Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Is Image Everything? 3

posted by xscot mcknight

One of the beefs non Christians have with Christians is their perception that Christians want them to “get saved!” So, Kinnaman and Lyons, in unChristian, study this them in chp. 4. This chp, however, is less about the perception that Christians want others to get saved and much more about the lack of transformation in the gospel of Christians.
1. Mosaics and Busters don’t like being cornered into spiritual conversations and they are suspicious and savvy about the motives of others.
2. Mosaics and Busters are not likely to be pushy about their faith; they are less likely to share their faith; they believe one can live a life without Jesus in a meaningful way; less likely to believe in a “once-saved-always-saved” mentality.
3. 64% of Christians think they are sincere in evangelism; their audience is only 36% convinced.
4. Major myths and realities about evangelism:
4.1 Best evangelism is that which reaches the most people; best evangelism is relational.
4.2 Anything that succeeds is worth doing; 3-10x more damage done by mass [evangelism kind of] stuff.
4.3 No need to worry about offending others; respect is a key factor in evangelism.
4.4 Logical arguments are very important; very few respond to logic: individualism, loyalty to peers, emotional/experiential.
4.5 Everyone has an equal chance; vast majority respond before adulthood, often before adolescence.
4.6 We need to help outsiders find a connection with God; most are fiercely independent.
5. Alarming conclusion: the majority of those who are evangelized have already tried on Christianity and walked away.
6. Survey of Americans: 65% made a commitment; 29% absolutely committed; 3% have a biblical worldview.
7. 1 out of 7 Americans think Christianity is genuine or real.
8. Transformation is not central enough to gospel.
They believe the secret to shifting from the get-saved! problem is to establish genuine relationships.



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Tyler Braun

posted October 30, 2007 at 1:41 am


Those are some scary statistics. I’m interested in hearing how they think this should be tackled.



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Rick

posted October 30, 2007 at 5:22 am


Scot-
In point 4.2, what do they mean by “mass stuff”? Specifically, do you think they would include megachurches in that description?



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Scot McKnight

posted October 30, 2007 at 5:55 am


Rick,
Mass evangelism type activities.



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Dan

posted October 30, 2007 at 6:04 am


In some ways the statistics are not surprising given what has transpired the in recent years. It makes sense to me unchurched people are hungering after authentic relationship since they have been made in the image of the Triune God. I am wondering if the means friendship attachment with a genuine goal of caring and befriending others, for the sake of *their* good (not our evangelical imposed immediate projection of they-need-to-get-saved) would not be an authentic, worthy goal? “Relationship” just may not be enough, if our goal is now no longer get them saved, but get them into our community.



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Diane

posted October 30, 2007 at 6:57 am


I have often pondered the question raised in 4.2, though I too am not sure what is meant by “mass stuff.” I envision Billy Graham crusades with altar calls … My question has been about street evangelism: does street preaching of “are you saved?” do more good or more harm? It does reach people with a message of Jesus, but it can also alienate other people who then lump all Christians as intrusive. I remember having a very polite evangelical young man (I was young too) essentially corner me in a bus with his message of salvation. It made me very, very uncomfortable. He was so earnest and polite and told me Jesus had cured his stutter and shyness and of course I didn’t want to, you know, traumatize him with rudeness after he had obviously just gotten over all sorts of issues, but I hated being approached that way. I do believe that evangelism needs to change its tactics to reach more people … I was reached through relationship in part … but really through the Holy Spirit and that can’t be forced.



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RJS

posted October 30, 2007 at 7:11 am


You know, I don’t think this is a recent phenomenon. Hasn’t Christian commitment and spiritual growth generally arisen out of a foundation of genuine relationships – empowered by the Holy Spirit?
Let’s consider the possibility that the manifestation we see and wrestle with is not a phenomenon of the last 20 years but a phenomenon with roots in the evolution of our culture from Church as state or Church in bed with state, to a thoroughly secular culture – so developing over a couple of hundred years. It is not boomers, mosaics, or busters – culture does not change that fast. We need to respond to the changing state of affairs – but it may, in fact, lead to a much more robust and God centered Church, and real growth. Oh no – don’t tell me I’ve come around to thinking that Alan Hirsch may actually get some things right.



