Am I the only one who has felt burnt out at times from the challenging task of reaching out to those who are far from God? Am I the only one who gets exhausted when seeking to find opportunities to share the hope of Jesus? I can become overly ambitious and think I am going to change the whole world in just a few weeks by hard work and concentrated effort. Unfortunately, what I have found is that these efforts aren’t effective, they aren’t sustainable, and they aren’t reproducible.

So, how can we have an effective ministry to the lost where we live? I was struck when I was reading the story of the tortoise and the hare to my daughter, because I realized that this is a tremendous ministry principle, as well. We must be slow and steady, practicing sustainable and reproducible methods if we want to “win the race.”

Here are three things I’ve found that I can do on a weekly basis to cultivate relationships with people who are far from God and share the hope of a relationship with Jesus:

  1. Eat at the same restaurant or go to the same coffee shop. Try to make it a weekly practice to go there and spend time building relationships and sharing the love of Jesus.
  2. Become a conversation partner with an international student. In Columbus we have many Saudi students that are eager to make American friends, but not many Christians who are willing to meet with them. We also have many Chinese students at Ohio State that long to build a relationship with an American and practice their English. You can get started today!
  3. Pray for the people in your community, asking God to open doors for new relationships where you can share the Gospel. Be consistent in prayer for opportunities and God will surely answer that prayer, giving you new places to get plugged in.

If you start making these habits a part of your life, God will surely give you opportunities to be a witness to those who are far from God. If you need help getting started, let me know and I would be glad to come alongside you in this endeavor!

Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Get started today by implementing these simple practices and trust God to use you for His glory among the nations!

Dustin Speaks is the Mission Mobilization Pastor. He and his wife, Lauren, arrived in Columbus in the fall of 2012, after several initial ministry experiences. Dustin previously served as an associate pastor in South Dakota and as a missionary to university students in Berlin, Germany. Dustin studied history at Ohio University, where he met Lauren, and was involved in campus ministry with Cru. After graduation, the Speaks went to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Chicago) to complete a degree in Intercultural Studies. He enjoys playing nearly all ball sports—basketball, golf, and soccer are his favorites. Dustin and Lauren have three young children.