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What a difference it makes when you know people!

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The core of the double your class strategy revolves around getting to know people relationally that we would influence spiritually. If we will be their friend, they will warm up to a message about what a friend we have in Jesus. Community must proceed content. It is not enough to tell them about a God who loves them, you must love them. Love them in common, ordinary, pedestrian ways like Diet Coke, Coffee Cake and card playing. If you don't want to spend an evening with them, it is hard for them to believe that you want to spend eternity with them in heaven.  I read of a poll recently that highlights why this works for well:

A New York Times/CBS News poll from July 1999 revealed that 63 percent of people interviewed believe that in dealing with "most people" you "can't be too careful" and 37 percent believed that "most people would try to take advantage of you if they got a chance."

If you assume that this is representative of the people you wish to influence, your first job is to let people see that you can be trusted. How?

The same study gives us a hint. Respondents also revealed that of the people that they "know personally," they would expect 85 percent of them to "try to be fair." Hmmmmm. Could it be that simple? Let people see who you are, help them to feel like they know you personally, and your trust ratio automatically triples? Think about our language: "he's okay, I know him" or "it's not that I don't trust her, I just don't know her."

The Story Factor (2nd Revised Edition) (Annette Simmons)

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