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Mike

posted October 30, 2007 at 7:13 am


Where does the stat “1 out of 7 Americans think Christianity is genuine or real” come from? That apparently conflicts with the high percentage of Americans who, say, believe that Jesus rose from the dead or that God created the world. But I could (almost) buy it if it were based on how many Americans were actually living out the gospel.



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Attie

posted October 30, 2007 at 7:34 am


“Alarming conclusion: the majority of those who are evangelized have already tried on Christianity and walked away.” I wonder if people tried Christianity with expectation of entering into meaningful relationships with other Christians, got dissapointed and walked away. And, could it be that part of the transformation that is expected is to enter into and live out meaningful relatiosnhips with others. Interesting stats and discussion.



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Rick

posted October 30, 2007 at 7:40 am


I see the individual impact of this. It is a very missional message. What I am curious about is the impact on churches.
Is the altar call (or the variations of) at churches part of 4.2?
Are people just as suspicious when it comes to being simply invited to church (do they see it as a way for someone there to “close the deal”)?
Are churches (even the apparent “successful” ones) doing a good job developing relationships (apart from programs)?
Finally, does this support the idea that churches need to be more focused on the spiritual development of their congregations, in part so that the congregations can be more effective outside the church building (in a missional way)?



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scott

posted October 30, 2007 at 7:45 am


This will drive you to your knees. We are moving toward changes that are as important and tumultuous as those of the reformation.



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RJS

posted October 30, 2007 at 7:46 am


Attie,
Maybe you are right here – if the expectation is meaningful human relationships – then human failings lead to disillusionment and departure. We need to preach reality and God – not promise feel good community.
Many years ago I watched a “propaganda video” for a Christian college – one that promised perfect community, life long relationships, and the answers to all of life?s problems, brought to completion in four glorious years. My main complaints were (1) it didn’t match well with messy reality and (2) it set the table for unmet expectation and foundational disillusionment. The development office felt these objections were irrelevant if the video got students in the door.
I think that it is of critical importance – Do we offer God’s community and transformation, and do we intend to seek for and deliver on what we offer?



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David B Johnson

posted October 30, 2007 at 8:51 am


It still seems to me that most of the modern discussion surrounding evangelism among evangelicals is driven by a desire for the one being evangelized to have “a conversion experience.” My “reading” of church history is that this did not become the focus until the era of Charles Finney (whose theology in my opinion is questionable at best) and the Second Great Awakening. As RJS commented and as Scot has explained in Embracing Grace and Community Called Atonement, we need to preach a gospel that offers membership in the community of God’s people that results in transformation for the good of others and the world.



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Anonymous

posted October 30, 2007 at 8:56 am


peregrinatio » Alpha ReImagined?

[...] im Westen eine viel h?here traditionelle, distanzierte Kirchlichkeit aufweist (Darrel Guder nannte es in Greifswald ?Kulturchristentum? und fand, davon gebe es in den USA auch mehr, als man denkt; vgl. dazu auch diesen Post von Scot McKnight) und [...]



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John W Frye

posted October 30, 2007 at 9:20 am


Mosaics and Busters are keenly aware that the gospel of the kingdom of God was reduced to a tidy “plan of salvation” and that “plan” was linked to USAmerican marketing techniques. The book *unChristian* is a statistical postmortem on that kind of evangelism which sells Jesus for a canned prayer.



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ChrisB

posted October 30, 2007 at 10:04 am


1. Neither does anyone else.
2. You mean they’re postmodern.
4.4 Logic and apologetics are important in the same way that feeding the hungry and supporting the hurt — they clear away obsticles and help lead them to the foot of the cross. Once there, the experience is emotional if it is anything.
4.6 Translation: Most people don’t think they need God. No surprise.
5. the majority of those who are evangelized have already tried on Christianity
Is Christianity a sweater to be tried on? A great many Americans have be innoculated against the gospel because they have experienced a gospel-light and found it unsatisfying and now believe that Chrisitanity “doesn’t work for me.” See #8.
8. If I’m understanding correctly, this is exactly what Paul told the Corinthians, what conservatives told the seeker churches, and what emergents tell the conservatives.



