Thursday, September 3, 2009

Get in the Boat!

I've told my good friend for years, that when you are trying to solve a problem with someone with whom you have a disagreement, you need to get in the boat with them. Typically, you both have the same goal--whether it is helping your child succeed, or finishing a project--and if you want to get it done, you have to be the one to get in the boat and paddle with them.

What I mean is that you have to really focus on the end result you are both trying to achieve, and rather than focusing on your disagreement,try to bring them along with you. Good words to accomplish this are words such as "I know we both want the same thing, so let's try to see how we can make it happen," or verbally describe for them the goal, as a simple reminder of why it takes both of you to get it done.

This is particularly helpful when a parent and teacher are at odds. Sometimes parents have an idea about what they want for their child, but they have trouble understanding where the teacher is coming from with their ideas. Just remember, that teacher really does want the best for your child as well.

Little did I realize that this idea of getting in the boat with someone to reach them is scriptural.

Take a look at the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 5, verses 1-11. It is the retelling of Jesus along the Lake of Gennesaret with the fisherman. We usually focus on how he produced an abundance of fish, but look closer.

How did Jesus reach the people?

He got into the boat! He preached to them from where they were. He used language that was familiar to fisherman, and expanded it. "Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch," he said, or, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men."

We, too, as evangelizers must do the same thing. If you want to reach someone, and draw them in, speak their language, get into their boat, use examples and words they can relate to. I think one of the problems we have today is that we preach and teach from where we are rather than from where our audience is.

I would like to hear your thoughts and learn how you reach others and solve differences.

God bless,