I heard a story today on Air1 about a guy who told the cashier at lowe’s or home depot or somewhere, “I’ll buy you a Snickers if you can tell me John 3:16.” And she couldn’t. So he left her a token or something with the verse written on it and went on with his day. Sometime later, he goes back to that same store and gets in her line again. “Hey, you’re that pastor from that church, aren’t you?” she asked. “Yes…” he responded. “I can do it now! is the offer still open?” she asked. He’s confused until he realizes who she is and the deal he made with her the last time. So she recites the verse and he hunts for the candy bar. Later, she becomes a Christian. Seriously! this was on air1 earlier!
It got me thinking about evangelism. Sometimes I think we, as the church, focus so much on telling everyone that we neglect to build relationships with people outside the church. Waitstaff at restaurants tend to hate the “after church” crowd (Remember the pastor that refused to tip?) And I have many friends who see Christians as a whole and cringe. So do I for that matter. But the thing I admire about the aforementioned pastor is that he challenged someone, followed through, and, I’m sure, is going to build a relationship with that cashier. Can’t we, as the church, strive to do the same thing?
I quit facebook this week. In all actuality, a large percentage of why has to do with a very small percentage of people on Facebook. They will spout their political opinions and it comes across as hate and you wonder how on earth they have any friends. In my life experiences, I can no longer subscribe to a passive, hate filled life that appears in so many. I work for a Muslim family. I am blessed to be able to have open dialogue with them over matters of faith. I don’t shun them, nor do I embrace all they believe. I do, however, allow them to pray in peace, take care of their son as if he were my own family, and help them out whenever needed. They are as family to me. I’d do anything to help them. However, I’m not backing down on my faith. If anything, working for them has strengthened mine. If I had the same devotion as they did, my faith would know no bounds.
Dear friends, I’m sorry for my “brothers and sisters” who’ve shown hate to you because you don’t believe as they do. I want you to know that my faith, though it has “rules,” is a relationship with the Divine. I can do nothing with out Christ. His strength is perfected in my weakness. I pray for each of you daily. I pray that your past hurts by people who claim Christ would be healed. I pray that you would experience Him. He is Love. He is Grace. He is Mercy. May you come to know Him as I do, personally. It’s not about religion. It’s about a relationship with the creator. It’s an open dialogue. And I really, really, really want you to be able to experience it too. I’m always open to dialogue with you and answer questions you have. I’m not afraid to say “I don’t know” because I know so little. I do know, however, that you are incredibly loved.
I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.