Ministry in the Marketplace
This month we’ve been building up to the International Day For the Unreached, so it only makes sense we talk about strategies to reach them. You’ve taken that plane ride that’s so long that by the time it lands, you almost feel you’ve forgotten how to walk. You’ve found a place to live, a job or business to contribute to the community, and schools for your children. How do you actually then begin reaching those around you?
The unique advantage of working professionally among those you’re trying to reach is time. People spend a majority of their work week...well...at work. If limited to time outside of work, you would be relying on a long, friendship-building process in the hopes to even set up time to get together. While the relationship and trust-building process has no shortcuts, having the built in time all day every week at work is certainly a faster track.
There are so many unique people groups with countless unique people in them. How does someone go about reaching them? The answer is a lot of questions.
First, ask God. If God gave you this mission, He will not leave you without a strategy to fulfill it. Taking it not once, not twice, but daily to the Lord in prayer, asking Him to show you what His steps for you are for that DAY alone. Look, as a response, to answers in Scripture, notice divine opportunities that open up, and listen for His voice.
Second, ask them! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It can be about innocuous things such as the weather, their hobbies, their family. Share about your own as well! The more exchange there is, the more relationship is built. By asking progressively deeper questions, their openness (or lack thereof) can be sensed. This gives you a good idea of how to proceed and if they are ready.
Third, ask the most important question of all. When it comes to the point of the salvation question (which may be soon or may take ten years of sowing into relationship), don’t forget to ASK if they would like to receive Jesus into their hearts.
Fourth, ask “what would you like to do next?”. Give them next steps. Do they want to study the Bible together? Do they want to get rid of old charms from previous religions? Do they want to share with their family or someone they know? That point of salvation is beautiful, but it’s not the goal. The goal is discipleship up to the point in which that person can disciple others. What does he or she need to learn next? Maybe offer a starting place of books of the Bible to study. What parts of his or her relationship with God need to be nurtured? Maybe talk about prayer life habits or things that individual can do to further their direct connection with the Lord. The less they “need” you for this time, the better. The focus should be on directly connecting them to the Lord. Who would be their first goal for sharing the gospel with someone? It’s important that from the beginning the mindset is not that the gospel comes into their life and stays there. Instead, they must see that they are a vital part of its continuation.
If you’re not in an area with unreached people groups, adopt a group to pray for. Support individuals or ministries that reach the unreached. Inform those around you about the unreached so that they too can partner in reaching them. No matter who you are or where you are, there is something you can do that will change someone’s life forever.