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    Friday, May 2, 2008

    The Messiness of Evangelism

    A hard lesson I had to learn not only about my faith in Jesus, but also as a member of this culture was this: I cannot hold a non-Christian to a Christian standard. I cannot expect someone who has NO CLUE about Christ and his transforming power to live as though they do.

    However, we as Christians do that very thing from time to time and because we do, we turn people away from the Christ that can transform them.

    Tonight, some of my youth group guys IMPRESSED me. We had two students at are chill with the guys night who had pretty foul mouths...yet my youth didn't say to them: "Dude, Marv's a pastor and I'm a Christian, so please don't swear around me, because I get offended". No, they ignored the foulness and loved them through it.

    We hung out, we ate, watched a movie and these guys WILL be back. One student, who claims to be an atheist has been coming back time and time again. We have embraced him despite it and have not forced him to live up to our "standard"

    I mean how could he? He doesn't know the love of Christ. He hasn't experienced the hand of God resting on him as a chosen son. Yet, he still comes to our group...because he feels loved and accepted by us. I GUARANTEE that had we said to him: "Before you come here, you need to fix that mouth" he would've never come back, because essentially to the youth of today if you say: "Please stop swearing, it's offensive" they will hear the before you come here, fix that mouth line.

    Evangelism now a days is MESSY. This may sound awkward, but the more non-Christian kids that come to our group with foul mouths the more I will rejoice, because to them, the church is a place that they feel loved despite their flaws...and eventually, Christ will transform them!

    This is evangelism, Jesus style. He hung out with grimy, foul-mouthed, demon-possessed, drunks, tax collectors (awful friend choice in his day), prostitutes and the lame. He never had "prerequisites" of them . He never said: "Before we hag out, get your act together"...NO! It was him accepting them, loving them and then transforming them!

    I am glad my teens are grabbing this principle that it took me 21 years to grab!


    kel said...

    That's good to hear! I feel myself in similar situations, being that I do go to a fashion school in downtown Los Angeles I'm with a whole bunch of unique people daily and am having to live my life, love whom I'm around and everything else that comes my way.

    It's been marvelous thus far! :)

    Anonymous said...

    AMEN! That is Jesus style...love them and meet them where they r at!