Repent and Turn Ministries

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The Interpersonal Style

Biblical Example:  Matthew in Luke 5:29

Theme Verse:  I Corinthians 9:22b (NLT)
I try to find common ground with everyone so that I might bring them to Christ. 


  • Relationally warm
  • Conversational
  • Compassionate
  • Friendship-oriented
  • Focuses on people and their needs


  • Beware of valuing friendship over truth.  Telling people they are sinners in need of a savior will test relationships. 
  • Do not get so involved in the process of building friendships that you forget the ultimate goal: bringing people to know Christ as Savior and Lord.
  • Don't get overwhelmed with the amount of needs your friends might have---do what you can and leave the rest to God.
  • NOTE FROM BRADRegarding friendship very careful not to wait too long before you talk to them about Christ.  It would be terrible to be focused on building a friendship with them, but before getting to speak to them about Christ, they die and spend eternity in hell. 

Suggestions for Using and Developing This Style

  • Be patient.  This style tends to work more gradually than others.  Look and pray for opportunities to turn conversations toward spiritual matters.
  • Continually create and plan opportunities to interact with friends and new people though social events, sports, etc.  This will put you in a place where your style can flourish. 
  • Practice telling the gospel message so you will be prepared when the opportunity arises. 
  • Team up with friends who have other styles that may be better matched to the personality of the person you hope to reach. 

Matthew's Interpersonal Approach

By any standard, he was an unlikely candidate.  Tax collectors just weren't known for becoming evangelists.  Yet that's exactly what happened to Matthew.  After accepting Jesus' call to become one of His followers, he decided to do whatever he could to bring along as many of his friends as possible. 

So, as we saw in Luke 5:29, he put a big banquet for all of his tax-collecting buddies in an effort to expose them to Jesus and the new life He offered.  Unlike those who utilize the other approaches we've examined, Matthew didn't confront or intellectually challenge them, nor is there any mention of his telling them the story of what had happened to him.  Those were simply not his styles. 

Rather, he relied on the relationships he'd built with these men over the years and sought to further develop their friendships.  He invited them into his home.  He spent time with them and ate with them.  He did all of this because he genuinely cared about them, and he wanted to influence them toward considering the claims of Christ. 

In the preceding chapters (of the book, "Becoming a Contagious Christian"), we've talked abaout the importance of building relationships.  As we've seen, the vantage point of friendship gives us the hightest possibility of influence in the lives of others.  Well, from my experience, those who have the interpersonal style of evangelism
specialize in this area.  They tend to be warm, people-centered individuals who enjoy deep levels of communication and trust with those they're reaching out to. 

And many people will never be reached until someone takes the time to build that kind of intimacy with them.  Maybe you're an interpersonal evangelist.  Do you enjoy having long talks over a cup of coffee with a friend your trying to reach?  Can you patiently listen to another person's concerns without rushing in to tell them what they need to do?  Do you enjoy having people into your home, sharing a meal, and spending time in conversation? 

Churches around the world need a lot more of their members to develop this kind of approach with their own friends and family members as well as the lost people in their wider communities. 

This information is adapted from the book and Participant's Guide, "Becoming A Contagious Christian", by Lee Strobel, Mark Mittelberg and Bill Hybels