My husband and I were talking the other morning at breakfast about the different ways we connect with people. There are those people you easily connect with; you can work with them on the spot or even engage in conversation with them because you share a lot of common ideas about things. Sometimes, some people we work with or even family members have very different political, cultural, or spiritual ideologies that make it hard to find anything non-controversial to discuss. It’s those times when I notice it helps to find some common thread.
Several years ago, I got a new boss, and although we were both the same age and had similar family backgrounds, we had very different styles of approaching the same problems. It wasn’t until we touched on the fact that we both loved history that suddenly we were sharing history bits back and forth. This paved the road to those conversations that we didn’t share similar feelings on and made our day-to-day working together much smoother.
I call that finding a similar receiver in someone. A receiver is a like-mindedness that helps us “receive” whatever we are hearing in a different way. If I know my boss and I both enjoy history, we may begin our next meeting with some interesting history bits one of us has run across. This sets the stage for us to relax a bit more before we begin discussing a topic we see opposite views on.
When I read the Bible, I see Jesus taking the same tactic! He would look for what people needed: healing. He was there to heal. Food? He had the five loaves and one fish distributed so people could relax and listen to His words with a full stomach. All twelve apostles were men from very different backgrounds yet Jesus could find the “receiver” in each of them and share His thoughts and teachings with them in a way they understood. They in turn used their receivers to reach out to like-minded people to spread the Good News.
Today, as we try to spread God’s news of love to everyone, we may use history, or food or music. A smart evangelizer will find the common thread between herself and the person she is trying to help. What is your receiver?
Copyright 2019 Lisa Simmons