in 30 seconds or 15 seconds, I’ve shared my story in three sentences in a way that I can unpack the whole gospel (at their invitation). I do that. What people need to hear, you know, is your story.

Gary, I know you’ve shared the bridge illustration most often. And when most people hear crew is doing evangelism training they go, like our good friend Matt Adams, says, well, what are you going to teach us, how to share the four laws?

Gary:  So since you bring up the bridge I’ll tell you a story about the bridge illustration. It was my go-to for years. I still use it on some occasions. I went out with a friend, and he was a part of a small group Bible study that I was in. He always seemed to ask good questions, but he never seemed to be really satisfied with the answers. You could just see he was sitting there thinking about it. He didn’t seem to jump on the answers.

I asked him if he wanted to go out for coffee sometime. We actually grabbed lunch together. We went to a restaurant called Zio’s where they have paper on the tabletop, and they gave you some crayons. So we’re sitting there eating and just having a good lunch. I just said, Hey Eugene you always seem to have a lot of good questions. But I wonder as I watch you, I’m not sure that you’re buying everything that’s being sold there.

And he said, No, I’ve got about 50 questions. And I said, okay. I said, do you want to ask them and he goes, oh, we don’t have that much time. And I said, that’s okay; I probably don’t know all the answers anyway. We joked about that for a moment. 

Then I said I have a question for you. So like, with all of your questions, do you feel like you really understand the essence of Christianity? If you were going to tell the story, do you think you would know the story? And he goes, oh no, I couldn’t do that. He said the whole thing confuses me.

And I said well if I could share it with you, in a short version, would you be interested? And he goes, Oh sure. And I said, well, here, let me do this. I took a crayon out and drew a super simple version of the bridge illustration. I drew a big circle on the paper. On one side I wrote God, and on the other side, inside the circle, I drew a stick figure of a man. And I said the story, as I understand it, of creation, is that God always wanted a relationship with man. It was always His desire that we would have a relationship with Him that would be eternal. And that’s why God gave us the Garden of Eden. He met with man there and in that he tried to reveal his perfect love and the depth of his love by giving us so many things–everything we really could want.

But He loved us so much that He also knew He had to give us free choice. If He didn’t, He would have created robots or puppets. So he gave us free choice. That’s what love does. And the free choice, in this case, came in the form of a tree from which Adam and Eve were told not to eat. It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they ate that fruit, then they would die. 

The enemy came along and told them that they were missing out. I think it’s worth noting that until that time they didn’t know any evil. So they had no concept of what evil was. At some point, they began to believe the tempter that they are missing out on something. They did the same thing you or I would do they ate the apple,

They received immediately the consequence of sin, which was separation. The Bible says they hid from God when He came to the garden. Previously God walked in the garden in the cool of the evening with them, and the relationship was sweet. Now they were hiding from God. And because of their shame, they realized they were naked. So God killed an animal and clothed them with the skin of the animal.

This highlighted the fact that something had to die because the penalty of sin was the sentence of death. And so then I drew these two walls of a canyon between God and man. I said it was never the heart of God for this to happen. But He knew that it would. He had a plan all along.

You know, man didn’t want to get in this position, but he does have to own the consequences of the decision. Now there’s this gap that neither one wants. And what do we do with that? And I said I think that kind of explains this distance we feel from God in our hearts, and we don’t even always know exactly how it got here. We know that we wish it were different, but sometimes we don’t know what to do which sounds a bit like what you’re saying right now.

But God had a plan from the beginning, which is to send his Son, Jesus, fully God and fully man to die on the cross and pay for sin. Then I drew a cross between God and man, which effectively created a bridge that crossed the canyon between God and man. It came at a really great price. The only way that God could fully pay for that was, not just to say, I forgive you, but also actually to become the substitution, or sacrifice, for us. He took our place.

I said you may have wondered, why the cross, and that that was always a hang up for me. It’s gory. It’s awful. You could ask, how could God let this happen? I said, really, the only answer is love. There’s no other answer. The cross is horrific, it’s your worst nightmare. But it was what it was because God wanted to pay for the price of our sin.

The beautiful thing about His sacrifice is that your sins are already paid for and forgiven. That isn’t the issue now. It isn’t whether you do things right from now on–your sins are already forgiven. The question is will you trust God? Will you accept Jesus as the answer? Will you walk across this bridge and receive God’s gift? It’s a matter of humility to say, I’m going to do things Your way.

I said, so, if you’re looking at this diagram right now where would you place yourself in this picture.  Are you on one side? Are you, kind of, in the middle? Or have you already made the decision to receive Jesus? Where would you put yourself if I gave you the pen or the crayon?

