04 Mar How Corestrengths Can Help You Share Jesus More Effectively
You may think it is a stretch to conclude that SDI can help you share your faith with other people, but I have found that to be absolutely true. It makes sense that if I understand what is most important to another person, I will be able to present Christ to them more effectively. Jesus Christ is the answer to every single need and longing we strive after. We usually pursue substitutes for the real thing. For instance, we long for security, but we go after money instead of Jesus. What if we listened carefully to the hearts of people to hear what they long for so we can present Jesus as the one who can meet that longing in all its fullness?
The Lord has been so gracious to me this past week as I have been getting to know so many new people while travelling. While swimming in the community pool (sorry to those who are in the cold wintery weather right now) or soaking in the hot tub, I have been engaging with people that I am meeting for the first time. It doesn’t take long for people to start sharing about what is most important to them. Usually, it begins with their disappointments. Complaints are an expression of failed expectations and desires. There is no shortage of those! As I listen carefully, I can hear the longing for Jesus. No, they don’t use his name or reference him (except through cursing) but they are desiring the very things Jesus came to offer.
As a long-term facilitator of Corestrengths, I have found a shortcut to discovering what is most important to people so I can present Christ as the answer to those longings. The SDI triangle is a picture of three priorities – People, Performance, and Process. If you have taken the SDI 2.0 you know that that triangle teaches us so much about what a person values, prioritizes, and what is most important to them. Why not use that same knowledge to identify how to approach a person with the Gospel? The Gospel is a multifaceted diamond that has a unique beauty no matter what angle you gaze at it. Identifying someone’s MVS (Motivational Value System) is key to sharing Jesus in just the right way that they can most relate.
I wrote a book entitled, Three Passions of the Soul that relates the SDI triangle to the three basic needs of the soul. When I am sitting in the hot tub, and I hear someone begin to talk about anxiety about the economy and the security of their family, I recognize the longing to be safe and secure. Security is ultimately only found in Christ. Money and riches only bring more worry – worry that you will lose it in the market, or the economy will crash. In other words, security has many substitutes or idols. The real security in anyone’s life is when we know the love of the Christ who gave his life for us. He promises that nothing can separate us from his great love.
If I perceive that a person is motivated by process and their priority is to have life ordered to be safe, and they are detailed and want to know facts, I have insight in how to present the truth of the Gospel to them more effectively. I am going to highlight my testimony about God’s protection and the power of the resurrection to overcome any enemy. I will give details in Scripture so they can see the evidence of what I am testifying. I might even give an apologetic as they typically don’t accept a singular testimony as valid. Because they like to do their own research, I might even give them a couple books to read of skeptics and the rationality of faith. These are deeply rational people who are trying to figure out the world.
Ultimately, we know that only the Holy Spirit can awaken people to faith, so I will present the Gospel in a way that will be most accessible for them and trust God to do his work. Knowing how they are wired and what kind of information is most important to them helps me to do this well.
If the person in the hot tub is energetic, talkative, and tells lots of stories filled with emotion, I would take a very different approach to being a witness. If I determined that there was a priority on relationships and people, I would talk about the relationship that I have with Jesus. I would speak about the love of Jesus and how I have experienced it throughout my life. Rather than giving detailed books and apologetics I would tell stories and share experiences. I would take a more existential approach rather than an empirical approach to declaring the marvels of the Gospel. Perhaps this is why the Gospel of John tells long stories fill with emotion. John was most likely a BLUE MVS (Motivational Value System) and he gravitated to these stories because they moved his own heart.
Introducing this person to other people who are followers of Christ might also help them to experience the fellowship of Christ that could be theirs. Build a deep relationship with this person by openly sharing your deepest emotions and how Christ has met you there. Speak about the love of Christ. Jesus is the only person who offers unconditional acceptance and that is what they are looking for in life.
If the person in the hot tub spoke mostly about their achievements and what they have done in life, I might conclude that there is a lot of RED MVS – focus on getting significance from their accomplishments. Often these people are highly accomplished because they give their all to overcoming obstacles at any cost to reach their goals. Recognize that what they are looking for in life is to experience significance in the eyes of others. They don’t want to be invisible, and they want their life to count for something. The problem is that significance through successful business or the accumulation of wealth is empty. We were not created for that so it will never satisfy. You will need to always have more and climb a higher mountain. But when you finally arrive you discover that it didn’t satisfy and now you must climb higher with the hopes the next ridge will give you what you are seeking.
God created us with the need for significance – purpose. Our purpose is to love God and enjoy his forever. We were created to reflect the character of God to our world (Imago Dey). Our purpose is to be a worshipper and to live for God’s glory. Finding our real purpose and the meaning of life is what RED MVS is looking for even though they may not be conscious of it. For this person I would take a totally different approach of testifying Jesus to them. I would focus on the meaning and purpose of life. What makes life worth living? How have I found meaning? Where have I chased dreams hoping it would satisfy but found when I got there it was fleeting and evaporated? By asking questions and sharing my own experiences I would relate to their journey and then share the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ with them and how I have experienced the greatest purpose – a purpose that will last for eternity.
We are all a mixture of these soul needs and MVS motivations. We can relate to all of these people if we take some time to process our own experiences with Christ. Dr. James Kennedy used to teach that we need to be prepared to share a “slice of life testimony” when we tell people about Jesus. A slice of life testimony is not telling your whole life’s story, but rather a story that helps people see how Jesus met just one need in your life. I would recommend that we prepare a minimum of three slices – one for each major MVS and soul need (Acceptance/BLUE, Significance/RED, and Security/GREEN). Ask God for discernment as to what the person He has put in your path is struggling. Then give a witness to our Savior and how he meets us in that deep soul need and longing.
If you want to take a deeper dive into understanding the three passions of the soul so you can witness more effectively, you might want to read Three Passions of the Soul. You might also want to pursue a workshop on Relational Intelligence through Consentia Group as we help you to connect the SDI 2.0 to the Scriptures. Remember that we are not called to convert people to Jesus, but to be a witness. A witness is someone who testifies about Jesus. That is our wonderful calling. I invite you to join with Jesus in what he is doing in the lives of people he has put in your path – or hot tub!