“Befriending someone merely so you can tell them the gospel is a form of manipulation and a violation of trust,” says Christopher Heuertz. “Some of our approaches to conversion have earned the mistrust of the very people we want to reach.” Treat people as people, not like evangelistic targets. Nobody likes to be targeted.
We’re conditioned to make friends with those with whom we have the most in common. The weakness of that strategy is our criteria for commonality, which is often as shallow and incidental as socioeconomic, ethnic, and external appearance considerations. We have to look beneath exterior casing and financial portfolio factors, and explore into deeper parts where you’ll find the divine imprint. This is our common bond.
James gives us a good place to begin forming mutually beneficial relationships “Be quick to listen and slow to speak.” (James 1:19) … If there’s anything that keeps Rahabs from Christ, it’s patronizing spiritual experts.
– Originally published in Reaching Rahab: Joining God In His Quest For Friends