One of the things that I’ve always struggled with growing up in church is the concept of sharing my faith. I think it is important to share our faith. I think it is important to invite others into the best kind of life that we find in the way of Jesus. However, I’ve often felt that we’ve overly simplified this process and have also made it too much like sales.
I’ve been at schools and in churches where evangelism is a skill you learn that includes walking people through a set group of questions or progressions, helping them to logically see how they need faith. I’ve received many a tract (I have a collection so if you have any laying around please send them to me.), some given to me because people want me to get saved and others given to me to share with others (which I could never do). I’ve also seen a sort of abadonment of talk about bringing people to faith, which is not what I think any of us are after either.
I also feel that people are very interested in what we believe and want somebody to be convicted and caring about something, as I mentioned here when I highlighted a video post by Penn Gillette.
There have been a lot of conversations about this lately. I’ll highlight a few here:
1. Dan Kimball along with a gaggle of other big names are working on a new “community” that will embrace this new evangelism for a new day. It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with and how they language this!
2. I just ran across this article on Salon.com that is really well done and I think pretty fair about street evangelism and young people. Kevin Roose goes undercover at Liberty for a semester to see what he’s missing as a college student.
3. Greg Stier from Dare 2 Share, who is known for sharing and training students to share in this kind of a way, responded here. This is a helpful response for me to understand both Greg and some of the whys. (I really like Greg as a person and have enjoyed my encounters with him.)
4. All of this I’m reading and writing in light of a new study on the Religious Engagement of Undergrads.
What about you??? Do you share your faith? How? I’m looking for less deconstruction and more stories and imagination.
How do you talk about this? I think language is important.
What about those of you in youth ministry? How do you “train” or “educate” students about this? Or do you at all?