Sunday, May 01, 2005

Intergrity in Evangelism?

The integrity behind 'relational evangelism' is a question that has always troubled me. The basic idea behind the whole concept is that the best way to tell people about Jesus is by showing them, by living your life with them. Its by hanging out with them wherever they are, letting people see you swear or make mistakes, letting them see all of your life-as opposed to preaching a message to them from a pulpit or enrolling them in a course.

Now I totally affirm that, for no other reason than thats pretty much how I see Jesus operating. And looking at the numbers of people in our churches who came to faith that way, it 'works.'

But my question has always been around the idea of being friends with somebody just so that you can share about God with them. I guess i've just seen too many people (and unfortunately I've been guilty of this myself in the past) who hang out with people just so that they can try and share their faith with them. Now that just smells of marketing to me, and I don't like it.

Its like those hot chicks that are employed by alcohol companies to come up to you in a bar, flirt with you in a bar, buy you a few rounds of the drinks they're paid to promote, secretly slipping in a few comments about how nice it is, then leaving.

I know if I knew somebody was only hanging out with me so that they could try and tell me about whatever belief system they adhere to, I'd wanna punch them in the nose.

Anyway, Darrens got some great discussion going on, check it out over here.

11 comments:

Duncan said...

Hey Digger
I can relate to what you're saying. I've been thinking that we should be relating to one another as subjects rather than objects. I relate to my neighbours out of principle, not just out of duty or need to convert or need to borrow! And in the process we get to know each other as people.

Digger said...

Yeah I heard Michael Frost speak on that subjects vs objects stuff, gives you a really great grounding to incarnational mission.

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's Mim!
We kind of discussed this issue at youth leaders meeting a while ago and I basically said that I'm in youth leadership at the moment cos I feel I have something to offer them but also I get something out of it myself.
sure there's time I get annoyed and rather be some place else, just as I sure the kids would rather I bugger off at times.
Overall I really enjoy myself and often it's the people we think are annoying or we least expect that we get/learn the most from. think we can learn something from everyone when you really think about it.
so for me it's finding the balence of offering and receiving- that could be a really bad way of looking at it- I don't know.

jarrod said...

I agree Digs. Its all a little too manipulative if you ask me- just hanging out with someone as if they are your little ministry project. I say, spend time with people because you love them, and if they come to God as a result then YAY!! If not, well who knows what seeds you have planted. And at least you have made a friend.

Anonymous said...

I read a zine that one of your high school peeps also reads and she posted a note about your blog. was greatly encouraged by it. and i love the critical thought you put into your faith.

a sister in Christ in wash, dc suburbs.

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