God Moves When We Meet the Lost on Their Terms


Penelope is a disciple maker in Southern California. She has been growing a friendship with Jennifer — a goth woman who owns a hair salon, absolutely hates church and dislikes Christians. Here's how God helped Penelope adjust her disciple making strategy to have an amazing spiritual conversation with Jennifer.


A Simple Follow-up Question Led to a Meaningful Conversation

     

Jennifer owns the salon where I get my hair done. During our last interaction, she shared about how she has a very strained relationship with her parents due to some of their political views, so I specifically asked how her parents were doing. She told me she doesn’t talk to them anymore.      


“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said.      


“It’s fine,” she sighed. “They’re not going to change, so I’m not going to try to change them. I’m just heartbroken that I’m going to have to give up my family.”


Penelope Adjusted Her Approach to Where Jennifer Was      


I thought about sharing a story from Scripture that might speak into what Jennifer was experiencing, but she had told me once how she hates it when her dad, a former pastor, talks to her about the Bible and tries to share stories from it with her.      


I knew I had to adjust based on the context, so instead I asked, “What exactly are you looking for?”      


“I’m looking for peace — for peace and to find myself.”      


“Oh! How are you pursuing finding peace?”


She said she was trying out psychotherapy, counseling, acupuncture — a whole variety of methods — and learning about Buddhism. 


As I listened, I was praying that the Lord would show me what to say and what questions to ask. “What is it about Buddhism that interests you?”      


“I just really like the teachings.”


“Is it giving you peace?”      


She thought a moment. “Yeah, I think so. It’s helping me to meditate.”      


Seeing an opportunity, I asked Jennifer, “Well, what would you be willing to do to see God come into your situation and give you peace?”      


She thought again and after a brief pause, said, “I’m willing to do anything. I’ve tried so many things, so I’m willing to do anything it takes to get peace.”      


Hearing that, I nuanced the question a little bit. “You know, a lot of times doing anything means sacrificing, so what are you willing to sacrifice to get peace?”      


“I’d be willing to sacrifice anything and everything. I’ve already sacrificed my family.”      


I was about to respond when another client of hers walked in, interrupting our great conversation. I was a little frustrated, but I wasn’t going to let this go.      


“Listen, Jennifer,” I said, “I would love to get together with you and hear more of this story and what the Lord is doing.”      


Jennifer’s eyes narrowed. “Why do you care so much about my story? Nobody cares about this.”      


I told her