I work part-time at Chili's. Everyone there knows I am a pastor. I've prayed with people, I've given hard truth to some of my Christian co-workers and I've had great chances to share my faith.
The other day, I received one of the BEST comments from a non-Christian I've ever received. He said: "You're not the normal type of Christian, that's why I like you and listen to you". Those words came from my General Manager (GM).
We were talking about faith, swearing, sex and the like. He asked my opinions on all of those subjects. He openly refuted what I was saying and I simply said: "This is what's true. I know it to be true because I've experienced it, lived it and learned it. I'm not going to make you believe what I believe by cramming it down your throat. I'm not out to win an argument, but I want to win your heart". This is what caused him to say: "You're not the normal type of Christian, that's why I like you and listen to you"
Normally I don't put up posts that seemingly pat myself on the back and I don't mean to do that with this post. I simply want to make a point.
He then described to me all the Nyack College and ATS (Alliance Theological Seminary) students whom he had discussed theology with in the past. He said they all wanted to argue until they won. He said he would refute them until he was blue in the face and eventually, they all walked away angry that he wasn't listening to them or being won over by there amazing apologetic skills.
I told my GM that God convicted me of such Faith proclamations and asked me to seek out the persons heart rather than seeking a notch on my belt for winning yet another argument. I told him I desire to live my faith, not just argue for it. God has asked me to be a person who openly lives his faith and loves those around him (even if they refute what I say).
My GM then said: "You do that. That's why I like talking with you. I know I can't get a rise out of you. I hope we can continue to talk about this stuff."
Earlier, I said I want to make a point. Here it is: this is the type of evangelism/apologetic that must be adopted to meet the hunger for God that is prevalent within this generation. Not being "that type of Christian", but being different.
The World needs a group of people that seek to live their faith, not just argue for it.
Again, I am not saying I am the "poster boy" for this. In fact, this was ONE good story among plenty of HORRIBLE ones where I totally killed the gospel for people because I argued and bickered with them about how I was right and they were wrong. In those moments I didn't care to even HEAR them.
How can we teach our teens about the importance of living our their faith? How can we share with them that it is only through the Holy Spirit that this type of living is possible? How can we disciple our teens into surrendering their lives to Christ? These are all tough questions that we as Youth Pastors wrestle with EVERY day! I hope we can all encourage one-another to seek out these answers so we can see God use this generation to ignite a passion for His name!
(I posted this on my Youth Min Blog, but thought I'd share here too)