Wednesday, February 06, 2013

How to Identify Needs Around You

A couple of Mormon missionaries knocked on my door tonight. They were eager to engage in spiritual discussion about Jesus Christ. I chose not to enter into a debate with them about the person and work of Christ or the origins of the Mormon church.

The conversation was brief and cordial. And it was at the end that I found myself surprised by the questions that they asked me.

I thought to myself, "Wow! I wish Christians would reach out to their neighbors with these three questions."


In fact, on a conference call this morning with my colleagues serving in different countries around the world we discussed the value and importance of asking questions just like these.

So here are the questions that I was asked...

3 Questions to Identify Needs 

1. Is there anything that we could do for you? - asked genuinely and sincerely, this question could surface some tangible needs that would allow you to serve your neighbors. This question is easy to ask. It's a little risky and may take people off guard, but your sincere desire to help will likely overcome any uneasiness people have to responding. Especially if you are asking someone that you already know.

2. Do you know anyone who has needs that we could help? - don't just stop at offering to help the person you are talking to, discover if they know of anyone that you could serve. This question has the potential of providing access to a network of relationships. Serving others is powerful and attractive.

3. Could I give you my card so that you could pass it on to someone in need of help? - offer to be available to meet needs in the future. There might not be an immediate way that you can do something for your neighbors or people that they know, but you can offer to help in the future by providing a way to contact you in the future. Imagine their surprise when they do need help and call and you step in to be a blessing.

These three questions are a great way to discover ways to be a blessing! Don't hesitate to try them out with your neighbors or people on your street.

One of the most simple and practical ways to identify needs around you is to simply ask someone what you can do for them!

Try it!

Today's Missional Challenge: Ask someone every day how you can help them (or someone they know)!  Then follow through - be a blessing. 

Related Posts:
8 Ways to Start Engaging the Culture
The Art of Neighboring
Study Your Community
C.S. Lewis on Engaging the Culture
This is Incarnating the Gospel

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