“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt
This quote captures the prevailing theme of chapter two of In the Red Zone: “Finding the Right Receiver.” To find someone who is in the “red zone,” – someone who is open and receptive to catching the proverbial football of a personal relationship with God – one must follow these steps.
Take an Interest
It is human nature to listen with the intent to reply rather than to understand. As we naturally think of ourselves first, the stories of others can become less of a concern for us and more of a segway into how we can relate. This is often the complete opposite when the Gospel is on our mind.
In chapter two, Dr. Tucker talks about using our personal story as a way to make the person feel more comfortable sharing theirs. He also gives several “launchers,” which are non-aggressive questions to ask that reveal a person’s location “on the field.”
Respect Where They Are On Their Spiritual Journey
While the message of the Gospel is urgent, we must take care to respect the receptivity of the person we are sharing with. One question Dr. Tucker often asks is, “When I think of you, how can I pray for you?” This is an easy question to ask your server when you are at a restaurant, especially if praying before your meal is a habit. If the waiter replies, “Pray any way you want,” they may not be very receptive. When they answer instead with their needs or struggles, this is a sign that they may be in the red zone and open to deeper discussions in the future. You might even be able to share the free app that helps you explain the Gospel easily at that moment, or you can ask if you can show them during their next break.
Cooperate With What God Is Already Doing
Not every person is going to be open to deeper conversations with you, but that is no reason to be discouraged. The important thing is that we have listened to the command to share our faith. As it says in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” (KJV). Our role in God’s bigger plan may be to plant the initial seed of the Gospel in the person’s mind. At another time when they are more receptive, God may use you or another person to bring them closer to the red zone — or even all the way to the end zone.
Glean more from chapter two of In the Red Zone by getting your own copy online or by downloading the Kindle edition. For small group or church-wide training, be sure to explore The Red Zone Evangelism Complete Kit.