Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"First things first"

"How does a person get started in witnessing?"  I get that often from people who are apprehensive and concerned about offending people.  The genius of Story Listening Evangelism is that the witness goes with what the person they are listening to is saying and doing.  That way, there is no offense.

So how do you get started? 

Listen to the first thing a person tells you.  Contained metaphorically, symbolically in those words is what the person is struggling with--their lostness.  Hold what the person says in abeyance.  Do not problem solve the issue(s) that surface.  That is because you will get resistance from the person you are listening to.  Just listen to the next thing the person says to you.

I went to the bank when we lived in New Jersey and said to the young woman who was the teller,"  Hi, how are you?"

"Can't complain," was her reply. 

I came back, "Would you like to?"

"Oh, no body will listen."  Hear the resistance?

So I said, "I would."

You'd thought I had hit her with a bat as surprised as she was.  For you see "can't complain" is an acceptable way to say "hello" in America.  AND it is not a neurological accident.  She was testing the waters to find out if anyone is listening because she did have something she wanted to complain about and people she had already approached turned her down.

With that permission from me she began to tell me her story.

Let me invite you to practice listening for the first thing a person says to you this coming week.  Listen, notice, even write down what they say.  Remember not to problem solve what they say.  Just pay attention to the next thing said.

Send me a sample of what you hear.

Next week we will go to the next step in listening a person into the Kingdom.


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