Opening the Door to Communication
Adapted from one of Moishe’s training lectures. Maybe you can adapt it for your own use . . .
How do we open communication on a first-time visit?
- Salute the other person. The word “salutation” is related to “salubrious,” which means good health, good feelings, good will. Use your opening words to show someone good will, and your interest in him or her as a person.
- Identify yourself. Depending on how I knew of the person, I’d say something like, “I’m Moishe Rosen. I’m a minister, and Mr. Smith, your grocer, told me that you two have had some interesting conversations on religion. He mentioned that you raised some questions that I might be able to help answer, and asked if I would drop by and maybe discuss them with you.”
The person will usually ask what church or organization you represent. I would say, “Well, the organization I serve with is one of the ones which is most misunderstood—Jews for Jesus.” They will often want to know why Jews for Jesus is misunderstood.
- Ask questions to show serious intentions. For example, “When Mr. Moskowitz was handing out pamphlets, you were one of the people who gave him your name and said you were willing to know more. Let me ask you this. What do you think of somebody standing on a street corner to hand out pamphlets about what he believes? Why do you suppose that Mr. Moskowitz was doing it?”
Such questions enable them to reflect on your serious intentions and get the conversation on point.
- Involve the person in a conversation about the Bible. For example, “Mrs. Ginsburg, you seem to know that we’re serious about spiritual matters. One of the things that makes us so is reading the Bible. Let me ask you this. Have you read the Bible? Do you own one? Is it nearby?”
Always use their Bible when possible; that’s the Bible they’ll trust. Lots of times you’ll open up their Bible and see it was given to them for a Bat Mitzvah or a Bar Mitzvah. Reflect on their personal history.
- Talk about the Bible. For example, “Mrs. Ginsburg, I really appreciate your allowing me to come to your home, and your kindness to me. I appreciate your open-minded attitude. Let me tell you about this Bible. If you knew what was in here, and what it could mean for you, you would want to read it every day. Most wise people became wise from knowing God, and really, did you ever stop to think how it matters whether or not you believe and know God?”
By now, communication should be open. The rest of the conversation will depend upon how you got the person’s name for the visit, and what they are willing to discuss. Often you’ll have an opportunity to tell them how you came to faith. The first visit should qualify their interest, and whether they are open to meeting with you again to study the Bible.