One of the drawbacks of being in full-time ministry is that you say the same things over and over. Solomon was correct when he said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Sometimes it gives me this awkward feeling because I don’t know if you have heard this before or not. These are the essential conversations the occur for me repeatedly.
- One Verse Evangelism. I use Romans 6:23 to explain the good news of Jesus. I probably use this one passage with the drawing at least 30 times a year. It is the easiest way to help people understand what the story of Jesus is all about. If you have been around me, you know precisely what this explanation looks like from me.
- God’s Grace is Big Enough for You. Repeatedly I talk with people, and they tell me about a horrible episode in their life. Often it has just occurred but occasionally it the baggage from a past failure. I explain to them that God’s grace is big enough to handle that sin. Usually, I tie this concept to some story in the Bible like Paul as the murderer Saul, the adulterous David, or the failure Peter. If God can forgive them, then he can forgive anyone.
- How to Fix Your Marriage. Every married couple struggles. Every single one! This conversation can lead to counseling or to a book that might be helpful. Frequently the issues have gotten quite large before a couple comes to me, but I offer all the help I possibly can in a single conversation.
- Watch Out. This is always an uneasy conversation. As a pastor, I might see that you are walking down a road that leads to destruction. This includes decisions people are making about the opposite sex, their children, or their spiritual life. The phrase, “You need to be careful with …” is a regular occurrence in these conversations.
- Thank You. Numerous people are very complimentary of how the Church I lead has helped them. They are grateful for the help they received physically or spiritually. There are so many great stories that have been shared with me through the years of people demonstrating the love of Jesus to those around them. For me, these are the most uncomfortable conversations as people will direct their thanksgiving at me. I want everyone to know that anything good I have done or my Church has done under my leadership is because of the presence of God. He gets ALL the glory.
These five conversations comprise over half of the conversations I have on any given week. The only one I might add to my list is the “how can I pray for you” or “I will pray for you” one as people tell me about their problems. Many times those words are said after one of the first four discussions I mentioned above.
This is a glimpse into my life, and it is also part of what it means to be a believer. We are always trying to help explain the life of faith to people in a way that impacts their life.
Is there anything you would add to my list? What do you frequently discuss as a Christian?