Engaging With Others During This Unique Time
In the Gospels, Jesus spends time with all kinds of people, and in vastly different contexts. He ministered from the seashore, at the watering well, in the temple courts, and inside the dining rooms of ordinary people’s homes.
In the last few days, you likely have entered into a unique context, where you are around your families, roommates, or neighbors more frequently. Because of this, we have new opportunities to engage with others in a deeper, more personal way. Here are some ways to engage well and help you step out in faith and trust the Lord to deepen your relationships with those around you.
A typical conversation with others looks like this:
- You: Hey there, y’all doing okay?
- Other: Yeah, we’re good. Just hoping for the best.
- You: Us too.(conversation ends)
We desire for conversations to be more, but there is often a pause or roadblock. And most of our conversations will only go as far as we take them. Romans 10:15 says “how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Here are some questions that you can add as you lean further into these relationships with the hope of bringing good news.
Engaging in Person (at a safe distance of course):
- Ask: How is your extended family, where are they and how are they doing?
- Listen and Learn: Look for opportunities to listen well. People who do not know Jesus can be uncertain and are looking for hope. When they’re sharing, most of the time they aren’t looking for answers, but someone to listen. If they seem hesitant to elaborate, you can respond with “tell me more about that,” and most of the time they will offer more. This allows you to have the posture of learning and listening and they feel loved them because they are heard.
- Sometime: You can always say “sometime I would love to hear more about that” (whatever that is). This word sometime allows you to bring the conversation up in the future.
Engaging with Others Online
- Message Them Directly: If you see someone’s post about something hard they are going through (anxiety, worry about elderly family members, finances, etc) stop and pray for them. And while it is great to add in the comments, “I just prayed for you,” consider messaging them directly to let them know they are seen and you are sorry it is hard. It is a much more personal way to engage, even when online.
- Use a conversation starter: Consider putting on your social media account or emailing friends, “How can I be praying for you and your family during this uncertain time?”
We are praying for our church as we all look to serve and engage with the people the Lord has placed in our lives. The Lord will continue to draw people to Himself, to Him be the glory!
Brandon and Ansley Hammond