Your Attitude plays a role in relational evangelism!
Guest article by Jimmy Kinnaird
It’s about attitude!
Attitude is just about everything in relationships. In fact, it is the most important factor in establishing rapport with another person.
How can you even begin to share Christ effectively if your attitude is not right?
The Bible says that “your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5, NIV).
Jesus’ attitude was one of encouragement, comfort, love, fellowship, compassion and joy. Your attitude as a witness is vitally important.
Which do you think would be more effective witness for Christ, a person who is selfish and looks out only for his own interests or one who is humble toward others and looks out for their good?
Confidence is characteristic of a good attitude.
When you are confident, you look confident, you sound confident and you use confident words. When you are happy, you look happy, you sound happy and you use happy words.
Your words may betray your attitude, but your body can’t. Attitude sets the atmosphere not only of your words but also your tones, facial expressions, and body language.
Your attitude tells your mind, not what to do, but in what manner to do your expressions. You cannot consistently behave in a way that is inconsistent with your attitude. Having a positive or Christ-like attitude is the first step in building rapport.
Your attitudes will precede you. It speaks before you say a word. It affects your posture, your movements and your facial expressions.
Your Attitude is Your Choice
The attitude you bring to a relationship is one of your choosing. You can choose a positive attitude or a negative attitude. A positive attitude is a benefit to everyone. A negative attitude may be beneficial you at the moment, but it won’t help others.
When you don’t feel like having a positive attitude, understand that while it may seem emotionally costly for you at the moment, it’s cost is significantly less than your negative attitude will be in the future.
More than “be happy”
To have the attitude of Christ will mean more than just being positive. It will mean changing your entire way of thinking.
Today, most people think in terms of what they don’t want instead of thinking in terms of what they do want.
Instead of focusing on what is not right or what you don’t want others to do, focus on what you want, not what you don’t.
It is at this point where you can make a positive change. This is true in all relationships, not just those you need to share Christ.
When you have this kind of attitude focused on the positive change instead of stopping the negative you will much more likely have the other person to like you. They will want to be around you and will want to know you better. They will want to know what it is about you that make this change.
The Apostle Paul wrote,
19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23, NIV).
Paul was willing to adjust his attitude and lifestyle in order to win as many for Christ as he could. How much different do you think our evangelism would be if we would be willing to adjust our attitude and lives in order to save some?
Jimmy Kinnaird serves on the Personal and Event Evangelism Team for the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Previously he has served as a Senior Pastor in churches in Louisiana and Oklahoma. Jimmy is co-developer of the mostimportantthing.org evangelism site as well as the CROSS Evangelism Training. He is married to Karen and together they have three children, two teenagers and one elementary school student.