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RJS

posted October 30, 2007 at 10:17 am


John,
Isn’t that summary a bit too cynical and a bit too simplistic? I have no more fondness than you for a tidy plan and mass market techniques, but this is only part of the story; and, of course, no generation gets it all right. But I would rather look back to what was good in the past (and there was plenty), make a connection with the deep history of the work of God in his church – the communion of the saints (even in the US in the 20th century) and look forward to where he leads us in the future.



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John W Frye

posted October 30, 2007 at 12:19 pm


RJS (#16),
Niceness and fond memory does not liberate the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus lived and taught from its current abd horribly reduced confines. If we admit that no generation gets it (the gospel) right, I do think this generation can at least get past the tidy plan which a *whole lot* of Christians are still convinced is the real thing. I think, and I believe you would agree, that Scot’s EMBRACING GRACE is a huge step in reclaiming the essential realities of the robust gospel of the Bible. True?



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Mike

posted October 30, 2007 at 12:31 pm


John (#17),
Be careful in your wording: The gospel does not need liberating. It is we who need liberating, and it is the gospel that liberates us.



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John W Frye

posted October 30, 2007 at 1:04 pm


Mike (#18),
Really? I disagree. I think the robust gospel of Jesus is still in and just beginning to make its way out of an American cultural captivity, along with all those who have “believed” it and who, according to all polls available, are living non-transformed lives. God, certainly, is a free Being and we need the freedom of God’s life in us, but the *recorded* Gospel of the Bible is just making its way into freedom from USAmerican bondage.



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Mike

posted October 30, 2007 at 1:16 pm


John (#19),
Then you and I have radically different views of both the gospel and the Bible.
Best wishes,
Mike



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Dana Ames

posted October 30, 2007 at 1:19 pm


Scot,
do K-L offer a description or definition of “biblical worldview” (#6)?
Dana



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John W Frye

posted October 30, 2007 at 1:51 pm


Mike (20),
Perhaps you are right about you and I having divergent views of the gospel and the Bible, but I imagine that we really don’t. As I mentioned to RJS in comment #17, I think that Scot’s popular book *Embracing Grace: A Gospel for All of Us* bring biblical understandings into a truly robust gospel. I consider myself a solid evangelical who is thinking seriously about Christology, bibliology, soteriology, and ecclesiolgy.



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RJS

posted October 30, 2007 at 1:53 pm


John,
My comment reflected three convictions – with which you may disagree.
First – that the narrow view represents a real subset of Christianity, but I think that it is a significantly smaller set than you think it is. This comes in part from personal experience, in part from family history, and in part from reading a great deal of American church history over the last couple of years.
Second – that God is and has been at work within his church all along.
Third – I find that when I succumb to a cynical view it eats at my soul – it colors and bends (like a fun house mirror) the glasses through which I look at God’s world (past, present, and future) and gives a distorted picture – it is totally counterproductive. Now the issues that tempt me to cynicism are somewhat different from yours – mostly related to “role of women” or attitude of the church toward science for example.
I’ve read “Embracing Grace” – twice through – and I like it. It does present essential realities of the robust gospel of the Bible.



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John W Frye

posted October 30, 2007 at 2:14 pm


RJS (#23),
I do agree that I tend to think (and blog about) the big evangelical world as if it is like the small slice that I grew up in and was shaped by. So I take your first observation to heart. Thanks.
Second, as I am in communication now with more brothers and sisters from all sorts and sizes of traditions and expressions of the faith, I am learning about the wideness of God’s work in the church. You are right.
Cynicism can be toxic for me, too. I try to look for the line between honest, meaningful “push back” and naked cynicism. It seems that it is elusive for me at times.
I appreciate your comments and I learn from your contributions to the many JESUS CREED conversations.



