Patient Presence



Key Bible Verse: Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. (1 Corinthians 9:22)

Dig Deeper: 1 Corinthians 9:19–23

Navigating your community requires you to be a learner. Part of our problem in our zeal to help is that we make the assumption that we have all the answers before we even understand the situation.

There’s a young hipster who works at a store I frequent. When I first saw this young man, I was tempted to share the Four Spiritual Laws to try to lead him to Christ, simply because that’s the way I’m used to sharing Christ with strangers. But it didn’t feel right. For months, our conversation consisted only of him asking for my order, but over the last couple of years, he has started to share some details of his life with me. At his own initiative, we’ve had conversations about church, and when something major in his life is going on, he fills me in. It has taken a while, but a bridge has been built. Because of him, God is helping me to build bridges with others in the store too.

There’s a saying we have in the hood that goes like this: “If you don’t know, you better ask somebody!” If you want to navigate successfully in your community, learn all you can from the people you are seeking to reach so that you can minister to them effectively.

– Mark E. Strong in Divine Merger

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