Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Tactical Recon: Kingdom Promotion

Once you have a clear understanding of the issues that face your community you can begin to promote yourself within your community. Promotion is one of the tactics that will position you in your community as a knowledgeable and influential individual. At the outset it is important that you understand that when we speak of seeking self-promotion, we are actually seeking to promote Christ and a Biblical world view and not ourselves. 

Consider yourself the vehicle, or tool, for the Kingdom’s promotion. And so by promoting yourself you are actually promoting the Kingdom.

The Ultimate Goal

Your goal is to bring the knowledge of Scripture in an applicable form to bear upon the issues and policies of the day. This begins by situating ourselves so as to be visible. We promote ourselves only so we can gain access to areas and people in the community for the reorientation of the culture God-ward.  Whether we are seeking to position ourselves as family advocates, legislative critics or political activists, our goal must always be Kingdom focused.

A Delicate Balance

The promotion of one’s self can be a very tricky endeavor. On the one hand, you do not want to shy away from self-promotion in order to engage others in conversation for the purpose of Biblical discussion. On the other hand, you should never seek to promote yourself in an arrogant, proud or boisterous fashion just to get your point of view across. You must always maintain a Christian demeanor showing yourself as responsible and resourceful person tempered with kindness and patience. Integrity is the key, as is honesty, kindness and a sincere consideration for others. If you use Christ to promote your own personal agenda rather than the Kingdom’s you will quickly be found out as a hypocrite and your witness will soon be destroyed. Once that happens it’s almost impossible to recover. As soon as the hypocrite is revealed he or she will no longer be trusted.


Enthusiasm is another key component to promoting anything. If you are not enthusiastic you will never be able to engage others in your cause. Passion is essential to any endeavor.

Author of the “Shameless Self-Promoter” and marketing expert Debbie Allen explains,

Your mood affects your beliefs…Staying positive and enthusiastic is essential…A positive attitude along with a contagious enthusiasm will support your groundwork…

Introduce, Integrate, Initiate

In order to really make an impact in your community, you should look at every day as another opportunity to meet someone new. Introduce yourself to someone that you haven’t met previously. We tend to stay in our comfort zones of relationships. Sadly, that will never broaden our sphere of influence and it certainly will not have any positive effect on our work for the Kingdom. 

Once the proper introductions are made you can begin to integrate yourself into their life through either general conversation or perhaps later on in a more intimate discussion of ideas and philosophies. 

Once a deeper relationship is developed, which may take some time, you can proceed to initiate a 
discussion on how the Kingdom of God can be advanced. Be patient. Don’t rush into offering your ideas until you have listened to their ideas. Listening to others is one of the best ways to gain trust and respect. You cannot expect anyone to care about what you are saying until they know that you care about what they are saying.

Author Larry James puts it this way,

“You call attention to yourself by paying attention to others.”

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Tactical Recon: Concreteness

Most knowledge is abstract. Every thought begins in the mind as an abstract idea or notion. Abstract thinking is one of the unique characteristics of human beings created in God’s image and it is critical for the creation of concrete things.  Yet, when abstract thinking remains within the realm of the abstract world it loses its power. 

For example: When a child is taught that 2+2=4 he may understand the concept. He may even be able to add many numbers to one another in the abstract and even be able to perfectly understand the principle behind addition and subtraction. However, it is only when he understands through experience how addition and subtraction is applied to real life does he have true knowledge. 

The child quickly learns that if he has 2 dollars and another 2 dollars is added to
his original money, much more buying power is available. Conversely, he also learns that if he has 2 dollars and 2 dollars is taken from him, or he spends it, he loses his buying power. Only when the abstract knowledge of addition and subtraction is brought concretely into the child’s present reality does addition and subtraction become real. It is at that time that addition and subtraction have concrete ramifications to the life of the individual.

What makes the abstract concrete?