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MatthewS

posted October 30, 2007 at 2:23 pm


RJS, I know this is mostly off-topic of what your main point, but I just wanted to say “amen” to the third point you stated above. I have personally found that I can easily unleash a 1200 horse-power “negativity engine” against so many things that I think are wrong with the church or others. But then when I try to actively do something – not as a reaction but as a ground-up positive effort – I have more like a 3/4 horse engine that can barely start. An exaggeration, but it is something I have been thinking about lately.
I am convicted from lists like the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians and the graces we are supposed to “put on” in Colossians that I should be characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, etc. These graces do not come naturally to me! All this to say, “amen!”



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Ron Fay

posted October 30, 2007 at 3:07 pm


Imagine that, people are starting to realize that Jesus made disciples instead of Billy Graham crusades.



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BeckyR

posted October 30, 2007 at 3:25 pm


There’s relationship and then there’s “relationship.” I mean, how long are we with another person for it to qualify as relationship; how deep must it go in order for it to qualify as relationship; how consistent must the contact be in order for it to qualify as relationship.
My own experience was back in the very early 70’s, a hip chriatian coffeehouse (though tea was mostly served.) Those big wire spools as tables, big pillows on the floor, black lights, a couple hip adults supervising it all, which was mostly some christians hanging out bringing along their non christian friends. I was allowed to just hang out and watch what went on. One of the adults talked to me one night and out spilled my version of knowing I need Jesus. I used to use the prayer on the back of tracts just to make sure I got it right. The relationship was with making new friends to do what teenagers do, and months of being allowed to just hang out and watch.
The other relationship I think of are this couple that we don’t get together with often enough, not said from chritian motives. We love it when we are together, we click. It just doesn’t happen often enough. They consider themselves atheists, their son went Mormon, shook their world a bit. When christian words come into conversation, they are there. But we figure just being who we are is the christian “witness.” No force. Listening to the Spirit. Since their son went Mormon there are more God words, talking about the comparisons.



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jazzact13

posted October 30, 2007 at 3:27 pm


–One of the beefs non Christians have with Christians is their perception that Christians want them to ?get saved!?–
Maybe, but then again, put people around almost anyone who is true believer in anything, and they will be quite adament about it. Especially in regards to religious matters.
And really, why should we not want them to ‘get saved’, or to be converted and follow Christ? If we really believe that such is the best thing they can do, and has consequences for life now in eternity, then we would have to think that the question of salvation is the most important one people are asked.
–5. Alarming conclusion: the majority of those who are evangelized have already tried on Christianity and walked away.–
I think it was Chesterton who wrote something such as that Christianity has not been tried and found to fail, but that it has been tried and found to be difficult.



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MatthewS

posted October 30, 2007 at 3:45 pm


Is the implication that the net result of Billy Graham’s activities and ministries is negative?



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Daryl

posted October 30, 2007 at 3:51 pm


Attie (#8) and RJS (#11),
I recently re-read a passage in Bonhoeffer’s “Life Together” that really gets under my skin. I thought I’d allow the communion of the saints to function by inviting him to the conversation. :-)
He says,
“Innumerable times a whole Christian community has broken down because it had sprung from a wish dream. The serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and to try to realize it. But God?s grace speedily shatters such dreams. Just as surely as God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely must we be overwhelmed by a great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and, if we are fortunate, with ourselves.
“By sheer grace, God will not permit us to live even for a brief period in a dream world. He does not abandon us to those rapturous experiences and lofty moods that come over us like a dream. God is not a God of the emotions but the God of truth. Only that fellowship which faces such disillusionment, with all its unhappy and ugly aspects, begins to be what it should be in God?s sight, begins to grasp in faith the promise that is given to it. The sooner this shock of disillusionment comes to an individual and to a community the better for both.”
The question that challenges me: am I presenting the gospel of God in such a way that it builds up the “wish-dreams” of others (and sets them up for disillusionment, as you point out with that college video, RJS), or in an authentic way that is true to what I’ve experienced as the messiness of life – even Christian life? He goes on to talk about how “God hates visionary dreamers” because we try to impose our vision of the community onto the community (and onto God), rather than accepting what God is doing already.
I’d be interested if anyone has blogged or worked through this side of Bonhoeffer’s thought.



