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  • Writer's picturePastor Brandon 'b-side' Alvillar

Hi, My Name Is...

Nope, it’s not Slim Shady…


I probably got all of you with that song stuck in your head now, right? My bad...

Anyway, meeting new people isn’t easy for me. I’ve spent thirty years of my life as a DJ, playing in front of thousands of people in night clubs and arenas. That was easy. I’ve taught on stages at events, in pulpits, at conferences, and have trained business professionals in high-level corporate environments. Those things didn’t intimidate me.

If you ask me to go up to an individual at a store to ask a question, I’m terrified.


I don’t know why. It’s stupid, I know. My wife hates it, because I’ll make her go ask. Why is it so hard and terrifying for so many of us to just talk to people one-on-one, ESPECIALLY when it comes to meeting new people?

The problem is that, our Christian faith kind of demands that we figure this out. There is that whole Great Commission thing, that calls for us to preach the Gospel and make disciples. That’s not just for full-time ministry folks.

This issue became even more convicting to me not long ago, when I attended an online workshop for photography. I learned a lot of really good stuff, and wanted to share some of it with you, because even though those tips were for the purpose of helping people grow a photography business, I thought that they could also be helpful for some of us to fulfill our purpose in serving the LORD, when we’re intimidated by engaging new people.

Before we get into the specific tips, I do want to mention that, there was a theme to the presentation.

People asked questions, and the way the teacher kept responding was by telling everyone to “lean into the fear.”

I like that. Meeting new people is scary, no matter what you’re doing. This teacher admitted that they were not naturally outgoing, but “leaned into the fear” of meeting new people, because they knew it was critical to the growth of the business. You can’t do new business to make money, if you’re not meeting new people to do business with. If non-believers can “lean into the fear” of meeting new people, just to make money, why can’t we also “lean into the fear” to potentially rescue someone from hellfire, or encourage a fellow believer? Hmmm...

That said, here are the tips:

  • Don’t make the relationship about you

Good business is being a service provider. A true Christian should be motivated by the

LOVE of Jesus Christ, who died to Himself for the spiritual profit of others.

  • Find common ground

A good sales person understands the value of building relationships with “warm up”

conversation, and offers great service with meaningful qualifying questions. If we focus

on others, we ask question about who they are, their interests, and show genuine

concern to understand them as a human being whom Jesus died to forgive and save. If

you’re lucky, you might discover that you have some things in common that make the

relationship MUCH easier to grow.

  • Be patient in the relationship

In business, it’s one thing to sell a product to a consumer. It’s another thing to build

relationships with meaningful clients that repeat business and give referrals. Meaningful

relationships don’t grow overnight. They take time. Don’t seek relationships with the

expectation that you’re going to immediately hit it off with everyone you meet, leading

them to the LORD in the first words you speak. Making disciples takes time, and Jesus

compared that process to being “wise as serpents and gentle as doves.” Be patient in

the process, wise in your approach, and reasonable in expectation.

  • Not every contact is going to be a fruitful relationship

In business, it’s commonly understood that, every prospect doesn’t become a new

client. Some people just aren’t a good fit. Some people are better served by someone

else, and that’s okay. Likewise, we’re not responsible for the salvation and spiritual

growth of every person we try to engage with. There’s a diverse group of people the

LORD has called to be His body, where we should work together knowing that some

people are better suited to deal with other people. Trust that the LORD can still do good

through someone else. It’s not all on you…

  • You’ve got to “ask for the sale” at some point

In business, most people aren’t begging to throw their money at service providers. At

some point, the business needs to ask their clients to pay them. There is a similar

principle in ministry. At some point, we have to have “THE conversation.” This means

that, at some point, we have to try and address the real and weighty matters of life,

truthfully, confidently, and compassionately. It doesn’t always happen that people ask us

how to be saved. Sometimes, we need to make the effort to show them that they need to

be saved, as the Spirit leads. Just remember though, the Spirit DOES lead to this topic,

so make sure you follow, when He does.

  • Social media is a VALID way to start relationships

These days, people are dependent on social media for business. Some people are

forming marriages and families through social media! That’s because, by now, you

should know, it is an acceptable standard of communication, worldwide. That’s great

news for those of us who have a hard time with face-to-face conversations with

strangers. So, join a group that’s centered around your hobbies or interests. Offer

friendship to people in those groups, where it’s already clear that you have a common

bond. Connect with them digitally. Conversations might start by discussing hobbies or

interests, but over time, transform into real conversations. Take those opportunities to

show integrity, compassion, and over time, explain the truth of who Jesus is, and why

that matters more than anything else!

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