04 May 2013

Don't Abandon the Baby

Two Things I Hate About Christians:

Street Witnessing
Common Evangelism

Before you write me off as a heretic, let me explain…

I was downtown last week at a job site inspecting some work we had done when I walked out into a group of well-meaning Christians handing out those cheesy tracts that look like money.  You've seen this track before, the one that looks like a $20 bill.

Our exchange was something like this:

Spirited guy with tract, “Here sir!”
“No thanks.”
“No, really sir; take this and read it.”
“Really sir, I’m a Christ follower" (I intentionally did not say ‘Christian’) and went on, “You can save the paper.”
“But don’t you know anyone who’s not saved?”
“Yes, but I spend time talking to them instead.”
And I walked away, a little frustrated.

During a business lunch, a prospective client went into a dissertation against “emergent” theology and warned me about heresy and the need for sound doctrine.

I don’t know why, but the guy just kept talking. He’d ask questions and hardly let me answer. I barely got a reply in.

That was beneficial. Not.

So, now you probably think I’m petty. Are you the one on the street corner with the tracts? Are you the guy at the lunch meeting? Are you me? Well, I've been all three, and maybe you have been, also.

There is nothing wrong with the tracts themselves. They’re a tool. And there’s nothing wrong with telling people about God.

BUT... we have to care about the person.

We have become so desensitized by Facebook, tweets, and blogs that we've forgotten to care about body language and the fact that there’s a life attached to that hand we’re shoving a tract into.

Christ knew people. He saw the person and cared about them and their life.

It’s not enough to tell people about salvation, we’re called to BE the BODY OF CHRIST, which means we’re acting on His behalf.

Ephesians 4:15 says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

We are the Church and we are meant to be His fullness. That means we are coworkers in bringing that salvation to the world.

So ‘care’ about who you’re talking to. Don’t offer that tract if you’re not willing to be part of their lives and lead them to good discipleship. I truly believe that ‘evangelism without discipleship’ is spiritual abuse.

And whatever you do, don’t reduce the Gospel to a sales pitch. It’ll change everything in the way you bear witness.

Christ did so much more than give a pitch, and He said we’d do even greater things than He did… Wow.

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