Published October 6, 2015
A radio station had just picked up The Gospel Greats program and they had salesmen on the road finding program sponsors. One of the businesses where they stopped was a sign shop, GreAT Signs, which (unbeknownst to the salesman) is owned and operated by my nephew, Greg.
The salesman came in telling about a wonderful opportunity to sponsor a new program on the radio station. The salesman told him the name of the program, so Greg asked the right questions to get more information. He wanted to see what the salesman would say.
Talking about the quality of the program, the inspirational content and the terrific host, the salesman related that a number of people had already heard the program and contacted the station thanking them for carrying it. The salesman did a thorough sales job and Greg just listened.
When asked about sponsorship, Greg finally told him that he was familiar with the program. He told the salesman that the host was his uncle. The salesman laughed, assuming Greg was joking.
Greg clarified that, in actual fact, the host was his uncle. "Paul Heil is my uncle," he said.
I liked the way that Greg didn't jump in immediately telling all he knew about The Gospel Greats. I liked that he listened and asked the right questions. When the salesman concluded what he had to say, then Greg could mention his relationship to the program.
When we are witnessing to others, sometimes we want to tell everything we know immediately. But, we don't know with whom we are talking or what their spiritual needs are. We don't know what background they have with God or what relationships have brought them to their present understanding (or misunderstanding) of God.
- Rather than jumping right in and telling someone what they need, might we do better to listen to the person and ask the right questions?
- As we not only hear what the person is saying, but also listen to what their heart is saying, might we be able then to talk about God in a way they can understand and might we be in a better position to share our relationship to God?
- Might we be able to start where the other person is and show how God can meet them there?
- Might what we say be relevant to them rather than just what we are programmed to say?
In fact, when we truly listen to someone else, we are in a better position to have them listen to us. If we know where they are spiritually, we can better know where to start as we talk about God.
People aren't statistics. People are lost sinners needing to know a Savior. We can listen to their heart and introduce them. It's worth the extra time.
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