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Tom Hein

posted October 30, 2007 at 3:57 pm


You would be extremely hard pressed to make a case that the “net” result of Billy Graham’s activities and ministries is negative. I don’t know the statistics, but I would guess that there have been hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, who have been transformed and continue to follow Christ faithfully as a result of his ministries. Just read his autobiography, “Just As I Am” if you want to get to the essence of the man and his ministry.



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ChrisB

posted October 30, 2007 at 3:57 pm


people are starting to realize that Jesus made disciples instead of Billy Graham crusades
You’ve heard, I’m sure, of the Sermon on the Mount. How about the feeding of the 5000?
I haven’t read the book, but I’d hope they’re aiming more at the annoying street-corner preachers — though I’m sure they’ve done some good too.
One wonders what makes these guys so unpopular — their methods or their message. The message was unpopular 2000 years ago, and it still is today.



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Karen Spears Zacharias

posted October 30, 2007 at 4:14 pm


I continue to be moved by the simplicity of Andrew introducing his friend, Simon Peter, to Jesus. Maybe we ought to focus on the introduction and trust Jesus to take care of the transformation.



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BeckyR

posted October 30, 2007 at 4:21 pm


What constitutes a “meaniing relationship.”



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Jonas Borntreger

posted October 30, 2007 at 4:29 pm


The maple tree in my front yard has thousands of leaves; each one different yet each bearing the unmistakable identity of the tree which bears it. My tree reminds me of the wondrous variety of the ways of God.
Personally, I am grateful for both the Billy Grahams and the street preachers. I am grateful for every ministry in between. One of those ministries once reached me and I am eternally grateful. I suspect that if we were sensitive to the ways of our Lord, we would realize that God has six billion unique ways to reach the six billion people of the earth. He only once told someone to be ‘born again.’
Going back to an much earlier comment about ‘closing the deal.’ I also believe in community but if that is all we have then we have only an unsaved community in the end. I just spent 4 1/2 years in a church that emphasized community. I may have missed it, but I can’t recall anyone, in all that time, being asked to close the deal. What a tragic waste.



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BeckyR

posted October 30, 2007 at 4:33 pm


Amen to #29 Daryl, I like it. Thanks for the reminder.



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BeckyR

posted October 30, 2007 at 4:36 pm


Amen Rick #9 “churches need to be more focused on the spiritual development of their congregations, in part so that the congregations can be more effective outside the church building (in a missional way)?”



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Diane

posted October 30, 2007 at 6:58 pm


Jonas,
I agree with you that street preachers and BG crusades have brought people to Christ and for the reason I eye them generously, even if street evangelism has made me uncomfortable. I do hope, though, with all the billions of ways to reach people, that the unreached don’t think there is only “that” one way that is repugnant to them. I hope we’re trying all ways. Becky’s coffeehouse would have appealed to me as a non-Christian much more than a crusade or an in-your-face evangelical, but that’s just me. I think there is a tendency to beat up people who are trying unorthodox ways to reach others.



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Peggy

posted October 30, 2007 at 9:09 pm


jazzact13 #28,
“I think it was Chesterton who wrote something such as that Christianity has not been tried and found to fail, but that it has been tried and found to be difficult.”
It’s gist is closer to “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting’ it has been found difficult and left untried.”
…there is a subtle difference
Karen #33…what a concept 8)



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Kathy K

posted October 30, 2007 at 9:58 pm


It shouldn’t surprise anyone that there is a hunger for authentic, deeper relationships. I appreciate how technology has made some aspects of my job easier, but it frightens me to know there is a generation out there who rely on AIM, text messages, Facebook, cellphones, e-mails, etc. to communicate with one another. I know plenty of people who have tried to deepen their relationships by working out conflict on AIM and Facebook posts. It’s no wonder hit-and-run evangelism strategies that may have been received differently in a less-cynical, more relational time.
But it’s been interesting to watch how students have engaged in a spiritual journey (which often times end up in a conversion experience) that start out in the context of relationship and community. Once those relationships have been established, these same students are more willing to go to larger events that draw 100+, have a conversation with the speaker or seminar-leader, take note of the street evangelist, etc.



