Traditional evangelism barely ever works. Sometimes I wonder if it ever did. Tracts and church invites erect walls instantaneously. Prejudice based on past experience runs deep, an undercurrent with a hair trigger. People don’t want to be talked at; they want to be heard. People don’t want to be treated as projects, and I can understand that. Maybe this is me ranting about the system again, but this is important. We will lose souls and drive walls higher if we don’t change.
I’ve had an exciting week with the people thus far. I love the people, and I’m most alive when I’m with them. I love building relationships, not just as an avenue for evangelism, but for their own sake. It just so happens, though, that this week we’ve talked about God and Jesus, and what my friends believe. It’s been good. Not good as in “Wow they all changed their minds!”, but good as in they listened and cared about what I had to say. They may still disagree, but at least they didn’t block me out as soon as I said “God”.
We need to treat people as people (like Jesus did); we need to meet people where they are, not just expect them to come to us. The church is seen as a hypocritical, empty, tradition based organization. Live genuinely, love truly, and you will gain trust and respect. Don’t fulfill the cliched view, and you will be noticed. Fulfill the great commission yourself and you will be fulfilled. At least, I am.
I’m excited to read the Bible. I’ve dug out some of my favorite apologetics books again. I’m not bringing up God, they are. It’s fun to see where one much-overheard bus conversation is leading… I’ll miss this when it’s over. I don’t want my time with the wonderful horrible ones to end. I love being Jesus to the people– it means much more than tracts or money-throwing evangelism ever could. I hope I’m planting seeds. I pray that God is working in the people. I know He’s working in me.