BLESSERS VS. CONVERTERS
A doctoral thesis titled: “Blessers versus Converters” studied two teams of missionaries that both went to Thailand with two distinctly different missional strategies. The first team, “the converters” went with the sole intention of converting people or evangelizing everyone around them. The second team, “the blessers” went with the intention of “blessing” people. They would say, “I’m just here to bless whoever comes my way.” OR “I just want to be a blessing to the people in my community.”
The study followed them for a couple years and here is what they discovered:
- First of all, they discovered that that the “blessers” had a greater social impact than the “converters.” This proved out that the first teams’ intention of blessing the people and the community around them resulted in tremendous amounts of “social betterment and social good.”
- Secondly, and perhaps most surprising, was they discovered that the first team of “blessers” also had almost 50x as many conversions as the “converters!” The “blessers” helped 50 times more people find their way back to God!
Bottom line: The best way to accomplish the Jesus mission of reaching and restoring is to be a “blesser!”
Using the acronym of B.L.E.S.S. you can use this blessing strategy, summarized in 5 missional practices, to Love Your Neighbor(hood):
B – Begin with prayer
Another way to remember this is to always talk to God about your friends/neighbors before you talk to your friends/neighbors about God! Pray, by name, for your neighbors – asking God, “How do you want me to bless and add value to my neighbors today?”
L – Listen
Genuinely listen to the needs of our neighbors and neighborhoods. If there is one way the Church could better it would be to become better listeners. While our first inclination might be to feel like we always need to “say” something, more frequently being a great listener will lead to greater influence and impact.
E – Eat together
Sharing meals and practicing hospitality is key in creating strong relational connections. The commitment to “barbeque first”, before inviting friends to church or even to a deeper conversation, is a great way to invest time in the lives of people.
S – Serve
Small acts of service done consistently over time will make an impact. Find ways to demonstrate God’s love in practical ways – with no strings attached. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
S – Story
Knowing someone’s story changes everything. Take time to hear others’ story and share your story as well. Stories go a long way to connect people heart to heart.