Often it can feel really intimidating to go up to strangers, start a conversation, and tell them about Jesus. You worry about whether or not they’ll accept you, wondering if they will be willing to listen. Sometimes, we perceive their rejection of listening to us as criticism towards who we are as a person.
When I go out to meet new people and tell them about Jesus and the incredible things He’s done in my life, nine out of ten times, I’ll meet someone who doesn’t want to listen.
Normally they’ll tell me they’re not interested in hearing about a God they stopped trying to believe in a long time ago because of bad experiences. Sometimes the idea of God is too complex for them and they struggle to believe He is real. Many times I’m rejected by people who simply aren’t interested in talking before I even get the chance to tell them my name. Sometimes facing this much rejection can hurt. I’d like to say it hurts me because people are so closed off from hearing about how much God cares about them, but honestly, a lot of the time it hurts because I allow other people to make me feel unwanted.
However, God always reminds me, “In your small attempt to make me known, I am doing something big.”
So what if someone declines my offer to reach out to them! That doesn’t reflect on who I am as a person. The thing that matters in all of this is that through my interaction with them, whether small or transformational, God is moving and is beginning a process of shifting someone’s heart towards Him. It’s incredible how He does this and I appreciate the fact that it’s not all reliant on me.
It’s so worth stepping out in this way, despite rejection, because the one out of ten times I do see breakthrough is such a rewarding experience!
These moments makes my boldness worth it.
I recently led a DTS outreach team to England and France. While we were in England, my team and I felt discouraged to go out and talk to people on the streets because we had experienced so much rejection. Our contacts arrange for us to work a survey stand with the Bible Project, and I was so excited because I knew it meant I would have a clear reason to spark up a conversation with someone about God.
While manning the stand, initially only a few people stopped to fill out a survey and take some time to chat about the Bible. After a few hours, a girl was passing by and I asked her if she wouldn’t mind filling out a survey.
She kept walking and avoided eye contact, but a minute later, she came back around and apologized for avoiding my attempt.
As she filled out a survey, I asked a few questions about herself: What’s your name? Where are you from? What’s your experience with the Bible? My simple questioning led to a conversation and as we got chatting she opened up, sharing vulnerably with me about how she was feeling afraid in anticipation of a surgery she was undergoing a few weeks later.
I really wanted to help her through her anxiety and comfort her, but I had no idea how.
That’s when God told me, “Pray for her. The best way to comfort her is to let her know that I care and will protect her.” I hugged her and asked if I could pray, asking God to keep her safe. She began to cry, saying that she’s never had someone extend so much kindness towards her. I told her my kindness was because God showed me how much He cared for her, and I was wanted her to see this for herself. We began to pray together and afterwards, she expressed how relieved she felt. She was so thankful that I took the time to encourage and pray with her, hugging me as she said goodbye.
This conversation has stuck with me ever since.
This woman was so clearly moved by the love of God and being able to witness it was worth all the rejections I had already faced that day.
I’m thankful for all the “yes’s” and just as thankful for all the “no’s” because when that “yes” does come, it’s worth celebrating!
by Ali Schrupp
YWAM July DTS Staff