Hanging Out With Sinners
"When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, 'Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.' So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, 'He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner'" (Luke 19:5-7).
Jesus modeled four things when He lived on the earth that allowed Him to impact other people's lives. I call them the Four B's of transformation.
First, he built a relationship with them. In the marketplace, it is rare that you can impact a person without building a relationship first. The old saying, "People don't care what you know until they know that you care" is especially true in the workplace. Jesus modeled this in His life every day of his public ministry.
The second thing Jesus did was he blessed them. He tried to meet a physical need they had. Many times he healed them first, then told them to go and sin no more. He listened to their concerns.
The third thing Jesus did was He began praying for them. He often prayed for deliverance for a person that was demon possessed. He prayed they would know the Father. He prayed for Lazarus to come back from the dead.
Finally, the fourth thing Jesus did was He Brought the Kingdom of God into their lives. He invited people to believe in Him as the Savior of the world and to partake of eternal life.
I decided to test this model with an acquaintance. I intentionally refused to talk about Jesus to this person until I had accomplished the first three steps in my relationship with him. After I had fulfilled the first three steps, I presented Christ to my friend. He received Christ immediately because the soil was prepared and he was ready to receive.
As you consider your ministry at work, consider these four stages of relationship building before you present Christ to others. You will find the fruit of this process will be great.