"If you live gladly to make others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high, and your joy will be full." -John PiperPerhaps by now you're beginning to feel more confident about this missional meals thing. You have a date on your calendar to host a meal with a diverse group of people. But maybe you're feeling nervous about what to talk about. Are you wanting to engage in conversations that go beyond the surface? Let me teach you a trick; just listen.
Before we moved to Downtown Orlando we had friends who did open-air preaching on Downtown street corners. Watching them interact with people was one of the most educational times for my own missional journey. I learned that for the most part people want to talk to you but you will miss what they are really communicating if you're not listening. Oftentimes we found that the people least receptive to the Gospel had been hurt by the church. We found that out by listening.
People usually will tell you anything you want to know if you are willing listen because they want to know and be known. Perhaps their family is in shambles. Perhaps they've been abused and have made some decisions about the opposite sex because of that. Maybe they grew up in a really strict home and have either become really strict or exceedingly relaxed because of it. Before you can share the Gospel with people in a way they'll connect with, you must begin to hear their story. The best way to do that is to listen because usually they are already sharing it.
I challenge you today to choose at least one person to really listen to. Only talk to ask clarifying questions or if they ask for your advice. You'll be surprised by what you learn.