When the abstract can be experienced by the senses, in the real world, it becomes concrete. Only that which is concrete is actually measurable. Concreteness also becomes experiential while nothing in the abstract can. You cannot experience abstractness. You may be able to understand it, but you cannot experience it.

Case in point:

“Iowan elementary school teacher Jane Elliot once tried to explain the injustice of bigotry, racism and prejudice to her third grade students without much success. These were merely abstractions that these students did not understand. Even if they did understand bigotry and hatred it still remained in the abstract. In order to transform the abstract into a concrete reality she decided to conduct an experiment. 

Chip and Dan Heath explain in their book, “Made To Stick.” 1

She came to the class…with a plan: She aimed to make prejudice tangible to her
students. At the start of class she divided the students into two groups: brown-eyed kids and blue-eyed kids. She then made a shocking announcement: Brown-eyed kids were superior to blue-eyed kids. “They’re the better people in the room.” The groups were separated: Blue-eyed kids were forced to sit at the back of the classroom. Brown-eyed kids were told that they were smarter. They were even given extra time at recess. The blue-eyed kids had to wear special collars so that everyone would know their eye color from a distance. The two groups were not allowed to mix at recess. Elliot was shocked at how quickly the students turned into nasty, vicious, discriminating third graders. “It was ghastly” she said. “

Elliot then changed the rules. The next day she announced that it was actually the brown-eyed children who were inferior and not the blue-eyed children.

“This reversal of fortune was embraced instantly….as [the blue-eyed students] ran to place their collars on their lesser brown-eyed counterparts. On the day when they were in the inferior group, students described themselves as sad, bad, stupid, and mean….Even their performance on academic tasks changed….Elliot’s simulation made prejudice concrete – brutally concrete.” P112

Within the realm of Christian Reconstruction, concreteness is the only thing that really brings about change by making it real and measurable. One can contemplate deconstructing the public school system, for example, but without a concrete alternative to the concrete problem nothing can be achieved.

Authors Chip and Dan Heath also give this example:

“A V-8 engine is concrete. ‘A high performance’ vehicle is abstract.”

Concreteness can be defined as real people doing real things which are experienced in real life, and which are measurable in time and history. Simply put, concreteness is when specific people do specific things. When it comes to cultural renovation concreteness is the only valid answer to fulfilling the dominion mandate. Everything else is just abstract talk; head-scratching and pontificating.

Concreteness is what gives abstractness its power. It is the foundation of abstract thought. In fact, the abstract demands the concrete in order to bring it to life in the real world. Without the aid of the concrete the abstract is destined to die on the vine of empty theoretics.

The Heath brothers put it this way.

“Trying to teach an abstract principle without concrete foundations is like trying to start a house by building a roof in the air.”

Achievable Targets

Concreteness makes solutions attainable. It cuts through the confusion by
making the targeted end more visible and by putting the target in both an understandable and reachable framework. Once an abstract objective or strategy is put into a concrete tactical framework the brain is mobilized. Concreteness focuses the brain on exactly what needs to be done in order to bring to pass what was only conceptualized in the abstract. If the dominion mandate of Christian Reconstruction is to ever transition from the pure abstractness of discussion into the maturity of concreteness we need to begin thinking in terms of actually doing something. To think only abstractly is to accomplish nothing. To think concretely is to accomplish anything.

If you wish to discuss some concrete projects which you can begin in your community you can private message me via Face Book or via my email at pastor@hisglory.us.

1 Made To Stick by Chip and Dan Heath, Random House, New York, 2008

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Tactical Recon: Making Ideas Happen

Once we have developed a significant rapport with our community, and its leaders, by making ourselves visible and trustworthy, we can then begin to transition from the discussion of ideas to the implementation of those ideas. This is where the real work begins. It is far easier to discuss ideas and possibilities than it is to actually execute them. Once an idea “hits the street” the real vetting begins.


