FIRST-PERSON: Here's my card
PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- The young mom ahead of you in the grocery line chats about her toddlers, and you mention your church's awesome kids' class and couples' Bible study. She's interested, so you give her your card and say, "Here's my email. Let me know if you'd like to come on Sunday, and I'll meet you at the entrance."
You can do this. Here's an inexpensive, simple, effective tool for a Christian.
A personal card can turn casual conversation into a sincere offer of friendship or assistance. It personalizes a spontaneous invitation to church. It may open a door to share Jesus with someone who doesn't yet know Him.
Go to an online or local print shop, and design a personal card. It's simply a business card with your personal info such as name, email and phone. Select colors and graphics to reflect your own style. If you like, add a favorite Scripture, quote or internet link to the plan of salvation (like findithere.com).
Next, work intentionally to make a habit of keeping cards with you at all times -- in your pocket or backpack, your phone case, handbag, diaper bag, workout bag, beach bag. Whether you're inside, outside, at work or play, consistently keep your card within reach.
Ask God to make you keenly aware of people around you who need friendship, help, encouragement or an invitation to church. Give away several cards every week for the purpose of representing Jesus. Jot a note like "Praying!" or an appropriate Scripture reference. Or say, "Feel free to call if I can ever help you."
You'll find dozens of ways to use that little card, but here are some ideas to get you started:
-- Anytime you're waiting in line, realize that God placed you there. At the post office, the doctor's waiting room, the amusement park, bus stop, checkout line. Get your card ready, and begin a conversation.
-- To personalize a conversation with newcomers at worship, a small group gathering, women's ministry or church events, share a card. If you teach preschoolers, give a card to parents. When visiting a sick or grieving person, leave a card.
-- Keep a card ready to share during leisure activities. At the library, the park, a concert, a festival, the ballpark. Walking. Gathering shells on the beach. At the kids' karate practice or play date.
-- Intentionally get to know neighbors. Speak as they walk by when you're outdoors. Meet newcomers. Attend homeowners meetings or neighborhood events.
-- Share a card in everyday conversations. Getting a haircut, a bagel, a prescription. Eating out. As you take a coffee break, go to a community meeting, volunteer activities, a garage sale.
Then, when that young mom from the grocery emails you, connect her with members of the couples' class. Follow up, be a friend and introduce her to Jesus.
It's amazing how God can use something as seemingly insignificant as a personal card to impact the eternity of those you encounter every day.
"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders," Scripture tells us in Colossians 4:5, to "make the most of every opportunity."