Several years ago, I began working with Need Him. The ministry offers people the opportunity to speak by phone or chat with volunteers about knowing Jesus. You might have seen one of their billboards across the country.
People call or chat for many reasons: depression, financial and relational problems, even suicide. Volunteers like me will listen, assure them of God’s love, share appropriate Bible verses, and pray with them.
One day I had just hung up on one of those calls where – despite giving my A stuff – I felt like I had not helped the caller one bit, and it bothered me.
There are probably 50 different reasons why people don’t respond on these calls. They aren’t ready to listen. They’re distracted. They’re too depressed to see a way out.
But when I picked up the very next call, a woman opened by saying, “I have my twin 12-year-old daughters on the phone, and they’re ready to accept Jesus.” So right there, I led them in the sinner’s prayer:
“Father, I know I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I want Jesus to be the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
We cried together, I encouraged the girls to get baptized, and that finished the call.
As I hung up the phone, I could have felt down about the first call and up about the second. Instead, I was reminded of John 4:37: “One sows and another reaps.” I realized it wasn’t about me, and it’s not about you. As Christ’s followers, we must only continue sowing the good news and let the Holy Spirit handle the reaping — like a child blowing dandelion seeds to the wind.
Here are some of the best ways I’ve found to do that over the years, both in and out of the workplace:
- Be available, not always too busy to talk.
- Listen well. When someone says he’s struggling, ask another question to get to the root of the problem.
- Read the situation. You might learn more by saying something like, “I have a friend who felt the same way. It turned out there were underlying problems that led to the issue.” Wait for the person to ask what those problems were and then make the most of the opening.
- Share the gospel. Find a graceful way to say God’s promise of salvation is only for his children. Non-believers can’t claim that promise – but believers can.
- Be persistent. It’s unlikely the first conversation will lead to eternal things.
A great place to sow and reap is the Dallas / Fort Worth Technology Prayer Breakfast, scheduled this year for Friday, Oct. 5 at the Irving Convention Center. Every year, thousands of Christians and non-Christians meet there in a relevant business environment for tech professionals where a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ is presented. Consider becoming a volunteer, a table host, or a corporate sponsor today.
And remember it’s not about you. #DFWTechPB #FaithatWork
John Cole chairs the Merv Tarde Values in Leadership Circle of the Dallas / Fort Worth Technology Prayer Breakfast.