An idea doesn’t become a reality all by itself. Just because an idea is great doesn’t mean it becomes concrete ex nihilo. No idea can take on a life of its own out of nothing. Effort must be put forth for that idea to become a reality. This also holds true when it comes to Biblical solutions to real problems. Just because there is a Biblical solution to individual, family or cultural problems does not mean that those problems will be solved. In order for problems to be solved the solution must be applied. 

The CEO of Behance, Scott Belsky has it right.

“The misconception that great ideas inevitably lead to success has prevailed for too long. Whether you have the perfect solution for an everyday problem or a bold new concept for a creative masterpiece, you must transform vision into reality….having an idea is just a small part of the journey, perhaps only 1 percent of the journey”. 1


In order for you to transform your vision into reality, you first must set a goal. If you do not know what you are trying to achieve you can never achieve it. The goal must also be measurable. You need to know whether or not you have reached your goal. Secondly, that goal should be broken down into sub categories or measurable check points.  Check points help to either confirm our direction of redirect it. They become safeguards so that we do not waste time on efforts that are ineffective.


Every plan must be executed in an organized fashion. Organization is essential for success. There are dozens of organizing tools available today to assist in goal setting and organizational tactics. The list goes from old school “Day Planners” to high tech Smart Phone apps which can help plot your every move. Choose the one that is right for you. If it helps to organize your vision then use it. I use the rule of three for every project that I undertake.


The first question I ask is what three things need to be accomplished to reach my goal. For instance; if my ultimate goal is to introduce a policy change in the tax structure of my local community I need to figure out what three things I need to do to get that accomplished.

Perhaps I’d first want to build a relationship with a city councilman. Then I’d want to do some research on the tax structure and what the city budget is so I can see where cuts can be made. This might require building a relationship with the tax assessor’s office and the city treasurer.
The next step is to ask what three things need to be done each week to bring this to pass.
Then I’d figure out what three things I would have to do on a daily basis to bring about my desired end.

These are not usually the same three things since to accomplish any goal many things need to be done for its success. This requires organization and focus both of which provides a manageable and measurable structure for the execution of your ideas. The Rule of Three sets up the necessary “Action Steps” which must be executed to reach your desired goal.


Every idea should be approached as a project with a beginning and an ending point. It must be carefully organized and structured in such a way as to prioritize each element of the components of that project in such a way as to maximize its effect.

Scott Belsky has a formula for making Idea’s happen.

Making Ideas happen = ideas (as the catalyst) + Organization + Communal forces + Leadership capability.


In 1994 we had a goal of handing out 100,000 gospel tracts, which would be handed out throughout the New York City subway system during the evening rush hour commute home. It was both an ambitious and an incredibly challenging goal. The NYC subway system is huge, which meant that we not only needed volunteers to man the many underground subway stations, we had to have a well organized plan and everyone had to be familiar with it. This is where our communal forces and our leadership capabilities became very important.

First, we designated a room with a large wall-sized cork board. It was fondly referred to as “The War
Room”.  At the top of the cork board we placed the names of five designated “Team Leaders”, one leader for each of the five boroughs of NYC; Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. Each Wednesday, the Team Leader would bring a case of Gospel tracts to a central location within the subway station that he was assigned to. Under the names of the Team Leaders were other names. These volunteer were to meet the Team Leader with a back pack, fill it with tracts, and then disperse to their designated subway system. Once on the subway platform each member of the team would hand out tracts to those that were interested making sure that if any tracts were thrown to the ground they would clean up the mess. After only a very short time we had handed over 100,000 gospel tracts by using the NYC subway system.

The key to accomplishing that goal was organization, coupled with leadership and a community of willing volunteers. The idea of handing out 100,000 tracts had only become reality because it was organized as a project and then executed in real time by real people.

1 Making Ideas Happen, By Scott Belsky, Penguin Press, 2012 pg1

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tactical Recon: Intelligence Gathering

When we seek to build influential rapport in any community we must know the players of that community. A relationship with those that hold power and esteem in the community need to be developed.

