A new approach
ONE AFTERNOON, I was so exhausted that I decided to take a nap in the downstairs family room. I put my daughter to bed, closed the front door, opened the louvres and opened the curtains to let in some light and wind.
As I was so tired, it didn’t take me long to fall asleep. Just about 45 minutes into my sleep I was suddenly awakened by loud banging and shouting. I jumped out of my sleep with my heart pounding, thinking my daughter was in trouble. As I was about to run upstairs, out of the corner of my eye I could see two women with umbrellas and hats still banging on my front door, peering through the glass trying to get my attention.
With frustration and anger slowly building inside, I approached the ladies and immediately told them: “I know of the crusade tonight.” Imagine, for three consecutive days, these ladies came to my home and invited me to a crusade, which was being held in front of my home, yes, in front of the house. What would have possessed these ladies to wake me out my sleep to tell me the same thing they had told me for the past three days?
We can all agree that the world has changed and generally for the better as it relates to structural designs, technology, innovation and the way we function. I believe as the world changes, our values and beliefs should remain but our modes of operation should also change.
I am a Christian, a proud one at that. Actually, you can call me a church boy, Jesus freak, a Bible man or a God man and I won’t be ashamed or offended. What offends me is the approach used by some Christian denominations in spreading the Gospel and the clear disregard at times of one’s privacy.
It is quite funny yet disturbing to see the reactions and the creative things people, including Christians, often do to avoid any contact or discussions with Jehovah Witness, who can be very persistent. I remember standing as a teen at the bus stop awaiting a bus when three “Witnesses” approached me. They greeted me and I immediately started speaking in Spanish mixed with a little made up gibberish and they left. I can also remember being in a friend’s home and as they approached the front gate, my friend turned off the TV, closed the windows and fell flat to the floor. It was so bad that when they entered the neighbourhood, guys who were liming would start sending text messages warning us they were there.
I honestly believe Jehovah’s Witnesses and members of other Christian organizations and denominations have their hearts are in the right place; it is their approach that needs adjusting. There may be times when this bold, forward type of evangelism may be necessary but I don’t think it should the main approach used in these times.
I found in The Bible a simple four-step process Christ encouraged us to use to win “souls” for the kingdom. It can be found in Luke 10: 5 – 9.
The first thing Jesus said to do was to give a greeting to the individuals/home you visited. Greet them in a peaceful, warm and positive way. The second thing he said to do was to eat and drink with them. Basically, he was asking us to fellowship and build relationships with them. Thirdly, he said to “heal the sick amongst them”. All he was telling us to do was to meet a need, find out what you can help with. The fourth and last thing he said to do was to tell them about the Kingdom of God.
For years, our approach was to do Step 4 first. Perhaps it’s time to try something else. The hard truth is that the church body isn’t growing as fast as it should be – maybe, just maybe, we could be doing something wrong.
• Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Email firstname.lastname@example.org