Something that we often forget is that when reclaiming influence of the church, the guy who started it all was one singular human being who chose a small group of 12 people who really got the scoop.
Reclamation in our time likely requires each one of us and our relationships. So many think that relationships are about sharing our faith must be limited to that sole purpose. But perhaps as we reach out to our world we can do so with the mind and spirit of Christ himself.
Jesus knew his audience. He was able to have personal, effective, and unique relationships with the people in his world. Have you ever noticed how he would treat different people so differently? Can you find a kind word that he spoke to religious leaders? Yet he made time to visit sinners in their homes and have celebrations and parties with prostitutes and other dregs of society.
To many people in our world, Christian people are seen as people with an agenda and quick to move to matters of faith. We are people with a mission, but it is important to establish relationship. We may share the gospel by starting with the bliss of heaven. However, if the person we are talking to does not believe in life after death, our conversation will not be effective. It will neither be effective in sharing the gospel nor in establishing a relationship.
Get to know your audience. Establish relationships as a primary goal. Ask open-ended questions to allow the other person to share and accept your invitation into relationship. Notice how often you speak and allow the other person to speak at least as much as you do, if not more. Share yourself when you are asked to. Solicit the other person’s opinion. Build relationships without an agenda because that is what Jesus did as his example for us.