Well, here we are on day four of week six tackling a tool called the Oikos map. If you have not already read the material for this day, please hit pause, read over that material and then come back to this podcast.
My name is Joe Svoboda, and I am privileged to be sharing my heart with you on how to use this practical tool. You should know, I have used this tool for quite some time in both my personal life as well as in my discipleship of others.
Before we begin, however, there are a couple pieces that I want to encourage you not to compromise on. The first one is, make sure you ask God for the names of who He wants you to be focused on. I’ve seen many people leave it to the individual to come up with those names instead of asking God which, more times than not, leads to an abandonment of fulfilling what the tool is meant to accomplish. When you ask God for these names you are asking Him to entrust you with a responsibility. That responsibility will be to first, regularly pray for those individuals and, second, pursue connection with them. When it comes from the Lord, you must be ready to carry out what He is asking you to do. Which brings us to our second point.
The second thing is, to truly and genuinely consider whether or not you will be faithful in pursuing those names that God is giving you. Much like in the book of James when we are instructed to ask for wisdom, we’re told to do so without being double-minded. Here also, we are not to be double-minded when asking the Lord for these names. So please, search your heart of hearts and determine beforehand whether or not you are all-in before pursuing this exercise.
If you would like, you can pause the podcast here and ask God for five names of people you know who are far from the Lord that he wants you to regularly pray for and pursue.
Once you have your names you will then begin the journey of proactively pursuing them. What I would like to share with you are a few things to do in line with that goal.
First, plan times of regular contact. That can be in person, via text or email, or phone call. Whatever it is, put it on your calendar and follow through.
Second, commit to being genuine. Ask genuine questions and never hide your identity as a child of God.
Third, when you are praying for these individuals ask the Lord to give you good questions to ask them.
Fourth, ask the Lord to open doors of opportunity to love them and go deeper in relationship with them.
Fifth, ask the Lord to share things with you that would also speak to them. Be prepared to share those things the Lord is showing you when they ask things like,“how have you been?”.
Being intentional and being who God has made you to be is crucial to the effectiveness of this tool. Do not be apologetic for being a Christian. You would be better off living out the transparency of your identity in Christ than hiding it under the guise that they will accept you without it. If they accept you without a clear understanding of your Christian identity, then they will not turn to you when they need it the most. If they reject you based on your identity in Christ, then they will return to you when they need it the most.
I hope these few pointers and this tool that we have introduced here will serve you well in fulfilling your role as salt and light to the lost world around us.