Be a Link in the Chain...

Links in a Chain - Easy Ways to Touch the Lives of Others

Jesus told his disciples (that includes us) to preach the Good News. Most of us aren’t preachers—we don’t have the skills or training. However, every time we talk to pre-Christians about God’s presence in our lives the Holy Spirit uses the conversation to nudge that person toward salvation. We don’t have to convert everyone we talk to, but we can help the process along. We can be a link in the chain of encounters that may ultimately lead someone to accept Jesus as their savior. We may never find out if the people we touch ultimately accept Jesus, but we’ll feel good in the knowledge that we’re making God happy.

One of the easiest ways to reach out to others is by doing random acts of kindness (see the list below) followed by telling the person, “God loves you.” (Keep in mind that God Bless You is not the same thing as God Loves You.)  If they seem interested in talking about God you could invite them to church, or offer to pray with/for them. Ask, “How can I pray for you?”

Most Christians are terrified of evangelizing. We don’t know what to say, and we’re afraid of making a mistake or being judged. I know this because I’m one of those Christians. The process here is designed to help us overcome our fears by making it easy to reach out to others.

The Challenge

I invite you to join my “Links in a Chain” movement—commit to doing one random act of kindness, followed by “God loves you”, each week. (Saying “God loves you” is the critical step in the process! If this is scary or feels awkward practice saying it to safe people in your life: relatives, friends, and people at church. ) That’s all we ask, although you may also consider:

  • If you have a Facebook account, we invite you to “like” and follow our page at www.facebook.com/BeALinkInTheChain

  • Look over the conversation starters below to see if you’d feel comfortable using any of them. Commit to trying at least one of them. The only way we grow is by stepping outside our comfort zone. If you find this stressful, ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” Ask God to give you the right words.

  • Get your kids involved. When they ask why, tell them there are many reasons:

    • God tells us to.

    • It makes us more like Jesus.

    • It makes the world a better place.

    • It reminds other people that God loves them.

    • It’s an opportunity to invite others to church.

    • It makes us feel good inside.

Try this for one month. Put it on your calendar; make it a family or small group project. I think you’ll get as much out of the experience as the people you’ve blessed, and will want to continue after the month is over. Note: donating to a charity is great, but this program focuses on making direct contact with someone who needs to hear the words "God loves you".

Acts of Kindness

  • Volunteer at a mission, soup kitchen, or other charity. If you plan on bringing your kids, call first to make sure it’s okay. Ronald McDonald House is child-friendly.

  • Make a big batch of cookies, then go down to the Mission area and hand them out. Say “God loves you” to each person.

  • When you see someone you don’t know at church, reach out to them. Ask if they’re new, and invite them to sit with you (even if they aren’t new to the church). Offer to buy them a cup of coffee.

  • Ask someone if they need prayer.

  • Collect coats, etc. for the local homeless shelter. Put notes in the pockets that say God loves you.

  • Make earrings for organizations that help struggling women. (Attach a card from your church, or one that says God Loves You).

  • Donate gifts and cards to a women’s shelter for Mother’s Day, Christmas, or birthdays. The gifts can be either for the women or for their children.

  • Support an Angel tree at Christmas. Include an age-appropriate bible with the gift.

  • Help a neighbor with weeding, mowing, shoveling snow, or cleaning house.

  • Offer to help anyone who is struggling with small children or a heavy load.

  • Go to a park or public area and ask the Holy Spirit if there’s anyone who needs prayer. Be sure to ask Him for the right words!

  • Invite others to church, Sunday school, or small group.

  • Make welcome cards for church visitors.

  • Give inspirational cards to panhandlers and the homeless. 

  • Put together survival kits for the homeless and people asking for money: gloves, hat, wipes, toothbrush and toothpaste, tissues, etc. Package in self-sealing bags and keep one handy in your car. Don’t forget to include a note.

  • Pay for the person behind you in line, be it a cup of coffee, the fee at the tollbooth, or a meal at a fast-food place. Have the attendant or cashier tell the person God loves them.

  • Be a good listener. Everyone you meet has a problem they’re struggling with.

  • Help a co-worker with a project.

  • When someone does a good job for you, go out of your way to tell their supervisor. Many companies have a reward program for employees who get positive feedback.

  • Put out cold drinks for your sanitation workers.

  • Visit a nursing home and find out which residents never get visitors. Spend some time with them.

  • If you eat out on a holiday, be sure to leave a generous tip. Your waitress isn’t working on Christmas because she wants to.

  • Thank the person who cleans the restrooms at your work, or at any public facility.

  • Go to a used bookstore and buy a bible (they cost $2-3). Leave it in a waiting room.

Conversation Starters

  • Where do you worship?

  • If you could ask God anything, what would you ask?

  • Do you believe in God? Why or why not?

  • How well do you know God?

  • What do you think heaven is like? How do you know if you’ll get in?

  • Share the story of your own journey—how you became a Christian. Personal stories are very powerful.

  • Share why you like your church.

  • If someone (even a stranger) looks distracted or stressed, ask if you can pray with them. If they decline, tell them you’ll still pray for them.

Ideas for Kids

  • Never laugh at someone else.

  • Talk to the new kid at lunch.

  • Stand up for someone being picked on. Don’t get into a fight, but encourage the victim to walk away.

  • Put notes of encouragement into random lockers.

  • Be respectful to everyone.

  • Organize a teddy bear drive for homeless children. Attach a note to each bear that says God Loves You.

  • If you knit, crochet, or sew, make baby blankets or hats.

  • Forgive people who are unkind.

  • Say you’re sorry when you accidentally hurt someone’s feelings.

  • Try the conversation starters above.