Discover how to evangelize your workplace with prayer.
For many of us, evangelism in the workplace is completely off-limits, but is there a way around this? In this episode of Man Talk, Vince Miller is joined by Dan Clites, Director of Church Ministry Development at LCMC and planting pastor who coaches planting pastors across the country. Today we hear Dan’s thoughts on sharing our faith without being in someone’s face.
Vince: This is Resolute, and Man Talk. I am Vince Miller, your founder, and host. And today we’re looking at how to engage in prayer evangelism as a man.
Gentlemen, welcome to Man Talk, by Resolute. If this is your first time tuning in, well thank you for joining us. Here at Man Talk, we discuss every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 15 minute topics relevant to Christian men. This is because, at Resolute, it is our mission to disciple and develop men to lead. So never forget, if you’re looking for content for a men’s group or a men’s ministry – then you need to go to our website today, at beresolute.org.
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Well, I am excited to introduce to you, today – my good friend, Dan Clites – who oversees ministry development for LCMC. Dan has served as a church planter, lead Pastor, and Pastor for over 20 years. And today trains and equips church planners across the country. Before graduating from Luther Sem in 1995, Dan worked 9 years in television sports reporting in North Dakota. Dan, welcome to the show.
Dan: Thanks, Vince. It’s – you know what? It’s my understanding that you are celebrating another year of life.
Vince: Oh yeah, every day.
Dan: Yeah, exactly. So happy birthday.
Vince: I know you’re referring to my birthday, thank you.
Dan: Yeah, yeah.
Vince: I’m going to be 25. It’s really good.
Dan: Yeah, me too.
Vince: Again, I love it.
Vince: Well Dan, I am so excited to have you with us. And I’m so excited for the men to hear from you. Because I know that you’re a guy who has a strong passion for prayer. But you have also found a way to help guys to understand how to use prayer evangelism as a means of advancing conversations about Jesus Christ. You talk about these 4 biblical principles of prayer evangelism that you found in Luke chapter 10, verses 1 through 9.
Vince: And I would love for you to give us a little preview of what that looks like.
Dan: Hey, you know what, I think one of the things that a lot of guys are longing for, is a sense of a, “I feel like a hero.” Or, “I want to be a superhero.” Up until last year, I thought I was Batman, right? And we want to be a superhero to our wives and our kids and our neighborhoods. People had work. But I say, let’s become hero makers. In other words, let’s become contagious. So as I speak into–
Guys, around the country, when I travel, and I talk to– Especially I love talking to millennials, I really do. It’s the sense of – to build them up, to encourage them, to impart to them, to coach them, to mentor them. To see themselves as hero makers. And Jesus understood that when he downloaded into his disciples early on, a blueprint from God. He said, “Really, do this – because the creator has created you to practice these 4 steps. And in doing so, you will become a hero or a hero maker. Or better yet, a world changer.” Guys love to hear that. So prayer is not passive.
Dan: It’s a connection to the creator of the universe. So it’s not something we do when everything else fails. It’s something we do when we really want to exceed anything that the world can ever offer. And evangelism – you say that word to folks, and they scream and run the other way.
Vince: Yeah, that’s true.
Dan: ‘Cause they always picture guys up on soapboxes, on the corner of First and Second Street Downtown, waving a Bible yelling, “Repent you brute of vipers or you’re going to hell.” Or something like that. And Jesus never did that. Instead, he shows us a natural, a God-given, more relational way of discipling a man, women, children – and how to walk in the power and the authority of Jesus. And it comes to us from Luke, chapter 10, verses 1 through 9.
Vince: Okay, I am fired up right now. ‘Cause I’ve got to tell you – I want to be a world changer. And I think most men out there want that too, right?
Dan: They do.
Vince: And you have encountered that. So walk us through these 4 biblical principles.
Dan: Very good. Well, step number 1 – open up your Bibles to Luke chapter 10, verses 1 through 9. About verse 5, Jesus says, “The first thing you do–” Now, take note, “The first thing you do is – I want you to speak peace. I want you to bless and not blast.” And I used to be the champion of blasting things. And every once in a while, I still catch myself. You drive past a school or a business, and you go, “That business, they’re ripping me off.” Or, “That school, that coach didn’t do my kid right.”
And it’s like throwing up against the wind. And the only one that’s hurt is you. You’re the one who smells like vomit, if you will? And then you wonder why you feel like you stink all day. Well instead of blessing, how about – or blasting – how about blessing. Just the opposite. Because that’s what Kingdom work is. The opposite of what we want to do in the flesh.
Dan: And so–
Vince: So some of that is a mindset, it sounds like, right?
Dan: Oh, it’s all a mindset. It’s all a– Roman’s chapter 12 and 2. “Stop conforming to the ways that the world says to get back at people or make a change. Instead, why don’t you tap into the power source of God?” So when we speak peace, we’re speaking the name of Jesus. And it’s like a sword. And the sword is not to hurt people, but it is to cut through the darkness. So when you’re blessing, instead of blasting – when you’re speaking peace, you’re driving out anything that’s demonic. Spiritual squatters, if you will – who are sitting in our schools, on our government sector, in our marketplace business area. And they pretend like they own the place
Dan: But Jesus owns the place. But you simply need to remind those demonic that they don’t own it, they’re gone. When you do that, light pushes out darkness. This is something you can’t see in the flesh. You can see in the spirit realm. And you’re pushing out darkness, and – hear this guys – you’re giving yourself a home court advantage.
