Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
I am not advancing the conversion of anyone into any organization or way of thinking or belief. I am advancing the conversation of Jesus with no hidden agenda. And, the conversation rarely ends, but continues! The person of Jesus without religious additives is so attractive!
If you choose to embrace the vision of advancing the conversation of Jesus, you will face several obstacles along the way. It’s so important to be prepared to manage your way through each one. The first obstacle that comes to mind is divisiveness.
We are living in one of the most divisive times in recent history. In many ways, the antagonism and animosity active in our society today are similar to the riots, demonstrations and free-speech platforms of the late 60’s and early 70’s.
Both then and now were times when open-minded conversations were avoided, even banned in many situations. There was more heat than light-more emotion than substance. There was a great distrust and disdain for the establishment. Today, is even worse! No lectures, legislation, or preaching matters. No one is listening!
But they are talking to those who will take the time to listen to them. This is the way to initially break down the walls of division-to respectfully listen to a person, keeping their integrity in tact. Once a person is accepted as a worthy person, a real conversation can begin. Once Matthew felt the full acceptance of Jesus-that he was OK, he immediately followed Jesus.
Vincent Donovan, a Catholic priest and missionary to the Maasai people in East Africa, after working one year there, came to the realization that what they had been doing for over 100 years to reach the Maasai people with the Gospel of Jesus wasn’t working. He drastically changed the accepted approach from preaching, teaching, and evangelizing, to visiting the people and listening to them, their needs, history and dreams. Guess what happened? A powerful and meaningful Jesus conversation opened up and the largest Jesus movement ever among the Maasai people broke out.
Advancing the conversation of Jesus and the Kingdom requires that you listen very carefully first before speaking.