7 tips from a traveller talking to a diplomat…

In Acts 8:26-35, we eavesdrop as Philip shares the Message of Jesus with a fellow-traveller.

1) Listening to God (8:26, 29)
Philip was a person open to God’s direction – listening to His voice. It was God who led him into the conversation. Let’s pray that we would live in this way as we have quiet times with Jesus: prayerfully reading the Bible and seeking His face.

2) Listening to people (8:30)
Philip was listening in stereo: as well as listening to God’s direction, he was listening to what was being said around him – open to people and able to hear them. 

3) Asking questions (8:30)
Frequently we bundle into conversations but often asking questions is the more appropriate thing to do – questions show respect and help us to understand where those we’re chatting to “come from”. Questions also help a person to reflect on themselves: Jesus was the master question-asker…

4) Accepting invitations (8:31)
When invited, Philip responded positively – he was ready to share time on the terms of the person who asked him. So many opportunities await for the “accepter-of-invitations”.

5) Starting where the other person is at (8:35)
Rather than beginning where Philip thought best, or according to his pre-planned speech, Philip began where his new friend was at. He could do this because he had begun to know the person he was speaking to – he had listened, asked questions and accepted invitations…

6) It’s Good news! (8:35)
The Message of Jesus is the best news. It’s not advice or tips… it’s what we’ve all been longing for. It’s what humanity thirsts for. There would have been joy in that first-century limousine as Philip had the privilege to share – and the Ethiopian heard – such good news!

7) It’s about Jesus! (8:35)
The heart of it all is the person of Jesus. It is not about a group or an idea. It’s about Jesus – God come here – who died, rose and will return in glory… who waits to rescue the one who calls on His Name.

Let’s pray for each other and our town as we continue to listen in stereo, ask questions and accept invitations… and share the good news about Jesus.

– Andy Mayo

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