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The Power Of Appreciation! Using Trade Me To Evangelise…..

11 November 2013 2 Comments

Hi everyone

In this blog, I am going to giving an illustration of the power of appreciation.

Showing appreciation is hugely important in our interaction with the lost.

It must be important – someone has written a book about it! (picture on the right).

Now, lets get to the illustration.

As many of you know we have a vision to develop an evangelism training centre at Oke Bay in the Bay of Islands where we can the power of appreciationbring evangelists from all over the world to train them in evangelism.

Next year we are starting with NZ pastors.

There is an old 160 year old villa (up until yesterday we thought it was 120 years old, but new information has come to light which shows it’s at least 160 years old) on the property and we are slowly but surely renovating it.

Part of this process involves hunting around on web sites for bargains.

Everyone is familiar with E-Bay.

The equivalent site in NZ is Trade Me.

Recently, I purchased a set of second hand french doors, which saved us hundreds of dollars.

As soon as the sale was made, I started corresponding with the seller about getting the doors up here to Oke Bay.

To cut a long story short, I told Alex (the seller, who lives in Tauranga) what we were doing and the vision we had for the property.

He is a non-Christian.

He immediately wanted to help.

The next day, he phoned me, said he like what we were doing, and offered to pay for shipping to get the doors from Oke Bay to Tauranga.

I sent Alex  the following email.

Hi Alex

Finally, I got a chance to get to my emails and to thank you for going the extra mile when you didn’t have to at all. Thank you so much for kinda  ‘joining in’ with the challenge of doing a project where we rely solely on the goodness and kindness of people to help.  So much appreciate you my friend. You made a difference. A big difference.
 
Julian

The is Alex’s reply:

Hi Julian,

Wow, I never thought I could feel so good from an email and from a person I have never met, THANKYOU!
I wish I was in a position to come and join you, in what you are doing.
Cheers
Alex

My reply to Alex:

Hi Alex, 
Giving feels good doesn’t it! :) No wonder you feel so good. You’ve gone to a lot of trouble to help get those doors from Tauranga to us.  That’s huge my friend!
You can come and join in with this project any time, especially if you have some building skills :)
Here is a link to the project.
We are renting it out over Christmas to raise funds to keep the whole project moving forwards.
You might be interested in a video we made which summarises the whole Bible in 11 minutes.  It took 10 years to make  and someone in England invested £40,000 pounds to have the graphics done properly.
Click here to watch the video.
Alex, the greatest thing you could ever do is watch the video and respond to it’s message. At the end of the video there is a small booklet which explains what Christianity is all about. Perhaps no one has ever explained this to you. 
Of course, you don’t have to “become a Christian” to come and help us (we’d love you just as you are :)), but you seemed like such a lovely kindhearted generous person that I couldn’t help making sure you had your eternity sorted.
Cheers

Julian

Watch this space, and please pray for Alex. The email above was sent to him this morning so I will let you know the response.

 

Lessons I am learning:
1. Again, I was reminded of the power of ‘ploughing’ to prepare the hearts of people to receive the seed of the gospel.   PloughingCats And Dogs Hugging activities are Christian behaviours include things like social action, prayer, intercession, living authentic Christian lives etc.  In this case, Alex’s heart was ploughed through being appreciated.

 

2. Let’s not just stop at ‘ploughing’.  We need to constantly think “how can I use this situation to glorify Jesus by going on to give the gospel?’  Ploughing is not risky and dangerous.  None Christians love us to love on them.  But going on to give the gospel? Too often we ‘choke’ when it comes to the crucial step of giving the gospel.  This is where Christianity get’s risky and dangerous but it’s the most important activity of all, and the priority of Jesus.

 

2. None Christians want to make a difference in this world.  They are looking for opportunities.  This is because they have eternity in their hearts, and they are made in the image of God.  We need to tap into this and INVITE them to become part of what we are doing even though they are not Christians.  I have just had two non-Chrisitan builders up here and they had no problem joining in with a short devotion after breakfast.  During their time here we laughed and joked around with them and they could see we were real and down to earth and we don’t have horns under our hats!  As we worked together, we deepen the friendship. This is all ‘ploughing’.   Having them work on this site was an opportunity to legs on our love by feeding them and loving on them, hence the photo of the kitten under the dog’s ear!

 

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  • Lorraine Wilson says:

    That’s great Julian- it’s humbling to observe how generous non Christians can be- they put a lot of us to shame!
    I see them as ‘pre Christians – many are ready to be saved but they need
    to hear the message first, so they can make an informed decision….

  • alan woods says:

    Julian, your great response to Alex contains a sad observation of where humanity is headed. Your reply would once have been considered a normal, socially required thanks.
    Today this has become so rare that people’s response is normally as above. It speaks volumes that as christians we too are in the same boat as the rest of the world, the social obligations remain and often unfulfilled.
    You wisely point out that there is another advantage we have, ploughing, which can acrue to the advantage of the procaliming christian. The need people have to just be honoured for doing something out of consideration for others, recognition of same is surely a must have attribute in every believer’s toolbox, except it must be used.

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