Know the players and you can structure your interaction with them accordingly for the best possible outcome. 

Knowing the influential people in your community is the key to positioning yourself as a “shaker and a mover” (i.e. someone that can be trusted, with insight and integrity to get a job done) within that community.

Knowing the people in your community works both ways. They get to know you as you get to know them. This can be a tremendous benefit since your visibility may encourage them to reach out you for certain community projects or input. This is your goal. Position yourself as a community leader – or at least as a community “wise man”.

The Strategy

Simply by knowing people is not often enough to maintain contact and interaction with them. You
have to build a community data base. A community data base is simply a written list of influential community people with an area to include certain informational data to assist you in building a more intimate rapport with them.

The journal should include their name, where they work, their position, and any personal information that will assist you in developing a deeper relationship.

This journal should also include the time and date of each meeting and what was discussed. This will help you develop a time line whereby you can measure the depth and continuity of your rapport. Most importantly you should notate your impressions as to their religious and philosophical worldview. Once you know how they think you can craft a plan to educate them in the principles of God’s Law and how to apply them to the culture.


Most community leaders have had their pictures taken for the local newspaper, or for social media. When you build your journal may want to post their picture next to their name so that when you see them in the market place or during a community even you can recognize them and address them by name. 

You can also do this with non- community leaders. These photos can usually be accessed through their Face Book Page or some form of social media.

So often I am approached by someone in the grocery store that is familiar by face but I cannot place from where I know them. There is no context, which puts me at a disadvantage and I have to “fake it”. There’re familiar to me and I know I know them since they obviously know me, but I am at a loss since I have no reliable data to draw from. This is especially important with those in the communities who are influential but are less visible. Sometimes they are the ones who get things done – i.e. the town and county secretaries, court clerks, bank managers, store managers, town managers, city and town city workers, and of course the clergy.

Action Item

Start building your data base. For those of you who like to write things down, go out and purchase a note book or journal. Buy something ascetically pleasing. If you purchase an ugly notebook you may hesitate to use it. Get something you like and will use. Keep it in your car or in your briefcase, backpack, or glove box. This will keep it handy after making an important contact that you’d like to add to your data sheet. For those of you who are more “Techy” keep you smart phone ready to add your notes so that when you are at your laptop or PC you can log the info there. 

This makes posting pictures in the log easier since it is only a matter of cut and paste and you do not have to print and glue the photo into your journal. 

Purchase personal business cards. 

This can simply be a card with your name, contact info and a title if it is applicable. Make it a habit to liberally give away your card. By offering your contact info you are telling people that you are open to a call. It says I am offering myself to be involving in the community. By giving others your card you also encourage others to give you their card. This is the beginning of a relationship. As superficial as it may seem you never know how it may develop. That is how you begin your intelligence gathering.  

Now go and make some acquaintances. Build some influential relationships.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tactical Recon: Credentials

Credentials and Influence

We live in an age where credentials matter. Professional credentials are an indication that the individual holding those credentials has been educated, trained and tested as to their knowledge and proficiency in that particular discipline.

Credentials say to the outside world, “I have studied, been tried and tested, and have been found by other professionals proficient in my area of study whereby I am now to be considered an expert.”

If nothing else credentials prove that the individual has gone through a rigorous educational gauntlet and has proven himself worthy of the title conferred. Credentials open doors while the lack of credentials closes them. 

Simply put, if you have credentials you have power and influence in the community. Moreover, when an individual has credentials he also has respect among his professional peers. This is critical when seeking to position yourself within any community for the Glory of God.

No More Excuses

It seems as if in today’s modern age especially amidst some Christian circles credentials are frowned upon. These folks use 1 John 2:27 as their excuse.

“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you…”

Yet, this, however, does not mean that Christians do not need teachers and mentors. Nor does it mean that academic or profession letters after one’s name is superfluous and lacks meaning.  Nothing can be further from the truth.

