The average length of Jesus’ conversations as recorded in the Gospels was 42 seconds long. This is good news for all of us. It frees us up to talk about the most important part of our lives in a way that’s natural, meaningful, and helpful instead of clumsy, awkward, and irrelevant.Anyone who has spent countless uncomfortable hours walking from house to house with a clipboard or flash cards that talk about four spiritual laws understands.Jesus’ conversations were remarkably simple. Contemporary Christian lingo has set up a dichotomy between what we call “discipleship” and “evangelism,” but the Bible doesn’t do that. Jesus had conversations all the time with those who thought they were close to God, as well as with those who deemed themselves lost and without hope. He invited all of them to come and learn from Him.42 Seconds is a simple book that uses the ordinary moments of our lives the way Jesus used the same moments in his own. The premise is straightforward: If we can learn from Jesus how to have great conversations, it will change our lives and the lives of those around us. Its four-part structure, including five short chapters per section, is for churches and small groups to engage with the practical ideas together. 42 Seconds includes discussion questions to help groups and individuals implement Jesus’ natural rhythm of interaction in their own lives.
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About the Author
Carl Medearis is an author a speaker and on international expect in Arab-American and Muslim-Christian relational promoting peacemaking and cultural, political and relation dialogue for reconcitiation. He and his wife, chris have three children and live in Colorado.
Read an Excerpt
The Nonstarter: Fail to acknowledge someone. The Opener: Say hello. Hi. Hey. Howdy.
JESUS WAS NICE TO PEOPLE.
Read that again. Almost sounds funny, right? Jesus was many things to people, but "nice" isn't always the first one we think of. We think of the miracles, the teaching, the walk to the cross, and nice seems pretty far down the list of what was a big deal about Jesus. But he was, in fact, nice to people. I mean, he wasn't particularly kind to religious people — at least not to those who used their religion to beat people up rather than share the Good News. He was also sometimes a bit hard on wealthy people and those who thought they had some sort of inherent power. But generally, to most people, most of the time, he was a pretty nice guy.
But let's look a little closer at what "nice to people" meant according to Jesus.
Jesus incorporated greeting people into his basic theology of ministry. In both Matthew 10:12 and Luke 10:5, when he gave his disciples practical instructions on how to go out and share the Good News, he told them to greet those they interacted with. If the other person returned that greeting, the disciples were to stay and hang out there. If not, they were to say, "Yo, what's up?" (my translation) and then just keep on moving.
Here's my version of that: When I kindly say hello to someone and they say a nice hello back, then we're off and running. It's really that simple. Pastor John Wimber liked to say that 90 percent of all successful ministry was just getting out of bed in the morning. This is another version of that. You can't be effective at whatever you're trying to do if you don't say a warm hello to people. That's where it all begins.
Jesus greeted some fishermen, and they ended up giving their livelihood — and eventually their lives — to follow him.
Jesus greeted the Samaritan woman at the well and asked if she could give him a drink of water. And that led to one of the most powerful and often quoted stories in all the Bible.
Jesus said hi to the children along the way, and they wouldn't stop coming to him.
Jesus said hey to the two guys walking on the road to Emmaus, and the next thing you know, he was eating dinner with them.
It all starts with hello.
I live in a cul-de-sac, so it's theoretically easy to say hello to my neighbors. Especially at around 7:00 a.m. or 6:00 p.m. on workdays, or really any time on the weekend. But I have a garage-door opener in my car, and when I just don't feel like saying hi (knowing it might lead to a real conversation), I reach up and push that little black button of personal choice and freedom. My garage door rises like the door to my castle, and bam, I don't need to say hi to my neighbors.
But I try to resist that temptation. Or because it sort of makes sense to go ahead and pull my car into the garage, I'll walk back outside and say hi to whoever's around.
It looks like this. I pull the car in, then walk out front and look around until I see someone and yell, "Hey, John!" (or whatever the person's name is). That's pretty much it. They usually yell back something like "Hey, Carl, what's up?" And then we might be done. Or it might go somewhere like my asking back, "How are you doing?" And once you get to "How are you doing?" you'd better watch out, because every once in a while, people actually say how they're doing.
This week make the time to say hi to people. Everywhere. Almost always. Go out of your way, look them in the eye, and say hello. Often add the ever-so-dangerous "How are you?" And try to actually mean it — like Jesus did.
Just see what happens.
Excerpted from "42 Seconds"
Copyright © 2018 Carl Medearis.
Excerpted by permission of NavPress.
