Sunday, December 17, 2017

I was at a carols service tonight.
Friends brought along their next-door neighbours. I had a good chat with one of them John (not his real name)
Later in the night I prayed for boldness and then I had a conversation with John that went a bit like this.

Me: Have you ever been to a church before?
John: We use to go to one.
Me: What’s the reason you stopped going?
John: I don’t know, life just got busy.
Me: If someone from your work asked you if you were a Christian, what would you say?
John: Yes, I would say I’m a Christian.
Me: What would you say a Christian is?
John: Someone who follows God’s rules, is kind and caring.
Me: Where in the Bible does it say that, that is a Christian?
John: It probably doesn’t.
I turn to 1 Corinthians 15:3&4 and read the verse emphasising Jesus’ death and resurrection.

We go back to talking about stuff.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

If your relationship was a donut

I’m sitting in a coffee and pastry shop with a youth talking about school, family and sport.

I want to ask him, “How’s your relationship with God going?”

Instead I ask, “If your relationship with God was a donut, what flavour would it be?”
The reply comes back, “Not a tasty one, like this one.” (points at his donut)
Me, “What makes you say that?”
He goes onto explain the reason for his answer.

I have found this type of question less threatening than the one I was thinking of asking.
It helps them reflect on their answer and give detail.
Also, it doesn’t sound like a question a parent would ask.

So, “If your relationship with God was a donut, what flavour would it be?”

“What makes you say that?”

Friday, August 25, 2017

just wait, don't share

I mentor youth. Most of the time it’s coaching.

One observation I have made is, when I ask a question like, “What would you like to talk about?” they reply, “I don't know” and shrug their shoulders at the same time.

Usually when they reply this way a parent, teacher or adult in their life sees this as an open door for them to launch into sharing all the wisdom they possess.
I've found after waiting for about 10 seconds they start to talk.

It’s like they know that when they reply with, “I don’t know” it allows them not to have to answer or think, they can get away from sharing their thoughts.

One mum was convinced that her son wouldn’t say anything, he spoke for about 80% of our time together.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Listen the 3rd way

We can listen three ways.

For some of us we don’t listen, we wait to speak. We are smiling, nodding and looking at the person and at the same time the only reason we are doing this is so that we know when to jump into the conversation, we’re not listening.

For some of us we listen to reply. We also display all the listening skills we know and the reason is so that we can share that great story or insight, we’re not listening.

For some of us we listen for understanding, we will ask question so the other person can keep talking, so that we can gain more understanding.

Listen the 3rd way.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Friendship evangelism

When we talk to our young people about evangelism what we usually talk about can be referred to as friendship evangelism.

The trouble is if our friendships only stay at friendships then we have failed.
Jesus didn’t say, Therefore go and make friends
He said Therefore go and make disciples

This reminds me of a story I’ve heard.
There were two men, John and Jack, they were best mates.
They were both the same age, they grow up together, played sport together, went to the same schools, got married around the same time and had kids the same age.
The thing is that John was a Christian and Jack wasn’t.
John was always looking for an opportunity to talk to Jack about Jesus, but it just never happened.
When they were both very old Jack was in hospital close to death, John went in to visit hoping he could tell him about Jesus before Jack died.
John said to jack, “There is something that is very important to me that I have been meaning to tell you my whole life.”

Jack replied, “If it was that important to you, you would have told me ages ago.”