An Environment for the Proposal posted by jwatson on Mar 29, 2012
This is the third post in the “Chit Chat” series focusing on one of the critical aspects of sharing the good news and making disciples – communicating well. Click below to read the previous posts.
- Chit Chat #1 – Taking Responsibility for Bad Conversations
- Chit Chat #2 – Taking Time to Consider Others
Sharing the gospel and asking a girl to marry you have quite a few things in common. Both situations involve an important proposal. A marriage proposal involves a lifelong commitment, while the gospel proposal involves an eternal commitment. And just like how planning a marriage proposal requires much thought – the same goes for making a gospel proposal.
In this section, we’ll focus on “where should I make the proposal?” Yes, “where” matters, especially when you have the time to make a decision about it.
Quite often, the general recommendation is to find a quiet and non-threatening environment as a meeting place. This is mainly to ensure that distractions are a minimal. In a slim majority of cases, this rule applies. But let’s make the effort to not forget the large minority.
There are shy people who do not like quiet cafes as it can feel as if too much attention is placed on them. There are people who only start to talk after a good sweat – in which case a jog down the road, or a tennis court, would be a suitable “where”. The environment itself plays a big role – some people like the indoors, outdoors, crowded spaces, so on and so forth.
Being sensitive to the environmental needs can open up the right spiritual receptors.
The question now is “how can we find out?” It is actually quite easy. Firstly, begin to observe your friends. Secondly, ask. Let your prospects make a suggestion. Both these steps may sound like a no-brainer, but try it and you’ll find observation requirest “effort”, and asking requires “flexibility”.
Food for Thought: We often talk about who Jesus meets – lawyers, Pharisees, tax collectors, adulterers, prostitutes. There are important lessons to learn about loving others, of course. But for today, maybe we can do a little study on where Jesus met these people and make the connections.
Let us continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will always quicken us on how to relate to people we meet.