In just THREE DAYS, I’ll have the privilege of beginning a lifelong marriage ministry with my very best friend, Eric Handley. (Welcome to the countdown!) The story everyone seems to want to know is … “how did you two meet?”
I’ve told the story at least a hundred times by now, but I can’t help but acknowledge that our first conversation could’ve ended in a number of different ways if effective communication hadn’t been a factor.
Recently, my good friend Samy Tanagho shared a story about when he was single and saw a beautiful American girl worshiping Jesus. Being from Egypt, he approached her rather intensely and introduced himself, “HI, MY NAME IS SAMY TANAGHO!” He proceeded to ask for her parent’s phone number. Taken aback, she asked what for?
“I want my parents to call your parents … because I think you are beautiful and you love Jesus and maybe we can talk and pray together about the possibility of discovering God’s will. Maybe we get married.”
In disbelief she questioned, “Marriage?!”
Can you imagine if you had been this forward when you met your spouse? Unfortunately we’ve all been there. We jump into a conversation and quickly realize that some forethought, planning, practice–cultural background–would’ve been nice. Whether your “how we met” story is with a spouse or a friend, first impressions are important in today’s society.
Some first impressions can lead you down the aisle (I’m so glad that’s true!). Others may lead to rejection. As believers, our calling means we want to be equipped to make the best possible first impression—for Christ. As we have increasing opportunity to interface with those of other faith—particularly some that are very foreign to us, many of us are looking for help on how to accomplish that effective communication in our first encounter. That’s exactly what Glad News for Muslims does every day in the 1:00 feature with Samy Tanagho!
To learn more about how you can initiate a conversation with a Muslim, contact Leah@ambaa.com. And if you have any “first impression” or “how you met a Muslim” stories, we’d love to hear them. Send it my way!