I've been meaning to blog about this for a while. This is going to be a two parter (hope the suspense isn't too unbearable for you!) When I started this blog in 2008 we were at the beginning of a journey as a church of taking the Kingdom of God onto the streets. We were having a go at something called treasure hunting which was such a helpful tool for me as an introvert. Speaking to a stranger on the streets was way out of my comfort zone so having clues to direct me to specific individuals really helped.
What's been interesting for me as I've gone on this journey is that now when I'm looking to take the Kingdom of God onto the streets I'd actually rather not do treasure hunting. Taking clues on a map now feels much more unnatural to me than just going out to see what God opens up in the moment (this should be an encouragement to other introverts out there. I can't believe I'm writing this but God has done an incredible work in my heart!) What I've learnt over the years is that God is always wanting His Kingdom to advance and I'm learning as His daughter that there are different ways He likes to get my attention when He wants to do something.
I like to split the way God likes to get our attention into two main categories: 1) Recognising when God wants us to approach people 2) Recognising when God brings people to us (this will be covered in Part 2.) General principles I bear in mind when doing stuff on the streets are that the person/people aren't in a hurry and that they smile/respond to me when I say hi to them (that they're likely to be friendly) Other than these general principles, how else does God like to get our attention when He wants us to approach someone?
1) Feeling compassion for a person - When you feel God's compassion for someone ask God how He wants to bless them, what He wants to say to them. Jesus was regularly moved with compassion. God loves to move us in the same way
2) Seeing someone more than once during your time out and about - If you see someone in one part of town and then see the same person sometime later somewhere else in town take note! It could be that God is putting this person in your path because He wants to bless them.
3) Seeing someone who reminds you of someone else - If you see someone who reminds you of someone else don't just think 'that person reminds me of so and so' It could be that God wants to speak to this person through what you know of the person they remind you of!
4) Getting a 'random' pain in your body as you walk past a particular person - That's called a word of knowledge :) If you get a pain in your body ask the person God points out to you how their leg, arm, foot or whatever is. If it's fine you haven't lost anything. If it hurts you have an amazing opportunity to offer to pray.
Recognise any of these? These are just some of the ways I'm learning that God likes to get my attention when He wants me to approach people to chat to them. I'm not obedient all of the time but I'm trying to respond as best I can. What's most fun for me are the times God brings people to me to speak to. More of that in Part 2.