Take-Aways from a Gospel Conversation
May 19, 2015
The following is a portion of a conversation I had with a 25 year old single man from Hyderabad, India yesterday afternoon:
Me: "What do you do?"
Guy from Hyderabad (GFH): "I work at Vanderbilt. . . .today was my first day."
Me: "That's great!"
GFH: "What do you do? Do you work?"
Me: "I am a teacher."
GFH: "Wow! What kind of teacher?"
Me: "I teach at a church."
GFH: "Really? I have never been to church. I have always wanted to go."
Me: "Shut up! For real?" (Not really . . . but I was thinking it!)
Me: "Why don't you come with me this Sunday?"
GFH: "That would be great. What time?"
Me: "I will pick you up around 10:15 am and bring you back after my family takes you to lunch."
GFH: "Here is my phone number. Send me a text so I will have your name and number."
Me: "Done. See you Sunday morning!"
Obviously I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity and hope and pray for this young man to come to know the Lord as he and I grow as friends. I have thought alot about the 5-10 minutes he and I shared yesterday as I "just so happened" to run into him as I was taking my garbage from our apartment to the dumpster. But, how did this happen? I mean, it was so easy! I know the Lord orchestrated it all and caused the "impossible coincidences" to happen. But what did Matt Pearson do that I can learn from here? I want this sort of thing to happen all the time! What are a couple of "take aways" from this?
#1. I was outside the church, outside my apartment, and away from church people.
Granted, it wasn't intentional. I was taking the garbage out and getting some fresh air. But it does point to an obvious reality: If I was inside my apartment (or home), at the church, or surrounded by church people (all of which have their time and place, by the way) - I would have never "bumped into" this guy. To be around people who need Jesus . . . I must make the effort to be around people who need Jesus!
#2. I started a conversation and asked questions.
This man was walking outside with his 3 year old nephew. He was looking for a park. I asked if I could help him and asked his name. Then I simply asked some additional questions about HIM.
#3. I invited him to church.
Later in the conversation he revealed that no one - not in India, not in Chicago (where he attended school), and not here - had ever invited him to church. I asked him if he wanted to come. This 25 year old single guy from India said "yes."
#4. I offered to pick him up, take him to lunch, and bring him home.
Nothing major. But I learned that he didn't have a car. He lives with his sister and, apparently, they taxi him to his job everyday. Now, hopefully, I will get to meet his sister's family when I pick him up and/or drop him off. I wanted to do all I can on my end to make him coming to church a reality.
#5. We exchanged contact information for follow-up.
I will remind him a couple of times prior to Sunday. I will call him on my way to get him Sunday morning. He may decline and back out at the last minute. But now I can at least follow up in the days to come and invite him to lunch or have his family over in effort to build a relationship with him/them.
Yes, this conversation and Gospel opportunity literally "fell into my lap." I have been a Christian for 30 years and this sort of thing has been rare for me. However, I/we can learn from what did happen and pray for similar opportunities. God is definitely at work in Middle Tennessee. Not only has He brought the nations to us, but if yesterday is any indicator - He is also causing the fish to jump in the boat!