A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, 'Give me a drink.' (John 4:7)
What is the first word in evangelism and discipleship?
It's simply, HELLO.
Jesus met a lot of people who were not on the "religiously approved" list. He talked with a bi-racial woman and healed lepers, in spite of the fact that touching them was forbidden by the religious authorities. He healed the sick, blind, lame, and was accused of being a friend of sinners.
"Door-to-door" Mormon missionaries have about a .1% conversion rate. But their success in recruitment is about 50% when there are interpersonal ties.
For believers seeking to share their faith, there is a greater rate of conversion with a greater number of hellos. It's all about relationships! It begins by talking to God about people before we talk to people about God. Prayer and hello should go hand-in-hand as we ask God to lead us to people whose hearts He is preparing to receive the gospel.
Seldom do people come to Jesus at their first meeting. Be ready when God opens the door to share a simple presentation of how a person can trust Christ and mature. Presentations vary according to circumstances, Biblical knowledge, background, age, past history, and even a question that may be asked. Relationships where we have an opportunity to share the gospel most often begin with hello and a genuine concern for the person that we're addressing.
If God allows us to build a friendship with a person, then we certainly want them to know our best friend, Jesus. It worked for Dr. Jim Polhill, a fellow ARP, who said hello to me, a lonely guy at the University of Georgia. His hello established a friendship that brought me to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Whose life will your hello change?