What a range of responses today. Walk up evangelism has subtle but definate rules of engagement and I think we experienced and practiced some of these more or less effectively today. Our first couple were mildly interested. We tried to lead them into knowledge of God and His law but they were very “each to his own” “true for you but not for me” type characters, willing to talk as long as things didn’t get too heavy. We had to leave them with a personal appeal – we want you to know what we believe is true – because you really need to know it – we would feel irresponsible if we didn’t tell you this. They appreciated that I think and so they took a tract and a Bible.
Atheists who don’t want to talk are pretty easy to deal with. Sadly you can only walk on. Perhaps we need a special tract for atheists that appeals to their pride in logic and reason. A joke maybe?
I was keenly aware of a bit of power imbalance talking to the young skaters. In my mind there is a little alarm bell that says make sure you don’t freak them out, pressure them with your age or make them feel like they should listen because you are older. These two guys were highschoolers hanging out on their own with the big boys who unlike us smoke and swear and wear lots of body peircing. That observation let me put aside the difference in our ages and just have a chat. I still felt a bit uneasy by the end of it but the boys were holding their own pretty well and didn’t seem intimidated. I don’t think I would chat to kids below college age again as there is just too much room for risky connotations being read into the simplest and most innocent of actions. If you read this blog and are a college/uni age commited Christian, your help in talking to the pre college would be ideal. We are getting old Daniel!
The dads with their boys were pretty quick to give us the boot – the unbeliever politely told us he didn’t want to talk and the professing Christian (his friend) was kind of stuck in an awkward silence because of his unbelieving mate. It was a strange situation but hopefully one that could lead to some frank discussion between these two friends about their spiritual state and position before God. Sometimes we need a little prod to get active in talking to our friends about God.
Our best experience was with the rollerblading pair at the end of our excursion. These guys were amiable, pleasant and happy to talk at length and listen to what we had to say. We had a really good time chatting with these guys and were able to give a good account of who God is, what God’s law really demands of us, where that leaves us and them and what it is that Jesus has done and how we can receive that. Lynden and Warrick were great guys and I really hope that God uses the Word that they received today to give them and/or renew their spiritual life and hope. Had some Gideons Bibles and some little FSC tracts which they were happy to take. This was a real encouragement to me.