May 29, 2012 - General, Reflections    1 Comment

Pretty girl said hi – I smiled and walked on by.

So I was walking back to Redfern station yesterday, when a pretty young girl smiled at me and said “Hi, how are you?”. I smiled politely and kept walking right on by.

While it could be that as a happily married man I’m not in the habit of chatting up ladies, in this case, there’s no such righteous reason. Quite simply, in the space of 2 seconds I evaluated her as a salesperson of some sort and rejected her product.

It only took 3 or 4 steps before the incongruity of this struck me. I had no knowledge whatsoever of what she wanted or was offering. Maybe it was a product she was selling, but maybe she was trying to save whales or something. Without a clue what she wanted, I made a snap judgement for the worse, and moved right along.

Furthermore (and perhaps more importantly), my response to her made me reflect upon Christian cold-contact strategies (walk-up, door knocking, etc). I usually get quite nervous when engaging in them. Could it be because I expect to receive the same reaction I give? What sort of ambassador for Jesus am I, if when someone else wants to spend some time talking with me, I brush them off and walk on by.

I walk past salespeople of some sort quite regularly (through Sydney Uni). Will my response to them change? I want to say yes, but it makes me anxious.

1 Comment

  • Yes, I had the same conundrum last week. One day we were out talking to people about Jesus and hoping people would show some interest and give us more then 2 seconds of their time and the next day while I was walking to the shops a guy approached me for some kind of organisation and I didn’t even slow in pace while I said no.

    The approach: If you’re standing in the middle of the sidewalk in a shirt with a clipboard, I am going to avoid you, possibly even walk on the other side of the road. Moving past that, what matters is how you start the conversation. If someone approaches me I need to know what they are on about, quickly and briefly. He approached me with, “Hi, how are you?” This question doesn’t tell me anything about who he is, so why would I want to talk to him? Wrong question. I’m thinking, ‘who are you’ and he wants to tell me so he should start with who he is.

    We tried a few different methods the day before when doing walk up:

    We failed with a closed question: “Hi, We are a couple of Christians wondering if you’d like to talk about Jesus?” = lots of ‘no’ responses.

    When we introduced ourselves as “bible college students” I think we lost them there.

    We got a lot of no’s, but the best response was when we approached people who weren’t walking from one place to another and we approached with, “Hi, we’re Christians around to discuss and have conversations with people about Jesus.” This was follow by asking, “Do you have time for a chat?” or “Do you have any thoughts about Jesus?”

    1. Straight up identified who we are
    2. Identified what we were “selling” – Jesus
    3. Open-ended question or friendly un-intrusive question.

    I think people appreciate it when things aren’t forced on them, and also nothing annoys me more then someone doing a whole long spiel and all I’m thinking is “what are you selling me?”

    We’re Christians, we are not hiding who we are or what our intention is, and God will prepare the people he wants in his timing to be open to hearing about Jesus.

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