Vince: That’s good.
Dan: Now you can move to the next steps.
Vince: So you’re saying – these guys that are going to their places of business today – that they see their place as a place that they bless, and change their mindset on how they’re going to approach it. And not be scared of evangelizing through prayer – by beginning by blessing the place that they’re walking into today. By not seeing it as the enemy of Christ, by seeing it as something that Christ has created – including the people, the business, the process – the whole thing, and speaking a blessing into it.
Dan: Absolutely. And then I ask guys – can you see yourself as the Pastor of your workplace? And they go, “No, I didn’t go to seminary.” You go, “No, no, no, no. Don’t wreck it like that. You are the Pastor there. They may not recognize you as the Pastor–”
Dan: But you see yourself. And so you’re there to be an ambassador to Christ. It changes the atmosphere. People say, “Gosh Vince, you – there’s something different about you, there’s” And I always tell guys, “Live a questionable life.” And they think, “Well that’s – my mom – mom always told me not to do that. That was a bad thing.”
Dan: “Don’t live a questionable life.” But no, no – live a life where people say, “What’s going on in you? There’s something different about you, there’s”
Dan: “You’re attitude – when the boss is such a negative guy, you speak peace and blessing.” They won’t say that, but they say, “You’re just the opposite of that.”
Dan: And it draws the attention to – there’s something different about you, which leads us to step number 2.
Vince: Yeah, walk us through. What’s step 2?
Dan: Well Jesus says, “Don’t go jumping from house to house.” What he’s saying in the context of our world today is, “Don’t go jumping from sphere to sphere, just thinking you’re doing some kind of program.” Or grab someone and say, “Do you know Jesus? Well here’s a pamphlet. Read this, and I’ll come back and pray for you later.” He’s inviting us to be in a relationship. An ongoing, everyday – not a program, but a lifestyle of just hanging in there with people.
Because, again – let’s say you work in an office setting. And every day, you’re treating people in a different kind of way. Why? Because you opened up your own life when you walked into that sphere of influence, and you blessed and you spoke peace. And the transformation always begins in you. I know I need that. It begins in me.
And then suddenly now, people that thought, “You Christians are so judgemental,” or, “Don’t ramrod your religion down my throat.” You hear that all the time. They’re now asking you, “What’s the hope that you have?” And then they’ll say something like, “Is it a self-help book,” Or, “Are you watching Oprah?” And, “No, no, no. I’ve been hanging out with the one who calls himself the bread of life.” And they’ll say, “What are you talking about, the bread of life? And it – the question, the question they ask you, allows you to be able to talk about your faith. Develop that relationship of trust. So important. Get away from inviting guys to another program.
Dan: But invite them into a relationship first.
Vince: Okay, so what we begin to do here is we develop a mindset in that environment for the people that are there. Do less compartmentalizing our life–
Vince: And look at life as a whole. Long-term relationships over a long time.
Vince: Lots of seeds planted in hearts over that time. And then stop thinking about people as just human beings in passing. There are people to be ministered to over a period of time, looking and awaiting an opportunity, right?
Dan: Correct, Vince. And they’re not a project.
Dan: No one wants to be someone’s project.
Vince: The typical evangelism would view people that way, right? As like–
Dan: As a task.
Vince: I’m trying to – you’re a task, I’m trying to check off.
Vince: I’m trying to convert you. No, no, no. I’m trying to learn from you, just as much as you’re trying to learn from me. And yes, I’m going to pass on a very valid message to you. But you’re not a project.
Vince: You’re a brother, right?
Dan: Exactly. Otherwise, it’s 10:01 works, righteousness – rather than a discipling relationship. Exactly.
Vince: Okay. Step 3. Walk me on.
Dan: Step number– Well now you’ve been blessing, you’ve – pushing out darkness. This is a spirit realm thing. You’re gaining a home court advantage. You’re developing relationships of trust. Now you’re able to move into where Jesus says in verse 7, “I heal the sick, who are there.” And right away, when we think of sickness, we think of – usually physical sickness, as bad as that is.
Dan: But there’s also different kinds of sickness. There’s motivational sickness. Like, “What’s the use, I’m a loser anyway. Nothing ever goes well for me. I’m not making it.” There’s relational sickness. Where you’re – maybe you’re having problems at home with your spouse, your kids, with the boss?” There’s financial sickness. Where no matter what you do, you just never seem to make ends meet. But the worst sickness of all – and most people in our culture don’t know this, is spiritual sickness. You don’t know that Jesus is your hope.
Dan: He’s your hope that exceeds everything else. So – again, when you develop that relationship in step 2 – now you can– And people are talking about their issues. You can say, “Can I pray for you?”
