Jerry Wiles on Pitfalls of False Assumptions and Common Misconceptions

Power of Questions and Conversations

While traveling in a communist country a few years ago, a young lady asked me, “Is it true that in America, there is a church in every village?”  Her questions and subsequent conversations led me to think about how easy it is to make certain assumptions and how those of us living in the free world take so much for granted.  The young lady was a well- educated professional translator.  It was insightful to discover the many false assumptions she had about the rest of the world.  False assumptions are common all over the world.  Many of us make false assumptions on a regular basis.  For example, I have often assumed that someone working at a church or a Christian institution would be a believer, a follower of Jesus.  Many times that has turned out not to be the case.  It has been a false assumption.

A Reproducing Life

While serving for several years with two different Christian universities, I interacted with a good number of students, staff, and faculty members. One of those was a young man on the janitorial staff.  We frequently had casual conversations about various topics.  After a few months I finally asked him about his relationship with the Lord.  It turned out that he came from a religious background, but he had never placed his faith and trust in Christ.  However, I was able to clarify what is means to confess, believe, and call on the Lord, from Romans chapter 10.

Not only did the young man receive Christ that day, but he immediately began sharing with others.  Over the next year or so, several of his family, relatives and friends came to the Lord.  It was a joy to see how he grew in his relationship with the Lord and was fruitful in his witness and ministry to others.  We often do not know how people will respond to the Word of God, but we can have confidence that by sharing often, His Word will occasionally connect with receptive hearts, take root and produce much fruit.  The seed of the Word tests the soil.

Benefits of Orality Training

I recently has some auto repair work done.  In a conversation with one of the repairmen, I learned that he immigrated from Argentina.  I mentioned the name of Luis Palau, who is a well-known evangelist from Argentina.  The man said he had never heard of Luis Palau.  I told him that he is like the Billy Graham of the Spanish speaking world.  His response was, “Who is Billy Graham?”  Of course, those kinds of conversations can lead to spiritual matters and sharing the gospel.  They can also reveal how we can often be wrong and have false assumptions about what other people know or don’t know.

One of the major benefits of our Orality Training is equipping people to seize those opportunities and maximize one’s impact for the Kingdom.  Many times it’s simply observing and being alert to our circumstances and people’s interests and needs can become life-changing experiences.  When we realize we are on mission with God, and are intentional about our God given purpose, we will be able to better connect with His redemptive activities.

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SOURCE: Assist News