How I Decided to Practice What I Profess at the Playground
One of my kids ran to the slide, the other to the swings. I followed the younger one to the swings, helped him get in, and gave him a push. Another mom was pushing her own little one there too.
I don’t remember which one of us spoke first, but I remember thinking, Here’s your chance to live it out, instead of just writing about it. Practicing, not just professing, right?
I pursued the conversation for the whole time we were at the playground, following her around wherever she went. Don’t worry, I wasn’t too much of a stalker because it turns out, she needed to talk. That mom needed prayer. She was under water. I told her I would pray for her, and we talked about specific needs.
We’ve gotten together since then because being a mom can be so isolating, especially when you feel like you’re drowning in it. We need our allies.
I learned something: it wasn’t as hard as I thought to talk to moms at the playground. If you just keep asking questions about life, you get to the heart of things.
So, I’m going to pursue conversation and turn that conversation to God. I’m going to share hope, offer prayer, and share the Gospel.
Here are a few conversation “turners” I’ve been brainstorming:
- What do you do for fun? This could move to things I do for fun like hanging out with the moms from Bible study and church. It’s just a little mention of church to see where that goes, but it can let you know if that person is a church attender or a never been there person.
- What do you have your kids involved in? I’m always looking for new things for the kiddos. It can also move to me mentioning Mother’s Day Out, Vacation Bible School, etc. which again allows you to see if there’s any spiritual stuff on her radar.
- I’m a person of faith and prayer. Is there anything I could pray for you about? Who doesn’t want prayer? Yeah, there are people who don’t and are offended at the question, but when you’re having a nice conversation, I don’t think that many people would get angry if you asked them what you could pray for them for. This also opens up conversation if you see her again because you can follow up on the prayer.
- Would you be interested in a Bible study with me? If you’ve gotten conversation going on church or spiritual things, just ask. There are tons of free resources on what to study or just pick Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John to get the life of Jesus in there.
- Have you ever heard the Gospel? It’s bold and open. It’s worked for a friend of mine too. They were talking about churches this person had gone to but couldn’t find the right fit. He asked, “Have you ever heard the gospel?”. She said she hadn’t, and bam, he told her right then and there.
With my new mom friend at the park, it just went from talking about our kids to talking about daycares she was looking at to talking about the care my children have gotten at different churches. That lead to finding out about her own church and faith journey.
If the person is a church goer but you want to go deeper, ask about how they came to believe in Jesus. As we talked about failures in motherhood, I brought up reading about how my failing as a mom allows my kids the chance to practice forgiveness and grace. They see that mommy is a sinner who needs Jesus to forgive her sins and needs to ask those around her to forgive the wrongs she has done against them. If I was perfect, there would be no need for Jesus. See how the Gospel was starting to get put in there? Plus it’s true!
Whether you are a mom or not, at a playground or not, turning the conversation to the most important thing to you shouldn’t be awkward or something you hesitate to do. Can I get an amen?
So, what are some conversation turners you’ve used?