on the streets

I know, I know, it’s been a long time. I’ve been stressing over piano and people. It’s what happens when one volunteers their mediocre playing skills for the church over christmas time. It’s also what happens when you have close friends.

Beginning tomorrow, for roughly 24 hours, I will be hanging out on the famous route of the rose parade. I will be following a large group of people intent upon street evangelizing the day before the parade. An opportune moment, yes? Some of them will merely be miming/dramatizing to music containing bits (or all) of the gospel message, and some of them will be “preaching.”

Why will I only be following? Well, for one thing I will be documenting stuff on film, literally. For another thing, I don’t really like “street evangelizing.”

Whoops. Did I actually write that? On the public domain of the world wide web where most of my readers claim Christianity? I’m afraid I did, which leads to the main point/question of this little blog:

What’s my problem with street evangelizing?

Okay, admittedly, maybe it’s not my “gift”, per se. That’s a slightly legitimate reason. But what else bothers me is that most who are evangelized on the street, once having “accepted Jesus” (i’m struggling with most christian-ese at this point in my life), are left quite alone, without discipleship, and, well, alone, still adrift in their world. Is it safe to say they are really saved? I’m not the Judge, but I think about this a lot, and I have the same issues with altar calls.

So before you become quite annoyed with me for taking issue with something that is quite traditional in the church realm, let me clarify that I don’t believe street evangelizing is inherently bad, for God can choose any method He pleases to draw one to Himself, I’m sure there are many who go about street witnessing with care and wisdom, and I am certain there are those who would not have heard about Jesus otherwise. I’m just pointing out something I have noticed in my short life span that could use more attention.

Am I wrong in this in any way?  I would like to be corrected if I am.

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4 thoughts on “on the streets

  1. dionne says:

    I agree. Discipleship is a HUUUGE part of teaching people what Christianity is about. It’s like someone who wants to join a club. They are all excited about it because someone has told them all about how great it is, and it’s perks, but then once they’ve joined, they really need someone to show them everything that the club is about, and what the club does and how the club feels about certain things, etc.

    I don’t have anything against street evangelism, but I do prefer it when street evangelists get the contact info from the person they witness to if possible, so that they can follow up with them.

    And yay for the Rose Parade! I was down in Pasadena for New Years twice in a row. Roberto’s place is right on the route, so we looked at all the floats up close at about 2am where they were parked before the parade. Sooooo fun! Happy New Year!

  2. Matt R. says:

    I agree also but am afraid of the possibility that you and I feel that way more because we don’t like to DO street evangelism. I find it so hard to analyze my motives for these types of positions. I really despise the idea of talking to people I don’t know, ‘cold turkey’ about things so deep and important as the gospel. I also agree that it is ineffective and tends to produce insincere and temporary ‘Christians’ not true followers of Jesus. But what I struggle with is figuring out if I use the latter statement as an insincere justification for not witnessing to people randomly on the streets and door to door.

    Do you understand what I’m saying? I’m not accusing you of insincerity, just pointing out how hard it is to be unbiased in deciding our views on such things.

    Thanks much for the thoughts though. I think I agree with them… still working on whether I agree for legitimate reasons or not….

  3. Sabrina says:

    yeah, matt, even after i spilled out these thoughts the other night, i was struggling with definitions and bias. i agree that it is difficult to come to an objective conclusion about many things theological, because we all have bias one way or another. as for myself, i find it really easy to justify stuff without revealing a strong bias, and that’s scary.

    and i’ve been behind on your blog….but i intend to remedy that soon.

  4. kwihee says:

    being someone who is more concerned with the discipleship part i identify with much of what you are saying. i think in the body of Christ we all have different strengths pertaining to our giftings. just because we may not be comfortable about doing something or are not as strong in an area, which in this case is street evangelizing, does not mean, as you have stated, that ‘God cannot use any method He chooses to draw others to himself’. it also does not mean that we are excused from carrying out clear mandates in scripture just because it is not our “gift”. but it may mean that we choose other methods in informing others about Christ. same thing for those gung ho about street evangelism. they may not be as strong or “gifted” if you will in discipling others, but that does not exempt them from discipling others when an opportunity presents itself. the beauty of our different strengths is that we all work together to get the full job done right. evangelism without discipleship is not complete; and discipleship cannot happen if evangelism didn’t happen. so yes, we have different strengths and/or preferences but not permission to ignore what’s expected of all believers. there’s my 2 cents.

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