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Dianne P

posted October 30, 2007 at 10:02 pm


Another echo of Karen’s #33. I was teaching a couple of weeks ago on justice – the hugeness of the job, and the apparent paucity of our resources. I used Gary Haugen’s (International Justice Mission) sermon of a couple of years back on the 5 loaves and 2 fishes to feed the hungry crowd of thousands. Jesus didn’t say – do you have enough? In fact the apostles made it pretty clear that they didn’t have enough. But Jesus said – what DO you have? (emphasis, Gary’s) Then Jesus took that and did his miracle. He fed that crowd with 5 loaves and 2 fish plus LEFTOVERS! (sorry for shouting, but I just get really excited about this.) We don’t need to have all that it takes. We just need to pony up what we do have, give it to our Lord, and let him do his miracle stuff. And then step back and say *wow*.’
And (according to Gary Haugen – use your imagination here), the little boy went home and said to his mom – “Mom, Mom, guess what Jesus did with MY lunch today!”
I pray that I stop trying to control all aspects of the situation, but give to Him what is near and dear – my precious lunch.



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J Brown

posted October 30, 2007 at 10:31 pm


Scot,
I stumbled across the site a few weeks back and really enjoy it. Your posts are very thought-provoking and all the comments are incredibly insightful.
On point #5, I was just saying this same thing to my wife the other day. Most people in America have not only heard the Gospel, they have likely had some sort of experience either in church or with other Christians. Unfortunately, this has often ended negatively and resulted in a jaded and bitter attitude towards Christianity as a whole.
This was the case of a thirty-something coworker of mine whom I have been speaking with recently. I have known him for a few months and been nothing but a genuine friend to him. The only “spiritual” thing I ever did was tell him I would be praying for him during a recent difficult trial. Then out of the blue he asks me about my church, which leads to a conversation in which I realize he is doing some spiritual searching. Turns out he used to go to church but recently has been “done with the whole thing” after a bad experience. However, after a two hour conversation in which I was open and honest about my own shortcomings, doubts and flaws, I ended up praying with him. He now wants to get back into a good church and get right with God again.
I tell that story, not only to praise God for his work, but to illistrate a point. Up until the past two years, I was in the hit-and-run evangelism camp, feeling like it was more important to “warn people of the sharks in the water and pull out as many as possible” than to build a friendship. I felt like if I showed my sins and didn’t act like “Super Christian”, no one would ever come to faith through my witness. Well, praise God for change in my life, and praise God that we don’t have to be perfect to be good witnesses. Quite the opposite!
One final point I would like to add is that to truly evangelize through relationships, the relationships have to be real, not based solely on being a friend in order to eventually evangelize. Most people with see right through that.



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Erik Leafbad

posted October 30, 2007 at 10:49 pm


I want to reiterate Dana’s (#21) question: is there any criteria offered for what constitutes a biblical worldview? It seems citing such a statistic could cause some alarm, but the lack of any such category being filled out makes this statistic, it seems to me, somewhat meaningless. Just hoping for some clarification.



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Erik Leafblad

posted October 30, 2007 at 10:50 pm


I’ll edit my name…oops. Should be Leafblad.



