make ´em wonder what you´ve got
make ´em wish that they were not
on the outside looking bored
When people outside the church look at me, what do they see? It’s a question as old as youth groups, but I’ve always hated it. To me it seems like a salesman approach to evangelism. The gospel is much more than a used car and we as Christians should be much more than used-car salesmen.
There’s a big part of me that absolutely hates the above lyrics. Lyrics like these help create an us/them mentality that goes a long way to undermine the Christian love our lives should evidence.
Yet, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how we as a church come across to people for whom religion is not a given. There are the practical questions like: What would a non-Christian think about the worship or the robes or people lining up for bread and wine?
And then there are the trickier questions like: If someone isn’t giving their life back to God, would they look at me and want to? How close would someone have to look at my life before seeing a God that they’d want to follow? Or, is it even necessary that my life makes following God seem appealing?
Jesus is true. God is true. The Bible is true. God’s presence in my life is a reality. But it’s not a rosy reality. God is doing some hefty redemptive work in my life and it’s not always pleasant. If you’ve read pretty much any of the other blog posts I’ve written, that will not surprise you.
Life is hard. This is true. But is it the truest of truths? Jesus said,
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
I know I’ve been letting sadness have too much of a hold on my life. God is good and He is loving. It seems like it would then also be true that following God is better than not following God. If there are ways that my life doesn’t witness this, does something need to change? What?