And he goes, Oh, I know where I am. I’m not on the bridge yet, I’m still looking at it. I have too many questions.

And I said, okay, that’s really good to identify where you are. The next question is where do you want to be? Do you want us to take the time to answer more questions? Where do you want to go with this? And he goes, Yeah, I think we can meet a few more times to answer a few more questions. I said, okay, I’m glad to do that. Next week you think of your questions and write them down for me.

But I have one more question for you. I said, do you think that there are any one of those questions you have that’s really worth keeping you on this side of the bridge?

Like when you think about God’s love, and you think about what Jesus did for you, and you think about His original desire to be united with you forever, is the answer of whether the Bible is true, or was there really an ark, or is any of those questions really big enough to keep you from something that’s as dynamic and life-giving and life-changing as accepting this offer?

Eugene sat there, and he thought for a while. Then he kind of looked away and got like a little tear in his eye. He goes, No.

I said, then why not today? Now that you know what happened, do you believe that Jesus was the Son of God? He goes, yes. And I said do you want to receive this gift?

He said, yes.

And I said, Well, there are a couple of things we could do. We could both bow our heads and pray right now and when we pray we don’t have to close our eyes. You don’t have to act like we’re praying over here. We can talk to God just like we are. Or if you want to go to the car for privacy, when we get done eating, we can do that.

He said we can pray now. So we prayed right there with our eyes opened. I don’t think anybody knew we were praying. Eugene’s been a follower of Jesus for over a decade now. He really has a peace he didn’t have before. It’s because someone took the time, you know, to explain it to him.

Dave:  And everybody that’s listening to this podcast, it’s important that we have a presentation of the Gospel ready because people, there really is good soil out there. They are ready to hear and ready to receive Christ. That’s a great story.

Just recently I was talking with a guy who is a dancer at first Fridays. After doing life in the city questionnaire with him, he asked me if I would mentor him—just right off the street. And I said, okay.

Now that’s an unusual question for a stranger, and I go, why are you eager to be mentored? He went into a story about his Dad having committed suicide, and he felt like he could trust me, although, you know, I mean we were total strangers. But long story short in a similar way, even an hour-long conversation he was ready right there to receive Christ.

And I think it’s important briefly to say this, there are lots of gospel presentations out there. And you may feel like, I can’t do what Gary did, or I can’t do what David does. But if you spent just a little time looking at a way to present the gospel, I think it’d be worth it. One quick way–as I think of the cross of Jesus having really two hands the death and resurrection represents two hands extended when somebody is ready to receive Christ they need to understand these two things or you’re not necessarily ready to receive.

They need to understand these two things. In one hand, Jesus puts forgiveness, and He did that by demonstrating His own love to us. Like you just said, He died for our sins. And on the other hand, He rose from the dead. He put new life in that hand to give us. I always end up saying that Jesus died for your sins and rose to give you a new life. He died to forgive any sin and rose to give you life. If you want forgiveness or need it and you want a new life why don’t you open and receive His gift from His hand?

Gary:  Yeah, I like that. Similarly, you know, I like the emphasis on grace because one of the excuses I often I hear is, “I don’t think I can live the Christian life.” We’ve all proved we can’t. That’s not really up for grabs. We’ve demonstrated that but I remind them that God did not just forgive us. He gave us grace.

Grace is the power of Him living in us. It is the Holy Spirit’s presence in us. Apart from that none of us could do it. So if you’re standing outside looking in, and you go, and I’d like to receive Christ, but I don’t think I have it in me to live it. Well, you’re right.

The beauty of grace is that it gives us the ability to live the Christian life. The fact that He’s already forgiven our sentence takes care of the shame. And it gives us the invitation into a relationship, which I love.

Someone said, for sin there’s forgiveness, but for shame there’s grace. You know, I find that if the devil can’t trip you up over your sins, he tries to trip you up through shame. But God’s given us both forgiveness and grace to lift us up out of this place we find ourselves. So we find the courage and anything else you need to add day to day.

Dave: It’s a privilege to join you on this podcast. I like to encourage people to be reminded by Paul’s words to the Corinthian church when he said he urged them in 1 Corinthians 1:27- 31. He stressed it upon them like I’d like to stress now, to consider your calling. There were not many wise, and there are not many mighty. There are not many of noble birth. And he talks about how God chose, he uses the word three times, I chose you, I chose you, I chose you. He chose the weakness and the weak to confound those who think themselves strong. He chose the foolish to confound those who think themselves wise. He chose the average to confound those who think that they are important. And so if you feel weak or foolish or average, you’re just the kind of person God’s looking for.

Gary:  You qualify.