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Table of Contents
1 Be Kind
Chapter 1 Say Hey 3
Chapter 2 Acknowledge the Waiter 7
Chapter 3 Ask Another Question 13
Chapter 4 Do Something Small 21
Chapter 5 Talk to the Kid 27
The Final Word: "Be Kind" 31
2 Be Present
Chapter 6 Breathe Deep 35
Chapter 7 Stop Trying to Be Cool 43
Chapter 8 Open Your Eyes and Ears 49
Chapter 9 Accept That You Are Not God 55
Chapter 10 Don't Be So Strategic 59
The Final Word: "Be Present" 67
3 Be Brave
Chapter 11 Find Your Barley Field 75
Chapter 12 Stand Alone (When Necessary) 81
Chapter 13 Say Something Crazy 87
Chapter 14 Be Full of Grace (and Truth) 93
Chapter 15 Relinquish Control 101
The Final Word: "Be Brave" 107
4 Be Jesus
Chapter 16 Do I Believe What Jesus Believed? 113
Chapter 17 Do My Words Match My Actions? 119
Chapter 18 Do I Really Know Jesus? 123
Chapter 19 Do I Do What Jesus Did? 129
Chapter 20 Do I Live as if Jesus Matters More Than Anything? 135
The Final Word: "Be Jesus" 141
Epilogue: The Final, Final Word 145
What People are Saying About This
I am a big fan of Carl Medearis. He’s always fun yet challenging, provocative yet deeply biblical. In 42 Seconds, he is no different. Exploring the art of getting to the point with people just like Jesus did is so necessary in our present cultural moment. You will be blessed and challenged by this book.
It’s amazing how often our words and actions can make the Good News Jesus proclaimed and embodied sound and look like Bad News. Our world is in desperate need of Jesus people to take seriously our invitation to speak, think, and act in ways reflective of the One we follow. In this book, Carl offers a relatable, thoughtful, and extremely tangible guide for how to not only say we believe in the Good News but also narrate it with our lives.
Jesus is the most disruptive person who ever lived, because he’s always focused on growth, not on perpetuating the status quo. Likewise, my Jesus-loving friend Carl Medearis is one of the most disruptive people I’ve ever metyou’ll see what I mean when you read 42 Seconds. These short bursts of truth, at times hilarious and at times profound, will move you deeper into a lifestyle that produces fruit in others’ lives. Listen and learn from Carl, and you’ll leave the status quo behind for something like an epic adventure.
Carl Medearis does it again. He brings enormous ideas down to earth where we all live and helps us to see howas Dallas Willard used to say“We can live our lives the way Jesus would live our lives . . . if Jesus had our lives to live.” And Jesus is supposed to have our lives to live. Carl brings amazingly simple, insightful, and practical suggestions directly from the life of Jesus . . . and offers them to us to practice in our real, everyday lives.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
While 42 Seconds: The Jesus Model for Everyday Interactions is not a formal apologetics book, the premise intrigued me. I could see this concept as being relevant to apologetics. After all, apologetics is simply a tool to give intelligent, reasoned answers for our hope. That means we have to have real conversations with people. And who better to learn a model for interactions from than Jesus? 42 Seconds: The Jesus Model for Everyday Interactions is a practical application study intended to be done in a group, but is easily adaptable to independent study. While I think the idea behind this book of approaching evangelism in a more natural way is good, Medearis has a habit of misrepresenting or over-simplifying Jesus' conversations, the role of evangelism for Christians and apologetics. At one point he mistakenly claims apologetics was "not the way of Jesus" (Ch. 3, pg 16). Read the rest: http://bit.ly/2Loi83p
42 Seconds: The Jesus Model for Everyday Interaction, by Carl Medearis focuses on life the Jesus and his conversations, which average 42 seconds. In this bible study, the author shares personal stories and experiences, as well as scripture references. According to the Introduction, the author and his assistant reviewed "every single conversation Jesus had in the Gospels," and they "found that the average length of Jesus' conversations are recorded in the Gospels was 42 seconds." This bible study consists of four main sections, which are titled as Be Kind, Be Present, Be Brave, and Be Jesus. Those four main sections are divided into a total of twenty chapters, as well as bonus sections titled as The Final Word: "Be Jesus" and Epilogue: The Final, Final Word. This bible study is easily extended for those wanting to expand this study. It's ideal for bible studies and small groups, as well as individual personal prayer and devotional time. 42 Seconds is a wonderful resource for various ages, from young adults to older generations. Note: I received this book from Tyndale Blog Network, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.