Saturday, April 05, 2008

What makes a good prospect?


In Grenada, the Isle of Spice (that's cinnamon bark drawing in the photo), particularly in Mt. Granby, it is not hard to get Bible studies. We spent 2 morning and another aftertoon and had all the studies we had time for. That has happened consistently, so after I got home I tried to analyze why people there will so readily listen--after all, if honest people will study the Bible the majority will become Christians. So if we can identify "what" we're looking for in prospects, it would make our job simpler.
What I noticed in Mt. Granby were several points:
1) They had time to at listen for 30 minutes to an hour. Some of them were older, but others had small children, work to do, etc. But they didn't have 2 appointments for themselves, soccer practice for one kid, piano lessons for the other, and . . . This is not true in all the islands--you couldn't find that much in Puerto Rico or Barbados, but in the more rural islands it is still common.
2) They believed God was important, whether or not they went to church. Some of them attended a church regularly and most had at some point been "faithful" to their church. If God is important, then one can always spare a little while to study His Word. Now this means they accept all comers, so may study with the Jehovah's witnesses one week, the Adventists the next, etc. Are you surprised when I tell you they're a bit confused?
3) They were not lazy people. Yes, they took the time to listen, but it wasn't because they had nothing else to do. One of the ladies we studied with worked spices the whole time we talked--one day the nutmegs and the next tamarind. Others had to shush the kids, give them a snack, etc. Lazy people see quickly that the Gospel is too hard, so most never begin, but if they do, they don't usually last.
4) They were not wrapped up in materialism. If you want things, you don't stay too long in the islands--you go on to England, Canada, or the US so you can work and buy "things". If you're still in Grenada you are satisfied with less--you'll have clothing, food, and housing, but you won't have your own car, many clothes, etc. God cannot be second to things and to so many Americans He is second. We're looking for people who realize God is more important than things.
Tol

3 comments:

Gardner Hall said...

Maybe your reason number 4 was the most important of all. It is interesting to analyze the ages and cultures where there is less interest in the material and more openness to spirituality.

Matt Dickenson said...

burk,
i have been reading your blog for several months now after i linked to it from a pleonast user (i don't know if you're familiar with that site). i am a young christian who has done summer work in jamaica since 2006, and i'm interested in talking to you more about your experiences in the caribbean. please contact me at soccerbrain7@aol.com

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