Relationships are the primary conduit for the Christian faith.
- Not churches.
- Not Christian programs.
- Not pastors.
- But the relationships we share with others.
We all have casual relationships.
- The person who cuts your hair.
- The checkout person at the grocery store.
- The bank teller who waits on you.
- The waitress where you eat lunch after church, at least ten Sundays each year.
Casual relationships can become divine appointments. A divine appointment occurs when the person in the casual relationship opens up with an out-of-ordinary event:
- The joy of a son graduating from university.
- A spouse, suffering from the flu.
- A change of jobs.
- The death of someone close.
- A financial challenge.
Think about cultivating a relationship. My wife and I often eat at Maria’s Restaurant after church. We practice offering prayer for waiters and waitresses wherever we go. Maria’s is no exception. We usually have one waitress and we ask to be seated in her area. Her name is Brenda. We simply say, “Brenda, we’re going to pray for this meal, anything we can pray for you, anything at all?”
Most Christians would be shocked to learn the receptivity level of most of those among your casual relationships—including waiters and waitresses.
(If someone says, “No, I don’t pray for myself,” or, “I’m an atheist,” we simply say, “That’s okay, anything we can pray for you anyway?” Believe it or not, most people give you something to pray for! What kind of an atheist is that? You never know!
This is one way to cultivate casual relationships. Now, when we go to Maria’s, we’re always looking for Brenda. We even wait for a table in her area.
Brenda, for us, has moved from a casual waitress relationship to a regular close relationship. We’ve learned a lot about her life, her challenges and her joys. She is not just a waitress. She is a friend. You know what? We don’t even know her last name! It doesn’t matter. God does!