Whenever I meet with someone over coffee to get to know them, I receive a lot of thank you’s and vocalized anticipation to meet up again. Meeting intentionally with people is not only a part of my vocation but it’s a passion, joy and calling of mine. I think I receive so much appreciation because we’re made for relationship, every human longs to be heard, to be known. Mobilizing young professionals to Intentionally meet with people is a major part of my ministry modeling Jesus intentionally “being with” the disciples (Luke 8:1). Here are five steps to take to intentionally meet with a friend:
1. Set up a lunch or coffee with a friend. This might seem to be common sense but busyness and tiredness keeps people from meeting with each other. How many times do you intend to meet with a friend and then it’s weeks, months or even a year before you make it happen. Let’s respond to Jesus’ command that overflows from Him dying on the cross to save us to make disciples. Love the people you know. Invest in their life. Ask them to meet with you.
2. Ask about their life story. But what do you talk about when you are with them? Everyone longs to be heard and known. Don’t you? Ask your friend to share their story with you. Ask them specific questions to draw out different aspects of their story. Have no expectations. This person might not be a Christian. If so it won’t be a testimony. Listen to their story. Meet them where they are.
3. Share your life story. Everyone longs to hear the life story of the one that cares enough to ask for time with them and to hear their story. Anticipate that they might ask you about your story. Here’s an open door. Since you’re a Christian, you are not the main character of your story. Jesus is. Share your testimony of how Jesus saved you when you were lost, transferred you into His Kingdom and He longs to do this for everyone (Colossians 1:13).
4. Ask your friend if he or she would like to continue meeting weekly. Intentionality is not a one and done deal. Intentionally meeting with someone is long term. Jesus spent years with twelve guys. Bless your friend by asking if he or she wants to meet in a week or two and continue meeting weekly or biweekly.
5. Be intentional for the vision of your friendship and meetings. Like Jesus, we meet people when they’re at when we meet with them but we don’t leave them where they’re at. We take them somewhere. Jesus took the disciples to new places in their spiritual journey and He does the same with us. Pray before you meet with your friend. Pray about what new place you’d like to take them to in their relationship with Jesus, to go deeper into Him. God had a plan when He met you where you are. Have a plan for your friend when you meet them where they are. This is the essence, the first step to your personal ministry.
How did someone intentionally meet with you? How did they meet with you right where you are and take you to a new place in God? Who is in your life that God is calling you to meet with and to invest in? What are some practical ways you invest in people? Comment below. Let’s continue to conversation.