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J Brown

posted October 31, 2007 at 12:02 am


While I don’t discount the necessity for and effectiveness of street evangelism, I am glad you posted this because I’ve slowly been moving towards the “relationship evangelism” camp over the last few years. I think the climate of America is changing greatly and people are looking for genuine Christ followers, not someone else trying to “sell” them something (as they see it).
My personal transition was slow early on, however, because in every new relationship I formed, I would always have in the back of my mind that the goal of the relationship was to eventually evangelize. In other words, I wasn’t simply being a friend first. I think this ultimately hurt my witness in many ways. First of all, I falsely thought that I had to be “super Christian”, as if somehow people wouldn’t listen to me talk about Christ if I had flaws. Second, while I can’t be certain, I think my lack of genuineness showed through and made people shy away from discussing spitiritual matters with me.
Fast forward to today, where God has been working on me greatly and helping me to realize that it’s ok to call myself a Christian and be honest about my shortcomings with unbelievers. It has taken a lot of pressure off of me and allowed me to be more natural in talking about my faith. In fact, all of the changes God has been working in me came to a head recently with a thirty-something coworker I have known for only a few months.
He and I hit it off really well when we met and I determined to simply be myself while still praying for opportunities to witness to him. The only “spiritual” thing I ever did was to tell him I would be praying for him during a recent crisis he was going through. Apparently that triggered something, because a few weeks later he began asking about my church. While I was a bit thickheaded at first, I eventually realized he was searching for answers to spiritual issues. After a two hour conversation in which I was completely open and honest about my faults and doubts, while in turn sharing the Gospel, we prayed together. Like those in point #5, he had “tried” Christianity and was, in his words, “done with church”. My heart really went out to him and the lines of communication between us are still wide open.
After this experience, while I won’t say that I would never again share with someone I just met, I will say that I am more convinced than ever about the effectiveness of genuine relationship evangelism. In this specific case, had I been more concerned early in the relationship about “getting him saved”, I doubt the above conversation would have ever taken place.



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jazzact13

posted October 31, 2007 at 6:56 am


–It?s gist is closer to ?Christianity has not been tried and found wanting? it has been found difficult and left untried.?–
I think you’re right, Peggy, I did have it a bit mixed up, sorry about that.



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scott

posted October 31, 2007 at 8:44 am


Daryl (#30)
these past 12 years…..
we’ve experienced a revival in a youth coffeehouse ministry, a pole barn church growing into a large restoration charismatic church, and a local cell group ministry that was blessed.
but through a retirement move we now attend a traditional wesleyan church in the southern USA…these people experience life together.
you make me think…the leadership here became disillusioned during incredibly hard childhoods.



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Kacie Mann

posted October 31, 2007 at 1:21 pm


This is interesting. I appear to be squarely within in this cultural/generational description. None of the traditional evangelism approaches jive with my mentality.



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Anonymous

posted November 3, 2007 at 6:59 am


Random Acts of Linkage #33 : Subversive Influence

[...] Can anyone still resist the conclusion that the USA is post-Christian? [...]



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Richie (Old Barbarian)

posted November 6, 2007 at 1:26 pm


Scott and the Jesus Creed crew/masses,
Sorry about jumping in mid-stream. My pastor told me about this book and he said it was the saddest book he has read in a long time. I have not read it yet, but based on the dialog in this and the first two discussions, I may have to agree with him.
However, I find it interesting that no one has even ventured into the arena of Spiritual Warfare with respect to this whole topic. Anything that the prince of the air can do to make the church look bad, he is going to do – no? I mean even a book that takes statistics whether true or not, he can use for firewood to stoke the fires of discontent. I don’t like to give the punk loser that much credit; but.., ya gotta admit, he has done a pretty good job of botching things up for “Christians” throughout history. Crusades; Christians killing Christians; Inquisition; Baptist vs. Anabaptist; modern vs. post-modern vs. emergent vs. whomever; church scandals; evangelicals falling from on high; blah, blah, blah. So.., my point is first we need to recognize what a majority of what this is about and that is, this is a master deception to the masses of what it is (“Christ-following) vs. what it is supposed to be.
Sure.., we should Love God and Love People – but I am interested in knowing what some of the solutions are by K & L? The messiness of ministry requires us I believe to set the bar higher; but set it higher in Love. That is where the tension between culture and God’s desires for us lies. So…, as leaders, how do we proceed ahead? Set the bar high – we alienate; set the bar low – we not only alienate, but we also in my humble opinion disappoint God. I’m kinda rambling here, but hopefully you get my point.
In His Love,
Richie



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