How are you?

“Good.”

That is the response heard almost instantly every time someone ask, “How are you?” It feels as if it is almost ingrained in us, it has become second nature, a habit. I know there have been many times I have had this response when in reality I was quite the opposite. I say it without thinking, it is the go to response and anything outside of that almost feels just wrong.

When becoming a missionary disciple for Christ one of the first steps is inviting people to walk with you daily, to live and grow together. We have greatly over complicated what it is to love and what it looks like to evangelize. A lot of it comes back to the assumptions we carry. I know far too often I assume, thinking that someone would not want to hang out if I asked, and would rather party or go binge a show, I even think certain people would never be in Bible studies. The greatest divider I have found that keeps us from unity is our pride, our assumptions of others, and the individualistic mindset. Recently, I was watching The Chosen, and in the scene where Jesus tells Peter to follow, He told them to gather everyone and then He would sort them in the end. I was left asking myself: what does that even look like, to not assume, and just invite? After much thought it all came back to the desire to be seen and known.

Call them by name

The mindset most carry today is “you do you,” and anything similar that keeps the individual closed off. Seeing others is rather simple, at least it should be. I have noticed how many people's names I don’t even know. I have been trying to call people by name to show that I really want to know them. Satan is the one who calls us by our sins and Jesus calls us by name so rather than assume poorly and focus on sin It is best to simply love. Past that it is also good to seek to look people in the eyes. It is surprising how many people look away whenever you truly seek to look at them. Of course no conversation is usually left at exchanging names.
 
Ask why

We are almost hardwired to say “good” after someone asks how we are. Because of that, I ask  “why?” to follow up. Sometimes, the response can be just as surface level and usually consist of the weather or work. This cause you to be very creative in your questions and in what you share. If you set an example, they are to likely follow that and open up more easily.  
With that simple “why” it is a great lead into knowing people. Oftentimes, we seek to know people without really taking the time to listen. Rather than building up a relationship, we ask instead “how's your prayer?” which can be far too deep too fast. Evangelization is a marathon, there is a long “win phase,” which at its deepest root is building relationships. Through this, they encounter Christ through our own witness. There are also other questions that can help lead to a deeper conversation such as, “what is something beautiful you have seen today?” “What is a blessing you have had today?” “What is something you have been waiting for someone to ask you about?” and of course, “how are you?” but never be scared to ask why.

Listen

The most important person to you is the one right in front of you. You don’t need to convert them or take them to a holy hour in one try - but if you do great! The best thing you can do is listen. Look around and you will see how we surround ourselves with noises so we don’t have to truly listen. Earphones help to drown out the reality right in front of us, even scrolling on our phone while in line helps us to step away from what is present. We all just want someone to listen to us. They might not have that relationship with Jesus so they don’t turn to Him for someone to listen, so be Christ for them. Ask them about their day or what they are passionate about, listen to their voice, their joy and sorrow. God does this for us and He desires to do it for all - let Him do it through you!
Inviting people into our lives does not happen by asking people how their prayer is on day one, or showing how holy we are, it is simply through showing them the love of Jesus in simply seeking to know them, not for our own benefit, but for the sake of love. 



God Bless,
Caden Bennett