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Unchristian: What a thing to say.

October 17, 2007

Some people scare me when they get so excited. It makes me a little unsure. I always wonder if it is genuine. I think I will probably never see them again. To be honest I had such a moment recently. A young man came and worshiped with us. After worship we were talking and I asked if he would like to have lunch.

We sat down and ate at a local burger joint and he began to share his story in bits and pieces. At times I gave him some of mine because I thought it might let him know that this indeed was a safe place to share.

When we finished he told me he thought this was the first time he had ever talked with a Pastor beyond the “hi how are you” at the door.

He shared his thoughts and feelings. He told me about his journey. It was a good lunch, I hope to see him again this Sunday.

The one thing I would like to share as it relates to UNChristian is the fact that we must move beyond lost and found, we even need to skip the idea of unchurched because all of those words don’t do justice to our current landscape. Now I realize the idea of a lost sheep is appealing in the context of Jesus words, he is looking in love for everyone, but in our current climate it sounds more like you are a good for nothing piece of trash that better get right with God or go to Hell. Just so you know.

My new friend shared his journey and while God has not been at the center He has been there. While being a part of a church family hasn’t been something he has ever done that has less to do with God and more to do with people. Maybe a better place to start the discussion is where are you with God. It’s incredible open ended and yet it points to our Father.

I don’t know, in listening to his story I heard glimpses of God, moments of truth in a life that in many ways hasn’t reflected Christ. I’m not willing to leave him there, some in and some out, but I do think I should be careful that I not dismiss the fact that God is working in his life.

I look back at my past and I think I have dismissed peoples God moments because they were not totally in, and I should have acknowledged God’s faithfulness while pointing them to a closer walk.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2007 6:19 am

    Good stuff.

  2. October 18, 2007 12:46 pm

    Now Darin,

    Don’t you know that God only works in the lives of those who are “walking in the light?”

    Sorry. My mom-in-law would pop me in the head and say, “Sarcasm is unbecoming.”

    I think your concerns are right on point, and I believe “Where are you with God” is a great question. It is so open and yet intimate. It also recognizes that most people know they have a relationship with God, and that they are struggling in it. I recently read that one of the major reasons Jesus came was to convince humanity of God’s trustworthiness. I think that is part of our mission too, because so many people who preach Jesus have shown themselves to be unworthy of trust when it comes to opening one’s heart.

    in HIS love,

  3. benoverby permalink
    October 19, 2007 10:58 am

    Darin, that’s simple yet powerful. 1. Share a meal. 2. Listen. 3. Share your own story. This treats people with dignity rather than like “prospects.”

  4. Jim Sexton permalink
    October 19, 2007 6:20 pm

    That is the question. I have used it for a while and it opens up avenues that otherwise take weeks, months, or more to get down. It also cuts to the chase when you are dealing with someone who isn’t even sure there is a God, much less how to relate to Him.

    Even when we know the answer going into the conversation, it is a comfortable jumping off point… not unlike Jesus asking the woman at the well about her husband when He knew full well her entire history.

    Give people a safe place to respond from, then hear them out, bear them out, and lure them out.


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