When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today, so he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner” (Luke 19:5-7).
Jesus modeled four things when He lived on the earth that allowed Him to impact other people’s lives. I call them the Four B’s of Transformation. If you’re looking to share your faith at work, this model can help.
First, he built a relationship with them. In the marketplace, you can rarely impact a person without building a relationship first.
The old saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” is especially true in the workplace. Jesus modeled this in His life every day of his public ministry.
The second thing Jesus did was he blessed them. He tried to meet a physical need they had.
Many times he healed them first, then told them to go and sin no more. He listened to their concerns.
The third thing Jesus did was He began praying for them. He often prayed for deliverance for a person that was demon-possessed.
He prayed they would know the Father. He prayed for Lazarus to come back from the dead.
Finally, the fourth thing Jesus did was He brought the Kingdom of God into their lives. He invited people to believe in Him as the Savior of the world and to partake of eternal life.
I decided to test this model with an acquaintance. I intentionally refused to talk about Jesus to this person until I had accomplished the first three steps in my relationship with him. After I had fulfilled the first three steps, I presented Christ to my friend. He received Christ immediately because the soil was prepared, and he was ready to receive.
As you consider your ministry at work, consider these four stages of relationship building before you present Christ to others. You will find the fruit of this process will be great, and it will be fruit that lasts!
So many times, we believers back the dump truck of our beliefs up and unload everything we know on an unsuspecting unbeliever. We try to force a decision on someone who isn’t even close to making a decision for Christ.
We either bypass or totally ignore where they are currently at in the process of becoming a Christ follower. We are not viewing them as a friend or brother; instead, we view them as our evangelistic target.
Trust me, they know when they are welcomed as a friend and brother, or they are just another notch in your spiritual belt.
Please be patient, sensitive, and caring! They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care! Don’t shortcut the process, be patient, kind, and compassionate. In the end, these qualities will lead more people to Jesus by accident than skipping parts of the process will do intentionally.
He has called us to be salt and light! Let’s go forth and be all God has called us to be!
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About Ernest F. Parrish
For the past 40+ years EF Parrish has invested his life in building relationships with people. Whether as a sales director with Sprint Communications Company, a children’s pastor with a local mega-church, or VP of Sales for a large office equipment dealer, Parrish brings over 40 years experience as a business executive, minister and published author. One of Parrish’s deep passions in life is building disciples of Jesus Christ, by giving away what he has gained in his fifty+ years of walking with Christ.
Responding to the importance Parrish places on relationships, he founded Corporate Care in 1987. The business currently provides corporate chaplaincy services to thousands of employees in numerous businesses.