First Baptist Church, Huntsville, AL
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Week 10

The Message: Building a Relationship with a "Missing Person" - Part II

 Jesus gave example after example of how to build a relationship with a missing person, but my favorite is when he meets the Samaritan woman at the well. With spiritual insight and good common sense he was able to quickly see the needs in the woman's life. He talked with her, not as a Jewish man and a Samaritan woman, who was at the well in the hot part of the day because she was probably somewhat of an outcast. No, he talked with her as a genuine, caring person with just a twist of intrigue. He knew her need was not the water she drew out of the well, but the deep need of the "living water" of God. The way Jesus phrased the "living water" to illustrate the kingdom of God caught her full attention. Of course it didn't hurt when he told her about her five husbands who were not her own. He had her attention and led her to understand the true worship of God.

Okay. I know you are not Jesus. But with just a little bit of good observation and careful listening skills you can perceive what needs there are in a missing person's life. And that is the key! We are so busy with what we are doing that we miss the obvious needs in people around us. If you are a talkative person, make yourself be quiet and listen with your full attention. If you are somewhat of a "know-it-all" - practice pretending you don't. You'll be so surprised at what you learn and what people will tell you when we are good listeners.

 So, what's my point? Needs. Just like in real estate the three most important things are location, location, and location. In talking to missing people the three most important things are needs, needs, and needs. Granted these perceived needs may not be what are best for that person. However, that is why we are to be friends to assist them to see how God could help them. When you discover a basic need in a person's life, begin thinking of how God specifically met that need in your life and prepare a short testimony on how God helped you. Or, if you have never had an experience with that particular need, find someone who has and ask for their testimony on how God met that need in their life. Even better, get your friend and the missing person together for lunch and let them give their testimony how God meet their need. Or, quote a well-known person who may have dealt with that problem. Finding resources that may be Christian based will be helpful. Books, tapes, sermons, and web sites that have meant much to you will be a wonderful non-threatening way to help someone in need.

 Scripture - John 4:13-14 - Jesus said, "Whoever drinks this water will get thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again."

 Action - Apply these three ways to be a better listener and therefore a better friend. 1. Don't be thinking of what you are going to say next while a friend talks to you. 2. Looking in a person's eyes conveys concern and attention. 3. Don't be afraid of moments where you feel you must make a comment. Instead ask a clarification question as a signal for your friend to continue.

 Prayer - Lord, sometimes I am so rushed doing the things of my life I forget to listen, look and ask questions of my missing friends in need. Help me to see them with your love. Help me to share my testimony or someone else's at just the right time. I can't do this without your leadership.

Next Week -