Where'd You Go to Dinner Last Night? Chapter 4.

The question is a seemingly simple one—isn’t it?  Most likely, it is an easy answer: at home.  But there could be something going on behind the answer to that question.  I was fascinated by Bill’s decision in downtown Chicago.  He made a conscious decision to eat a restaurant rather than sitting in the lobby of Moody Bible Institute.  If you asked him “Where did you go to dinner last night?” he would have told you he chose to eat dinner around nonbelievers.  The idea is, in order to develop friendships and discover stories, we need to be in proximity with other believers.  I could have asked any number of questions to start this blog:  Where did you decide to live?  Where do you work-out?   I wonder what it would look like if we begin to consciously think through some of those questions.

The fascinating part of Bill’s decision is the story that enfolded.  He ran into two people—who he learned later were not married, but gay—and was able to have a deep discussion about God.  He even was able to replace two simple words about God; he replaced “judgment and hell” with “grace and power.”  Now, as he is quick to tell us, these sorts of stories are not the norm; they do not usually happen every time we decide to have dinner in a place with non-believers.  But this story also would have never happened unless Bill was able to do certain things.

The first thing Bill mentioned was being “In Style.”  Now, this doesn’t anything to do about the clothes we wear, but it has to do with the person we are.  God has designed us in a certain way because “he wanted someone just like in this world right now.”  That’s a humbling and yet amazing thought!  It can be easy to come with reasons why we are not equipped to evangelize, but let’s stop thinking about who we aren’t and what we don’t have, and start thinking about who we are and what we do have.  Bill was using the person God made him to be to have a friendly conversation with these two people.  What is your evangelistic style?  Which one did you identify with while reading this chapter?

The second thing Bill mentioned was “Practicing Commonality.”  Want to know an easy way to begin to hear about someone’s story?  Ask them about them something they love.  That just may be a common interest that the two of you share—and you are off and running!  The important thing though is ask them to talk about something they love—rather than for us to talk about something that we love.  We want to learn their story first.

But it was the last thing that really caught my attention—“Sensitivity Attempts.”  It boils down to this question:  How do we expect to find people who are far away from the Lord?  It’s a serious question.  When Bill heard that the couple was not married, but gay, it would’ve been easy to have a huge response.  I know I am prone to that sort of response.  But if they do not have the Holy Spirit, what sort of holiness could we even expect?

As you have finished reading this blog and the chapter, I hope we can begin to see those four points: Proximity Points, In Style, Practicing Commonality, and Sensitivity Attempts.  With those four factors, and our obedience to the Holy Spirit’s promptings, we may have a story similar to the one that Bill shared.  How awesome would that be?  Can you imagine coming home or going to your Community Group and describing this amazing story of how you met these two people and you were able to share Christ with them?

I know they would love to hear your stories.


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