Hit and run evangelism
I can relate to this story, and I find the idea of non-violent communication mentioned here very interesting. We all want to connect to one another as human beings, regardless of belief. That's what I longed for in my days in a small church, where we were being trained to hand out tracts.
Matter of fact, I got evangelised the other day in Albert Park. Shame. I really felt for the old man who was talking to me; he had so much good intentions and I believe a caring heart, but he was a talker, not a listener.
Unlike the story I've linked to, this guy was able to talk with me for quite a while, but it was definitely along scripted lines. He stopped when I told him I was a born again Christian, and gave me a couple of booklets he'd written.
Even though we were on common ground now, there was still a huge distance between us. He wasn't talking to me as a person, he was talking to me as a Christian. Big difference.
And now that I'm getting back into church, and getting back on track, I need to remember that. It's easy to get sucked back into 'churchianity', the culture Michael Card sings about in Present Reality:
A once a week observance
Where we coldly mouth your words
Sometimes I get anxious about this, and God has a way of slipping in something to ease my mind. Like our church holding a conference to leaders for the express purpose of helping us love better. Nothing more, nothing less. Wow. If there's anything the Church as a whole needs more, it's that.
I used to think if people saw some of the cool Christian stuff there was, they'd be impressed and want to know more. They've seen it. Christian stuff - music, books, movies - is in the mainstream, at least in US culture, and the people I talk with aren't impressed.
It's not our minds, or our short term emotions that need to be engaged. To a skeptical world armed with head knowledge and philosophy which can explain anything away, God wants to prove Himself to people through other people who can love. That's a very serious, very long-term programme.
Thank God He's committed to it!