The Traffic Light

Submitted by Ben Armacost on Mon, 23 Feb 2015 - 08:40

One of the big mistakes that I’ve made in witnessing is missing opportunities to take people further in conversations. Upon sharing the gospel, I would conclude that people are either 'for' or 'against' it--and sadly, I reckoned that the vast majority of people have no interest in God's message. 

Something that has helped me correct this error is the very familiar traffic light. The meaning of red and green are obvious, but there is a third color, amber (yellow) which signifies an uncertain middle ground. "Amber" people are those who are momentarily unsure of their decision and need further insight, and what I'm finding repeatedly is that many people are amber rather than red! How I regret missing so many chances to take people further on the journey toward Christ, because I reckoned them to be red lights.

When Paul speaks to the Athenians in Acts 17.32-34, we clearly see all three of these traffic colors. "Some mocked" are the red ones who rejected his message. "We will hear you again about this" are the amber people. "Some men joined him and believed" are green. God's word shows us that not everyone is merely red or green, but that some people need time to process the message.

And now the question remains, "What do you do with amber people?" The answer lies in this passage of Scripture: arrange another time to talk with them when you can open the Bible together. Start a new group! Let them set the time and place (their turf), and ask them who else can join you (their people) so you can influence not just them, but their circles of influence. What starts as an "amber" discovery Bible study may just become your next new church.