Jonathan D. Stephens


Meet Them Where They Are



Meet them where they are:

Jim Rayburn, the founder of Young Life, was a seminary student and part-time youth minister in Gainesville Texas and realized that he was having a hard time attracting “un-churched” kids to his youth group. His response, show up at the high school directly across from his church and meet kids “where they are” instead of hoping they would come to him. Worked then, still works today.


In the Fall, Hope Community Church held a Pinterest Party at the Stir Lounge in Raleigh. The idea was simple, the Women’s ministry encouraged the ladies of Hope to invite their friends and family to a fun and entertaining night out on the town. As a result, over 300 ladies showed up. They experienced fun, glitter, food, and great conversation. The reality is that the Women’s ministry was able to encounter an entirely unreached group of women in their community by meeting outside of the traditional church environment.

Of course the idea of “meeting people where they are” can easily be applied in the world of ministry. This is the model Jesus himself set in John 4 where he avoided the safe and well known path from Judea to Galilee.  Instead, he traveled directly through Samaria…a path most Jews of that time avoided. The result, Jesus had a unique encounter with a woman others avoided. John 4:39 tells the rest of the story.

How can this model be applied in the Marketplace?

  1. Be Proactive – Are you pursuing your customers or are you waiting for them to come to you? If you want to catch whales, you have to know where to fish. You certainly can’t expect them to show up right in front of you.
  2. Be Brave – Are you making the effort to go where others are not willing to go to meet your customers? Step out of your comfort zone.
  3. Be Sincere – How do you view your customers and employees? Are they a mean to an end? Show concern for doing what is best for your customers; invest in the lives of your employees. You just may find out that they too may tell the rest of the world about you.

How are you applying the mantra of “meeting others where they are” in your workplace?

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