Dave: Yeah you really are. Because He can display his power and grace, like you just said, through you. Which Paul went on to say in chapter 2, that’s the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s all about Him. He can infuse us with that grace and power and show His glory and beauty to others.

Gary:  That’s awesome. You know when we do the B.L.E.S.S. podcast we usually talk about pray, care, and share. Today we’ve talked primarily about the sharing part and honestly; I think I default there because I think that people feel more confident in praying and caring. When I talk to people about praying for their neighbors, friends or relatives—and people with whom they work, study, learn, or play, they say it’s easier to pray. Most people tell me they start immediately to pray and then caring is kind of a natural outgrowth of praying.

And then if you pray, care is just going to happen because God put thoughts in your mind. As you follow those thoughts, you end up, you know, interacting with people and building relationship and developing trust. And so I think those two things are probably more natural and organic.

I think when it comes to the idea of sharing, people have kind of a mental block. And the thing I would encourage people is to think of it as something very natural. In fact, it’s the most natural thing. If you care about people, start talking and asking about things that give them hope. Like you mentioned, Dave.

One thing I say to people is, what brings you real life? What makes your heart beat fast? There are things that get you excited. And if I have a little more time I might even say to a person, tell me about some of your core values? At first, they often haven’t thought through what their values are but with a little bit of definition they could. For example, core values are what drive your actions. They are the things that keep you going. They are the things for which you would die.

They might say, oh you mean like family? Yeah, you know, family is family one of them. You start to talk to them about that. Then they may add work. So you talk about work. The funny thing is after they get past those two sometimes they’re not sure. And then just as a natural conversation, you can ask, what gets you up in the morning? Then you can reverse it, what keeps you up at night? You know one of the things is anxiety. In this way, you are having a conversation about the important things of life—our values.

We do a thing with my grandkids; they’re 9, 7 and 6 years old. Almost every day at the supper table I’ll say to them, tell me your high and your low from today. And so they’ll talk about what their high was, but we never leave off the low. The reality is, we always have highs and lows. So they also learn to talk about their low. Inevitably we end up talking about how God loves you and cares for you.

If you suffered rejection, you need to have confidence in who you are. It’s a little life teaching moment. But I’ve found that if I’m with a stranger on an airplane or if I’m in a coffee shop and someone sits beside me, or I start into a conversation with someone that I don’t know very well it’s really simple to ask what your high and low. It is a good conversation starter. 

Every once in a while someone shares something pretty authentic or transparent. You can then go deeper and ask, so then my question is how do you deal with that? They will share, and it often leads to the opportunity to say, well, this is what I do. Or they might even ask what do you do? Or they might ask, what do you think?

I say, in those times, if it is beyond me I have to lean into God and His love and His care. So it starts a conversation, and off you go. I think these things are really some of the easiest things for us to talk about. But the devil gives us a mental block. We think it has to be something spectacular like a sermon. People really want to talk about things that matter, and you can just learn how to be in the moment with people.

Dave: So true. If I could encourage people listening there are things that you could find out on our web page Churchmovements.com. You can see a tab for The Changing Face in Evangelism and The Well-being in the City. You can download the student notes right there. There are conversation starters in the Appendix, and there’s a Gospel presentation there. There are tools that you can use online like the Jesus Film Project. There’s some excellent stuff. If you just spend an hour one day or spend a Saturday or two and give 30 minutes each time you’ll improve your ability to share your faith. Just look at some of that stuff that some of these questions. It would sink in, and you could start sharing. We can start using them and get in and see really great things.

Gary:  I’m glad you shared that. So Dave thanks for coming and being a part of this today. It’s so great that you support Love KC and we can have these conversations.

Dave:  Me too.

Gary:  One of the things I love about my job is that almost every day someone will tell me about some conversation or something that’s happening. We have nearly 2,000 lights now in Kansas City, these are people who’ve adopted their neighborhoods, and you can find us at loveKC.net.  People e-mail me, or they’ll call, or they write, and they’ll tell me a story that”s either evolving or it’s had some kind of a cool turn or twist to it. I love hearing that.

Dave:  I love that it just gives me excitement for every day. Karen and I enjoy being in partnership with Blesseveryhome.com and the ministry that you’re leading. We pray for great fruitfulness throughout our city and in the neighborhoods.

Gary:  Yeah! All right. Well, thanks Dave for coming in today. That’s going to conclude this episode of the B.L.E.S.S. podcast. I encourage you to subscribe to it and then you can like it, and you can share it. You can also write a review if you want! And as you share these things we see this story just goes on and we’re able to reach more. Thank you for being a part of the B.L.E.S.S. community.

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