One of my husband, Dan’s requests in accepting his new call to Legacy Presbyterian Church in Frisco, Texas, was to have a ministry coach to help guide him as he and the congregation seek to grow in mission and ministry. Last weekend his coach, Pastor Tim Roehl, came from Minnesota to Texas for a weekend visit. He spent time with Dan getting to know the community of Frisco, asking great questions, visiting Legacy’s worship service, and teaching an evangelism workshop with the congregation’s lay leaders. I was blessed to tag along and participate in much of Tim’s visit.
During the Evangelism training, Tim asked a question I just love, “Who can I ‘good news’ today?” We struggle with the word, “evangelism” because it has negative connotations of beating people over the head with the Bible, convincing them of their sin and the right way to believe, or kindling a fear of eternal damnation. But Biblically, evangelism means simply to bring “good news.” How can we bring good news to everyone we meet throughout our day? It may be with a smile, holding open a door, a word of affirmation or encouragement, offering unexpected help, or really listening to someone with all of our attention.
Tim’s evangelism training reminded us that communication is only 7% words, 35% tone, and 58% body language! We can always tell if someone is really interested in and listening to us, and vice versa! Do visitors to our worship service feel we listen to and are interested in them? Do we engage them and listen deeply? Many admit they don’t know what to say to people they don’t know, or how to engage them, even at church. Tim offered a simple, memorable way to “good news” visitors to our congregation, WIN:
W=Welcome - Let them know you’re glad they’re here, introduce yourself, ask their names, and about their family.
I=Interests - Ask about their work, activities of their children, or how they spend their free time. This enables you to introduce them to others in the congregation with whom they share a common interest.
N-Need: Ask how you or the congregation can serve them, and then, how you can pray for them.
When lay leaders make this kind of effort at connecting with visitors and praying for them, newcomers can begin to personally experience God’s love and care through your church on their first visit.
This formula offers a wonderful tool for getting to know a new person in any context. Listening and communicating interest, connection, care, and prayer is a great way to ‘good news’ anyone you meet. Who will God put in your path to WIN this week?