Sunday, January 28, 2007

so you want to be a secret agent (pt V): evangelism


The word evangelism scares me.

It brings me back to my childhood where I attended a Saturday breakfast at the church of christ I grew up in. After breakfast, we were all assigned into teams of two or three and went door-knocking in the local neighborhood.

Even at the tender age of 11, it was painful and embarrassing. Door-knocking was a dismal failure. So impersonal. So sales-pitch-ish. So “us vs. them”. (shudder)

But to criticize door-knocking at age 11 would be the equivalent to pledging allegiance to beelzebubba from the pulpit.

Secret agents generally work incognito. They take Jesus’ words in Matthew chapter 6 pretty seriously. When you give to the needy, don’t try to be seen. When you pray, get out of sight. When you fast, don’t announce it and for god’s sake don’t try to LOOK like you’re fasting.

Secret agents evangelize by doing things, yet not making a scene. They rarely talk or announce anything.

If there’s some menial task that needs to be done for someone else, just do it.

Serving others speaks louder than 1000 damn street preachers or tract passer-outers.

(also see Fletch & G13's recent posts on similar subjects)

7 comments:

Deana said...

A couple of door to door evangelist came by the other day. I would have absolutely ignored them had they not seen me out on the front porch collecting our diaper delivery.

They went to all the neighbor's houses, then rang our doorbell. I answered the door, all while Max was screaming in the back-ground because he needed a diaper change and was hungry.

I didn't have time to listen, but I did, with a smile, for just a moment. I told them that I needed to go care for my son, and they kindly stepped away.

The last time I was involved in a door to door evangelizing cruisade, I was the door knocker. For that moment the other day...I saw how the door answerer must have felt!

Anonymous said...

What's your view of Luke 10 when he sent out the 72?

Agent B said...

My view?

Luke 10 seems to be the agent's manual, as opposed to the drive-by evangelist's guideline.

Go. Don't depend on money. Stay in one locale. Engage (and receive) hospitality. Eat what they eat. Drink what they drink. If you're not welcomed, kick your feet and move on. They'll be hating life in the end.

I don't know.

What's your view?

Anonymous said...

I was referring to the "door knocking" aspect. It seems that was what they were doing.

Miller said...

anon,

i'm not sure what you're getting at here.

sure, there was some slight similarity between what Jesus asked the 72 to do and what we're calling door knocking...

if you're really wearing thick, dark, poorly prescribed glasses

:)

what door knockers do is nothing like the sending out of the 72, unless perhaps you're mormon.

i don't see any door knockers spending days with their "targets" living off the "target's" food and sleeping in their beds. i don't see door knockers being as selective as Jesus instructed... anybody's a target with them.

and lastly, i don't see any evangelical door knockers leaving their own city to go abroad with out money, extra clothes, or shoes.

i guess, other than that, the two are similar...

Agent B said...

I have nothing to add to what Miller already covered.

Real live door knocking seems to have faded away (except with Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses).

Maybe there's a reason for that.

Messianic Gentile said...

That guy is me, only I look more conventional. I have preached from the bed of my truck. And I think you must join God or die. In those terms, it is pretty simple to me.

And yet, to leave it like that would seem to lump me in with people I am not like. Perhaps I am more like them than I think, but I still don't think so. I am not damning people to Hell, since I do not believe in that myth. And I am not trying to "get them saved" or "get their souls into heaven when they die" which should be a HUGE difference between me and many a street evangelist.

And I am dead set against salespitch evangelism. I am not selling something you can buy at all. I am preaching REVOLUTION. Jesus is taking over. There is new management in the neighborhood. Drug lords be warned. Love is the order of the day. Get with it, or get of God's planet... and even still, just get with it.

I been getting hopped up on Claiborne, forgive my gushing...

Many blessings...