It still amazes me how complicated we make things. For example, our church recently began picking up kids for church on Sundays. Many of these kids come on Wednesday nights but had not come on Sunday. In order to make the bridge to Sunday a bus/van driver was needed to go pick them up. Now we have them coming on Sunday. There is a problem. They don’t know how to “act” in church. All they have known is the child-centered form of church on Wednesdays. They don’t know that those “concerned” looks on people’s faces is a cue that they should turn around, sit down, close the mouth, and put their hands in their laps. Do they act like that in school? Sadly, probably. For this reason they get in trouble…a lot.
Here is where I think we make evangelism complicated. Churches and church people have concluded that evangelism is learning some contrived script and sharing with unsuspecting victims. These poor people get a spiritual smack every Tuesday night. We keep going back because they have not decided to attend church yet! Some might have concluded that memorizing a certain set of scriptures and spraying people like a firehouse with them is the way to go about “winning people to Jesus”. All the while, the community at large treats us like Eureka vacuum salesman and hide out hoping we will only knock twice and go away. Somehow I don’t think this is what Jesus had in mind.
Where do the kids fit in? Those kids are your ticket to evangelism! However, we are going to love them to Jesus rather than labor them to Jesus. Here is how you impact the next generation. We all have kids like this that need love and people who need to give love. This is a perfect match! Susie’s mom is in jail, Bobby’s dad is a meth head, Billy’s mom “works overnight”, and so on. These children tend to be neglected and without the support of love…real love. Match a person/couple with a child as a mentor. If you call them a church parent someone might take offense. They should treat them like they did their children. Meet them at the door. Hug them. Sit with them. Take them to the bathroom. The first few weeks will be very difficult. They will squirm, talk, spin, spit, and possibly cuss. But there will be that moment when, instead of sitting as far off as possible, they will situate themselves right under you arm. You will hug them and a love connection is born. Through this relationship they will begin to feel love, warmth, and trust. When the time comes you can tell them about God’s love for them. They will “get it” because they have “felt it”. You will have saved a life physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
You can save a life this Sunday!!