Dan: I’ve done that at restaurants. I say, “Can I pray for you?” I’ve had one guy one time said, “Nope.” And he went away back to the kitchen. He comes back and says, “You know what? You can.” It took him a while to think about that, ’cause he had never been asked that before.
Dan: And then, you know what? You ask him questions. You try to develop that relationship – even though it might be short term – unless you go back to that same restaurant and see that same person again. And you pray for that person.
Vince: See, I like this. Because I have always said that ministry is really – has a lot to do with the presence at the right time.
Vince: And people experience pain. And presence at the right time, combined with pain or need or some tension or crisis or whatever it is – a problem in their life. Gives us an opportunity for Christian men, to lean into that issue and to love them. And to show them the love of Christ. And man – we need to keep our eyes open for pain in people’s lives, right?
Dan: Precisely. And if you were to say to them, “I know it’s Wednesday, but bring that pain to Sunday morning worship.” They won’t show up, or they just–
Vince: Who cares?
Dan: Dismiss it. Right then and there, see yourself as their minister at that moment. That’s the idea of a missionary, versus just a temple dweller. To be sent.
Vince: Yeah, and you don’t need a major education to meet people and their pain, right?
Vince: We’ve all experienced pain. Like I’ve experienced pain, I know you have as well. And we each have these unique pains that God has given us in our life, and we can use that to minister to other people. We’ve just got to keep our eyes open, right?
Dan: In the book of acts, they couldn’t understand Peter, James, and John. They were walking in power. But goodness sakes, these are just fishermen – they’re ordinary men. But they realize that they had been with Jesus.
Dan: Yeah, see? Now they were ministers in the marketplace. They didn’t say, “Get off the lake, stop fishing and come inside – be inside the church building.”
Dan: He said, “I’m going to take you fishermen, and create you to be fisher of men.”
Vince: Men. There you go.
Dan: Stay in the marketplace.
Vince: Okay, give us that last principle. What’s the 4th?
Dan: Alright, and the last one is – Jesus simply says, “Ah, behold. This is the Kingdom of God. It has drawn near to you.” He didn’t say, “Go inside a church building, and go to a worship service.” And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing because that has its purpose and its place. But he was saying, “The power comes in 24/7 in the marketplace. Especially in your spheres of influence.”
Your home, your work, your hobbies. Look around, see people are blessing not blasting anymore. People are developing relationships. They’re not judging. And they’re healing. Or they’re meeting people’s felt needs. Generally, a person’s felt need may not be salvation initially. But that’s what they really need. Initially, what they might need is a friendship or someone to talk to, or someone that shows them that they can have a breakthrough or they have worth. From that, they say, “Tell me more about this God of Jesus Christ.”
Vince: Right, right, right.
Dan: So the Kingdom of God has drawn near to you. It is in the marketplace.
Vince: I love that. Okay, so real quick, give us the outline. What are the 4 steps again? The 4 principles of prayer evangelism.
Vince: They are–
Dan: From Luke chapter 10, verses 1 through 9. “I’ll bless and speak peace.” That comes from verse 5. Then move into, “Don’t jump from house to house.” Develop relationships where you’re at.
Dan: Trusting relationships. They move into healing. They can be supernatural healing, yes. Or it can simply be something as the presence of hope. Meeting someone’s felt needs. And the last step is – this is the Kingdom of God. And it’s not meant to be robot.
Dan: Like you don’t go around saying, “Have I done step 1 correctly yet?”
Vince: Right, right, right.
Dan: It’s like a song. It’s 1 and a 2 and a 3 and a 4. It’s a rhythm of life. Because the mission is a rhythm of life. It’s not an activity, it’s not a program. It’s a rhythm of life. So you don’t have to be bogged down in – have I done something correct yet or not?
Dan: And don’t go 4, 3, 2, 1.
Dan: Remember, God the creator of humans said, “The best way to do this is 1, 2, 3, 4.”
Vince: There we go. I love this. And I’ve got to say, Dan, this is a huge blessing to guys in the marketplace out there. If you are trying to figure out a way that your life can leave and leave a legacy with the people around you – you can be a hero and a world changer. You’ve heard a process today that you can apply to everyday life, by opening your eyes and engaging the environment around you.
Seeing it, and thinking about it differently. In 4 simple steps of just prayer evangelism. It’s walking into everyday life, looking for opportunities, speaking into them. And blessing the world around you that God created. That it’s his world. And gentlemen, I pray that you’ll go and be challenged today. And as you enter the marketplace – even your home or your neighborhood, that you would bless it with true evangelism that doesn’t see people as projects. It sees them as God’s creation. So guys, thanks so much for being with us again.
And that’s the show, thanks for listening. As we close, I want to remind you that we have great content for your men’s groups. Excellent small group videos and participant handbooks that will empower the men of your church to lead. Check it all out at beresolute.org/free-trial. That’s free dash trial. And yes, I will see to it that you get a free trial and a Resolute Men’s study guide to go with it.
So I hope you enjoyed this episode of Man Talk. But please know that the time that we spent together today is worthless unless you choose to act on it. So do something today – by getting off the bench, and into the game. And I’ll see you right back here next time for another edition of Man Talk.