Echoing Jeremiah, Paul explains;

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…   Eph 4:11-12

God tells Jeremiah that as a gift to His Church He raises up teachers for the maturation and unity of the Saints.

 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. 
Jer 3:15

Jesus Himself established the apostles as teachers when He commissioned them in Matthew 28.

And so, to reject the importance of being taught by notable teachers for the express purpose of becoming proficient in a skill amounts to rebellion caused by either laziness or misinformation, which will result in a lack of positioning power within the community.Teachers are a gift from God especially those who teach of the things of God. 

The duty of every saint is to be proficient  first in the doctrine of God so as to be notable teachers in the things of God. But when it comes to community influence, recognition by the general populace is essential and that recognition comes by way of credentials.

Credence and the Open Door

As a minister within our community I have enjoyed professional recognition among both my pastoral colleagues and the community at large simply because I am an ordained minister. In 2001 that may have been enough. In 2018 it is no longer the case. Letters among the clergy are almost a necessity if they are to be taken seriously by their peers and the general community. 

And so in 2004 I decided to go back to school (not an easy thing) to obtain my graduate degrees. That decision proved to be invaluable. I cannot stress enough how many additional opportunities God has brought to me simply because I had letters of academic proficiency after my name.1

With a professional testimony the individual can begin to interject his or her ideas of influence into many community areas. As professionals we can offer our services on a volunteer basis in order to “get a foot in the door” for greater opportunities. As professionals we can set ourselves up so as to be “called upon” for our professional analysis and recommendation dealing with sensitive cultural issues. This is the key to positioning. This is one of the concrete tactics of Christian Recon.

What to Do? Where to Begin?

1.    If you are able to go back to school do so. Get a degree in something of cultural value. Most of you reading this are Christians so you may wish to look into a theologically based degree. Christian counseling may be an area where you can start since there are many volunteer programs that can use that knowledge and skill. At our New Geneva College (newgeneva.us) we train our students in many areas from a Christian Recon position of community activism and service so they can be a driving force for CR. This is just one idea but there are many.

For further discussion on training and obtaining an academic degree you can write to me personally at pastor@hisglory.us

Several years ago I was asked to be an expert witness in a court case in Canada. What I learned was priceless. It seems as if the Canadians think very highly of individuals with professional degrees. I was told that if an American comes to Canada with “any” graduate credentials, i.e. PhD, ThD, M.Div. MACS, MAR etc, he or she will have no trouble getting employment in a very worthy position with an impressive pay scale.

At one point, in the very lengthy court testimony, I was asked for my opinion to which I responded, “Would you like my professional analysis on that?” To which the jurist answered, “That is the only reason why you are here. I want your professional opinion.” One of the lawyers for the family I was representing later told me later that the jurist had a very high regard for my credentials (any American credentials for that matter) and that is what swayed him to render a favorable decision in our behalf.

It was on that day that I fully realized what influence professional credentials have in the affairs of men.

2.   Volunteer to be placed on a county, city or town board. Those manning certain local governing boards have clout. These are the decision makers of the community. Rub shoulders with these people. Get to know them. Get them to know you but remember the principles of my previous blog recommendation about listening and building rapport.

3.    Volunteer at a local food kitchen or start one at your local church. Call the mayor to participate and any other governing officials. Ask them to assist. Call the local newspaper for coverage. Become visible.

4.    I’m sure there are family counseling centers in your area. Some might even be Christian based. This too is a great place to volunteer. We were involved in the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center for years. In this venue you get to impress upon these mothers the importance of having the baby and not aborting it. Use the time spent in that position as another serviceable skill in your resume as you continue building your credentials.

