I just powered through I Once was Lost – What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us About Their Path to Jesus, in two nights. I felt like I was living the first page yesterday, except that it was raining.
At Portland State University there was a church/Bible school group on campus singing worship songs and trying to awkwardly convert people, including yours truly. The leader was wearing bouncy moon boot shoes to attract attention…yeah, strange. To be fare, they did pray with me and were encouraging, but I couldn’t help but laugh as I read the first page of this book last night….
I can remember that afternoon as if it were yesterday. I (Doug) was standing out in the middle of the green grass of the quad on campus, singing as loudly as I could. Twenty of my Christian friends and I were holding guitars and singing to “witness” to the students who lounged nearby on the sunny patches of grass in the middle of the Cal Berkely campus. We wanted to show our fellow students our authentic joy and love for Jesus. What better way to witness than with bold worship?
And man, did we grow that day! It was a profound faith experience for all of us who were willing to be “fools for Christ.” We stood publicly and shamelessly for the gospel. Our faith was tested and affirmed.
But as for those who were trying to catch some rays on the lawn–well, no one was curious about issues of faith after our public spectacle. Instead of being attractive or intriguing witnesses for Christ, we were just one more random thing in their day, it seemed.
Our bold worship had grown our faith, but it made for weak evangelism. Our fatal flaw? We came up with our evangelistic strategy while we were alone in a room together with a bunch of Christians. Not once in our brainstorming and planning did we ask where our non-Christian fellow students were coming from. Not once did we try to find out what they might need to take a step toward Jesus. We were mostly coming up with something we wanted to do, not something that would be actually helpful to those unsuspecting sunbathers in the quad. I’ll never forget that afternoon.
More to come on the rich evangelism insights from this book that was given to us at our recent leadership conference. It’s written by college ministers doing the work, so it has hit home with me profoundly!
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