Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Spiritual conversation with my hair cutter

I managed to squeeze in some time yesterday to get a hair cut. Kirk, our faciliaties manager, had gotten one, so I had to keep up. I went to Sports Clips, which I had gone to in Liberty.
As I went in I met an African-American woman named Nicole. She had a warm smile, and I could sense an open and loving spirit about her. As we talked, she asked me about where I had moved from and why. This opened up a conversation about God.

Nicole talked about how she and her husband had started thinking about "going to church" because of their three children. She indicated that she had not had a loving family growing up, and that that had affected her image of God. I was amazed at her insight. Most people are unaware of this truth that our families, and our fathers in particular, shape our understanding of God.

She also talked about how she was wanting to have more awareness of God in her daily life, and not just make spirituality a "Sunday thing." This is a deep hunger that people have today. Amazingly, this is exactly what I am talking about on Sunday.
For the last three weeks, Nicole has been attending McKinney Fellowship Bible Church. How did she start going there? The minister there came in about a month ago and they struck up a conversation about God! I don't know much about this church, but I am glad that she is at least going somewhere.
Opportunities for spiritual conversation abound--when getting hair cuts, at the neighborhood barbeque, at work, while watching our kid's soccer games. One good book that trains people in how to talk about their faith and start spiritual dialogues is Holy Conversation by Dr. Richard Peace (one of my professors at Fuller). http://www.amazon.com/Holy-Conversation-Talking-About-Everyday/dp/0830811192/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206647179&sr=8-1
Ministers need to get out of the office and interact with people. Having just started here, and needing to get my feet on the ground, get the web site going, build relationships with the other ministers and staff, I've been in the office all the time. But during much of the week, I seek to study and work at places like Barnes and Noble and Starbucks. This gives me a chance to meet people and observe "real life" around me.
Spiritual conversations lead to invitations which lead to people discovering God and Christian community. We need to train people to engage in these conversations that are natural and effective.
What kind of spiritual conversations have you had with people? Were you nervous or okay with this? What helped you overcome any inhibitions

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great start last week. There are chances to meet people all arround us. We are glad you are here. Two people last Sunday mentioned the website as the reason they were at High Pointe. Wow.

James said...

I'm so glad to hear that! It is great that people are excited. As you say, the possibilities are endless. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog!
Man! I wanna read that book! Thanks
!
We're so glad you're here.

Anonymous said...

There are so many opportunities to share with others. Yesterday I attended the funeral of the mother of a lady who works for me. About 3 weeks ago this person came to my office in tears because her mother had been given just a little while to live. I asked her if it was allright to pray with her for her mother. She agreed, and we prayed together for her mother's health. Although she hasn't said anything directly about this she seems to have been thinking of more spiritual things based on subsequent conversations with me. The possibilities are endless to serve those in need.

Steve C

Mr. E said...

I may have to look up that book. I have had a few spirtual talks with others. Some went well, others did not. I am not afraid to talk to others about my Jesus. I move when the Spirit moves me. I have talked to Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, atheist, other Christians and others. Most are polite and even if we don't see eye to eye, we agree to disagree. Except for the Mormons. They get a little upset when I tell them, I love what their religion does for others, but I don't think we worship the same god.

Anonymous said...

Back in college, I used to "work" the cafeteria. I looked for people to visit with. I talked about what church they grew up in. I talked to them about salvation. I should have gotten to know them deeper.

Now, I realize a few things: 1. I need to become a person's friend first.(i focus on non-Christians. If I am a devoted follower of Jesus Christ, my new friend will see it. When I talk about life, my family, my interests- there is always some sort of spiritual flavor to the conversation. I don't whip out the King James and beat them over the head anymore, haha. After awhile, I do invite them to a get-together( small group) or church.

God can't be kept out of anything, a great preacher friend of mine told me once- James. I used to put the pressure on myself to convert someone within a week. Wow- we don't even buy a home that fast. I was expecting people to make a life-changing decision, maybe to deal with the fact that they were wrong on some issues, and expecting them to look at me and say, "I want to be a Christian today." Society has conditioned us to get everything fast- movies, food, etc...

We know that some water, some plant and some harvest. Satan wants us to put pressure on ourselves, because he knows he wins that way.

James- you are real. You don't "drink the koolaid" of any certain political group.

We as Christians need to humble ourselves and be focused on showing the world Jesus living inside of us.

Matt B

James said...

steve,

Once again, God has placed you in a position to bless people at your place of work. You are really using that pastoral gift well. We shouldn't just tell people that we will pray for them. We should try to pray for them right then if we are able, just as you did.

James said...

Mr. E., the book is interesting. It actually encourages people to find someone who is not a Christ follower, and then ask this person if it would be okay to use them as a "faith dialogue" person so that they can understand the perspective of unchurched people. If they agree, then you can obviously be much more upfront in your questions.

This then also helps Christians to become more comfortable in having these conversations in other situations.

James said...

Matt,

At least you cared enough about lost people to try to reach them. For many, lost people are the last people on thier minds. But as you say, there are much better approaches that we can use. A true friendship--whether or not a person responds--is always the best avenue for reaching people.

Mr. E said...

I actually had a spiritual conversation with my Pro-Cuts hair cutter today (Friday, March 29th)...She may try to come to "church" on Sunday. She actually told me she likes for me to come in and talk about things my wife and family do together, it gives her ideas to go home and try with her family. Today we moved more towards Jesus. I think she is a Christian she is just looking for a better "church" home. I hope I helped.