5.    The CASA volunteer program. These are the letters for Court Appointed Special Advocate. The CASA is a court appointed official whose duty it is to assists children who have been neglected or abused by their parents and who have been taken into the foster care system. This is usually in the case of severe parental substance abuse, sexual abuse and/or various traumatic events that place the child in a dangerous position. The CASA is the voice for the child and advocates for the child’s best interest hopefully working with various government, counseling and ecclesiastic entities to eventually  return the child to the parent, or if that is absolutely impossible to secure an adoption family for that child until the age of 18. This is a rigorous training program and should not be considered lightly. The rewards, however, are great, and the possibility to make serious positive changes for the child, the families and even the institutions involved is also great.

Sacrifice is Essential

While these concrete tactics suggest some powerful ways of insuring serious lasting Biblical changes in your local community, it is of no avail if you are not willing to sacrifice yourself for others in the advancement of the Kingdom. Talking, writing, debating and/or arguing about how to advance the Kingdom of God will come to nothing if something is not actually executed in your local community. Everything begins with your willingness to die to self and serve the living Christ.

 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.Mt 10:42

1 My graduate degrees took 3 years to complete. My Doctoral work had been a work in the making for almost 20 years. I am presently taking courses and am undergoing advanced training in several non-Theological disciplines for targeted positions of influence. Learning should be constant. Educational accomplishments impress people. It shows that you are a devoted and diligent scholar. But be sure that whatever your degree is it is something that can be used for the Advancement of God’s Kingdom. Having an academic degree for the sake of having an academic degree is simply a prideful thing. We have too many “Ivory Towers” of academia. We do not need any more. What we need is honest people who want to use their accomplishments for the Glory of God in the real world. Your degree must have a concrete reason behind it otherwise you are wasting your time.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Tactical Recon: Listen & Convey

Listen carefully; and then listen some more.

No one likes to be preached to. As Christians we are naturally ready (or should be ready) to give an apologetical answer for every question that others may ask concerning Scripture, and its application to the real world. However, when seeking to build rapport with those in your community, you must suppress the urge to argue them into what you are proposing. The more you try to convince someone, if you have not developed an intimate and open relationship first, the more they may resist.

What we must remember is that people really do not want to hear what anyone else has to say. They may listen for a moment, but only so that when their turn comes they can talk about themselves. In fact, very often, while they are listening to someone else’s story they are eagerly waiting for their turn to tell a better story or relate a more exciting experience they had.

People love to share their experiences more than they like to listen to the experiences of others no matter how exciting they may be. And so before any one will listen to us we must first listen to them.
Convey vs Convince

Once an opportunity opens where you can actually get their attention do not try to convince your hearers of anything. Instead of laboring to change their mind via a convincing argument, simply convey pertinent information to them. Give your audience the necessary data to form an educated opinion. When you convey information to your hearers, you are equipping them to think in a particular way which hopefully results in a change of mind.

Be careful not to try to convince your hearer that your ideas are the best. Simply convey the facts, and the way those ideas can be implemented for a better community and then let God deal with the individual. Remember, Convey do not try to Convince. Present the Truth and then gauge the response.

Tactic: Ask Questions

The best way to make people feel more at ease is to ask them open ended questions allowing them to control the situation. Open ended questions make them fell as if they are controlling the discussion when in reality they are divulging their philosophical world and life views giving you an accurate idea of where they are coming from ideologically and theologically. Get them talking. You’d be surprised how people are apt to open up. This will determine whether or not the relationship is worth cultivating, or to want extent it is worth cultivating. Remember every relationship is important – some more than others.
                                                Visibility, Availability & Consistency

Be available and be consistent. This strategy will not work if you do not make yourself available to the community. If you really want to make an impact in the culture you must be visible. Furthermore, your efforts must be consistent. If you find it difficult to make yourself visible then make it a point to frequently walk through the local Walmart  just to look for opportunity to engage people you know or people you believe you need to know. If you wish to be a positive force in your community force you must be a visible force of availability and consistency.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Tactical Recon: Rapport & The Human Element

It’s All about Human Contact

Christian Reconstruction was never meant to be impersonal but rather relational. Institutions are not persons in the sense that they cannot be related to as one would relate to another human being. You cannot build rapport with institutions. Institutions are comprised of people. If an institution is to be transformed the people of that institution need to be transformed first. 

