Developing Rapport Is Key
Developing rapport is key to a meaningful witnessing encounter.
This rapport can come if they have a positive knowledge of the church you are representing, if you come across as personable and kind, or if you just smile and listen. While talking with them try to establish a common link or a mutual interest. Once rapport has been established a whole host of ministry opportunities will open up.
Last Saturday a Can I Get A Witness team went to a home. The lady who opened the door and started talking to them seemed open to the conversation. The Team Leader started out by building rapport with her. The Team Leader was able to determine that the lady was a Christian, has a home church, ministers at her church, etc. They found out all of these facts through the conversation (you know talking AND listening). Then the Team Leader asked her if she needed prayer for anything.
Because the Team Leader had developed a connection with the lady, the lady opened up. She started crying as the Team Leader asked if there was anything the team could pray with her about. Just prior to the team’s arrival she had received a text from her best friend. Her friend had a family member who had just run over his son in the driveway, killing the boy. The lady clung to the Team Leader, Laura, as she explained the situation and cried all the harder. The lady said it was a “divine appointment” for the team to be there at that time. But if the Team Leader had not taken the time and built rapport with the lady then God would not have been able to comfort her at that time. Paul is recorded as using rapport to reach the people in Athens:
Acts 17:19-23 (NLT)
19 Then they took him to the high council of the city. “Come and tell us about this new teaching,” they said. 20“You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it’s all about.” 21 (It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.) 22 So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, 23 for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.
Paul reached out to them by having insight to what they believed and started ministering to them from that point.
When ministering to people you don’t know, follow Jesus’ example; walk in love. You will be walking in love if you listen, are kind, are personable, or even if you just promote your local church. Speak from your heart. Let answers and questions come to you through the Spirit. Be available to comfort them if they open their lives to you. Building rapport with people is the key to open the door so you can minister God’s love and help to someone.