How to disciple a total stranger (even though you may be terminally timid)…

I recently had a leaking main water pipe coming into our house and ended up selecting a company through an internet referral site.  The work they did was quite competent, but I couldn’t help but notice that one of the two plumbers, apparently the younger apprentice, seemed somewhat distracted and sullen.  He was also a bit disheveled, like he hadn’t slept well, nor shaved in a couple of days.  I often try to make a habit of offering water, coffee, etc. to workers, and I did, but his needs obviously went well beyond that.  Not knowing him from Adam, I asked if there was anything he’d like for me to pray for him.  He didn’t recoil or become defensive, but willingly shared that he had financial problems that worried him greatly.  Saying his name I promised I would pray for him and that problem in particular.  I also gave him a tract (which again is my habit, albeit the lowest form of witness, but effective if done with the right motive) and shook his hand.  When a new neighbor recently had a lawn irrigation emergency (leaking pipe, tree roots), I suggested the same company and the plumbing service was provided by the same two men.  So, I had a chance to follow up.  The same discipling approach can be used with waiters or waitresses.  After the meal is delivered to my table I sometimes will say, “I was about to say a brief silent prayer. Is there anything I can pray about for you?”  I have never had someone be offended or shocked by that question.  To the contrary, the server will often open up about a crisis or problem in their life.  In my experience they are very grateful that someone cares enough about them to offer to pray for them.  I have made a few friends for (eternal) life that way!  Well worth the “risk”.  Let love win out over fear.   (1 John 4:7-21).  You can disciple any stranger (or friend) in this manner.  If you are talking with them, it’s an opportunity for discipleship!

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