The way this is accomplished is by building a positive relationship with its administrators.

For instance: The institution of a community’s judiciary is not some vague and impersonal institution. It is made up of real people; judges, commonwealth attorneys, defense attorneys, court officers, the DSS workers, even the staffers who work in the records department. Changing any institution requires the changing of its people. Human interaction is the key. That is where ideas are shared and policies developed. This is where CR beings. Any strategy which neglects or minimizes the human element is destined to fail.

The Challenge

In order to exact Biblical change in any culture one must first challenge the secular status quo of that culture. People are not easily convinced. They are not easily responsive to any changes in what they know or what they are used to no matter how detrimental it is to them. This is especially true when they are suspicious of those encouraging change.

Begin with the ‘Who’ and Establish a Rapport

Building rapport with people is the foundational framework for action. Build rapport and you can change the world. Positive interaction is the path to establishing trust. Without trust nothing of consequence can happen.

1.      Begin focusing on the individual.

2.      Get to know the people in your community.

3.      Integrate. Speak to all kinds of people who are situated within your community. Do not let race, or social status get in the way of your positioning goal.

4.      Introduce yourself to everyone, especially those in authority. As a minister this task is easy, but for a simple citizen it may be a bit more challenging.

5.      Don’t be afraid of initiating a conversation or visiting your community officials for no other reason than for a personal introduction. Talk to them. Engage them in conversation. Inquire as to their situation.

6.      Listen to them BEFORE you give anyone your opinion.

7.      Gather intel. Know where they stand on the issues before you put your foot in your mouth and sever the relationship before it gets started.

8.      Build a contact list. Take their contact info – give them yours.

Rapport Tactics

In Janine Driver’s book, “You Can’t Lie To Me”, the world renown body language expert for the CIA, FBI, ATF and the International Chief of Police, explains that in order to gain trust your body language and your intention must match. When speaking with people you must be open and welcoming in your posture. That means hands out of the pockets, arms not crossed, and no looking around as if you’re waiting for a helicopter to land on your head. You get the point.

Eye contact is also important. Aim for steady but not oppressive eye contact. Staring or squinting can get a bit creepy so be calm and relaxed. Driver advises that in order to gain trust one must lead with empathy by putting yourself in the other person’s situation. That requires listening as well as being transparent, or as Driver phrases it, “Being Human.”

She says,

“Being in rapport with someone [is] having them feel warm and trusting toward you [which] increases the likelihood that they well be honest with you….Building rapport convinces people that you are trustworthy and makes them want to help you…People in rapport with each other are predisposed to co-operation” pg 78

These tactics are essential if relationships are to be built. Once that is established then, and only then, can you begin to explore relevant hot topics of the day.

According to Christian counseling professionals, Sbanotto, Gingrich and Gingrich, there is an early, middle, and then later sequence for realizing a particular goal. Within our realm of CR it may look something like the following:

The Early Sequence

Initial contact: This is where the rapport building begins to take place.

The Middle Sequence

Commitment: During this middle sequence there is the development of a higher level of contact even a freedom to discuss ideas. This is the point where you might begin to introduce various CR ideas.

Intimacy: From this posture of willingness to discuss ideas there should be a growing Intimacy where deeper discussions being to emerge. At this stage there is a comfortable relationship between you and the other person. This is where your ideas can be further explored in detail. This is a critical point in your relationship. If you have developed a trustworthy rapport your ideas will at least be given audience.

Later Sequence

Implementation:  This is where you begin to find common ground as to implementing Biblical principles and policies, and where the application begins. At this point you will want to suggest a specific course of action hoping that your hearer will agree to its veracity.

Stimulation:  At this juncture your ideas not only resonate with your hearer, but that your hearer will be stimulated enough to share your ideas with others with the intent of implementing them within the community and possibly joining in an effort to bring these ideas to fruition.