In the college ministry, and still today, I have pre-prepared what we used to call “packages.” Either a conversation or study or some other tool, that deals with some aspect of the Christian life. For instance, how to have a devotional life, or how to memorize scripture, how to share one’s faith, etc. There have been many times that I have met with someone intending to share one of these and something in the conversation suggested that what I was planning to talk about was not the need.
At that point I put the package back on the “shelf”. But since that is not the only package I have prepared, I just reach back and take the proper one off of the shelf and share that. The person I am with does not know that I just did that. It looks like I am simply sitting there listening. I am not only to them but also to the Spirit.
There are two things in operation here. First is that we need to be prepared to share. Second, we need to be listening attentively to the people with whom we are meeting to make sure we are meeting their needs and not ours. It is the whole Philippians 2:3 – 4 thing. In order to do that we have to have prepared that content.