Today I had the opportunity to get out and connect with 5 new business owners/managers in the area. Before I go into a business, I pray and ask God to guide the conversation. Probably because of this, I find no two conversations are alike, each one has a unique life and direction of its own.
Not everyone is as open and friendly as the others, but as we talked about at Access yesterday, I’m starting to get ‘comfortable with rejection’. And I’ve found for the most part that as I’ve reached out to these local entrepreneurs, there has been a real openness on their part to talk and connect.
When I look at the life of Jesus, I recognize that when he talked to someone, he usually focused the conversation on the other person. Even as the Son of God, he didn’t walk into the room saying, ‘Here I am.’ Instead, his attitude when we walked into the room was to focus on others with the attitude of ‘Ahh…there you are!’ Jesus genuinely cared for people and the people he connected with could sense it.
I try to follow in Christ’s example in this, coming and asking questions about the business, how things are going, etc…. and I find most of the folks I’m connecting with seem ready to share their ups and downs with me. As last week when I spent time reaching out to business people, I came away with some prayer requests- some relating to business and some personal. Once again, we tend to open up when we sense someone genuinely cares.
Most of these folks were very interested in the Movie Under the Stars events we are kicking off on March 25 at Fletcher Heights Park (go to www.accessaz.org for more details). I’m encouraging them to not only come with their families, but come and bring some info/samples from their businesses that we can put out on tables for people to check out. I let them know that by doing events like this we want to help people in our community to connect with each other, and we want to help lift up local businesses as part of strengthening our community as well.
I was really encouraged when at church yesterday so many people took so many fliers to hand out about the movie events. I am praying that as they go out, God would move people to respond to their invitations to come to these events and then come to church and ultimately…to come Christ.
I was reading in John this morning, and I came across one of those moments where Jesus was praying for his followers. He said, “My prayer is not for them (the disciples) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message…’ (John 17:20) And I thought, ‘Whoa, that is awesome! He’s talking about us! When Jesus said he prayed for those who would believe in Him through the message of his disciples, he wasn’t just talking about those direct people they talked to. He was referring to everyone who would ultimately come to faith through their serving and sharing the good news about the love of God through Jesus Christ!’
So as you are out there inviting people to come to church and to come to Christ, know that you have the power of the prayers of Jesus behind you!