“We’re so glad you came,” the client advocate said. “We are a full-service agency. We care about you – your physical, emotional, practical, and spiritual needs. So, you’ll receive helpful information about each of these areas at some point in your time with us at the center.” In those few phrases an advocate sets expectations so that the woman who came to the center for help understands the center’s sincere view of her. She is a whole person with various needs. The center is willing and able to respond to those needs and you are truly glad she came.
Making the God Connection starts with a people connection. We really don’t know each other, do we? We only know what another person is willing to share with us. So, to the extent that we are open and willing to know what the client needs from us, just as she is, without out judgment, we will signal that we care about her and want to help her. The Lord asked people questions all the time! Spend some time reading some of His questions (Luke 6:32-36; Luke 7:40-43). What do those questions tell you about you and your client?
4 Tips for Making the God Connection through Questions and Listening
1. Conduct an “open” conversation. You can get information you need, or explore an intake form that the client has completed, by having a conversation. Example: “I see you wrote that you have two children at home! Tell me about your children. What’s the thing you like the most about your children.” Then, “Tell me how your circumstances today differ from when your other children were born.”
2. Establish her value as a person. You do this when you ask her questions that relate to her value. Ask her, “What makes you feel proud of yourself?” Listen! You might be able to say in the conversation, “It means a lot to me that when God reviewed all He had made, He said He did a “very good” job with people. Sounds like He gave you a gift for __________. We all have value to God even if we make mistakes or don’t know anything about him. It’s true that we mess up. But HE didn’t mess up…”
3. Ask, “How can we help you today?” How can you help if you don’t know the real answer to this question? There is usually more there than the first question reveals. Try to understand. “Tell me about the support system you turn to when you need help?” God is the head of your client’s support system, whether she knows it or not. “If you had power from God to make your life better, what would you want to be able to do?” Many have prayed to be “un-pregnant,” but, instead, God brought her to your center so you can help her through a very difficult time and help her find her way to Him.
4. You probably know enough about your client now to share the gospel in the context of what she has told you. She may trust you enough to let you do it. So you can ask her the question: “Has anyone ever taken a Bible and shown you how you can know for sure that God will walk alongside you every day to help you live and, one day, when you die, you’ll know for sure that you are going to heaven? May I?” You know the rest…or if you don’t know the rest, take online ACT Personal evangelism and Save the Mother, Save her Child training at http://evantell.org/Training-Outreach/Online-Training/Personal-Evangelism.