Thoughts on evangelism part 2

“First rule of Christ club: you do not shut up about Christ club.”

But why? Why talk about Jesus?

Because, like a good TV show or a favourite band (only approx. 50 000 000 000 times better), Jesus is something I desperately want to share with others. Here are two ways this works:

1) “Like a good TV show…”: Have you ever started watching a television series, and got really into it and decided it was the best thing EVER, but then whenever you asked around to see who else watches it nobody had ever heard of it or was interested? That’s happened to me countless times – it’s no fun to watch an episode of The L Word or Green Wing and then have no-one to jabber about it with afterwards. I want my friends to know about Jesus because it’s this super-cool thing I love to talk about and want other people to get excited about it with me. There’s nothing like sharing love for something in community (I could totally go into genre theory here but I won’t…)

2) “Or a favourite band…”: What happens when you come across a mind-blowingly good artist or band? If you’re me, you make mix-CDs (or tapes back in the day) for all your friends, or post YouTube links to their songs on Facebook because you think they’re so frakkin’ cool that you want your friends’ lives to be enriched by knowing about this band. Hmmm…bit like Jesus then…

That’s it in a nutshell. When I talk about Jesus it’s because I’m excited about him and want my friends to share in my excitement, or because I’ve tasted how transformative knowing Jesus really is and want others to have the pleasure of  having their lives similarly transformed.

When done properly, there is nothing remotely imperialistic about the Jesus movement.

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6 responses

  1. And here’s where I’m torn about the seeming bifurcation of talk and action. I wonder if my life reflects my words. When I focus on the words, I wonder if I invite people to consider an idea rather than the person.

    • I think I have the opposite problem – I’m all action with no talk about what’s actually causing my action. I wrote this blog post as much to convince myself to talk more about Jesus as to explain to others why I am trying to do so! I worry that sometimes I’m okay (ish – not really) at doing the stuff (again, not really), but rubbish at actually mentioning the name ‘Jesus’ to others in case I come across as trying to ‘shove my views in people’s faces’, so I don’t really talk about my faith motivations.
      But of course talk vs action is (or should be) a false dichotomy…

      And I wonder if sometimes considering the idea and the person of Jesus aren’t two sides of the same coin? I know that for me at certain points in my journey I’m more in love with the cause or concept of Christ than Christ himself – obviously not an ideal situation, but it happens. So maybe people considering the idea might be a first step, and then eventually they can move deeper into the actual person. Certainly, if we wait until our motivations are absolutely pure before moving into a relationship with God we’ll be waiting forever.

      • “And I wonder if sometimes considering the idea and the person of Jesus aren’t two sides of the same coin?”

        Wow, I should really clarify that. What I meant was that people considering the idea need not be a barrier to embracing the *person* of Jesus, but perhaps just a muddy and messy initial stage of coming to faith. I think what is important is that they’re moving in the right direction; once you have that and keep the momentum going things will (hopefully) naturally fall into place.

  2. Perhaps my initial reaction and your response reflects a different school of spiritual parenting. Much of my early Christian life focused on telling everyone all about Jesus. If you couldn’t give your testimony in 1 minute or less, then you weren’t really following Jesus. Action came much later; much of the approach seemed to be “fake it until you make it.” I suppose it’s like Ecclesiastes in that there is a time for proclamation and a time for internalized reflection. Probably more like the ins and outs of breathing, rather than two sides of the same coin.

    • Ah yes, the old ‘sales pitch’! I too have felt pressure to be able to do that. I was referring more to putting the concept of Jesus out there like bait and seeing who bites (in other words, who is good soil? who is searching for more?), thereby starting a conversation. If someone wants me to tell them about Jesus, I’ll start a (hopefully humble and mutually edifying) conversation and take it from there. But there’s no way I could rattle off my testimony in a few minutes or learn the ‘Romans Road’ or what have you. And I think that’s an extremely tacky way of going about things anyway! 🙂

      • For me, I have found great encouragement in the Incarnation. Christ came and “simply” dwelt among us. He lived, walked, and encountered people. When necessary He used words. He was never afraid to bear witness; yet His constant connection with the Father mediated every interaction with us.

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