March 27, 2013

How NOT to Engage Your Community With the Gospel

There are lots of little articles flying around the ‘blogosphere’ on how to be more ‘missional’ etc. Some of them are helpful and some of them are breathtakingly hilarious. Here are some of my tips of how not to engage ‘evangelistically’ on a housing scheme. Remember, it’s just for fun!

1. Sit in the front garden and invite the neighbours’ children around the house for cookies and milk (this was an actual suggestion on one blog!). That would be a sure-fire ticket to requiring new windows, a trip to the hospital, and the need for a new address!

2. Buy a poodle and take it for a walk on the local park. Although to be fair, after it has been torn apart by a wandering ‘Staffy’ (bull terrier), it could be a good discussion starter!

3. Invite people around for a ‘bake off’ or a ‘cheese and wine’night or a ‘bring and share meal’.

4. Invite people around for an evening of ‘fun board games’.

5. Host a movie night discussing the spiritual merits of . . . (any film here really!)

6. Take your guitar and wander around the streets playing Christian songs (an actual suggestion that I was tempted to allow for my personal amusement. The health and safety of the individual meant I couldn’t do it)!

These are six, and there are hundreds more. There’s plenty of mileage in this so I don’t want to spoil you! In all seriousness, some of these aren’t terrible ideas for certain contexts, but they will not work on the schemes. If you want to be culturally relevant and missionally contextual, here are some light-hearted suggestions:

1. Get arrested in front of the neighbours, even if only for a minor offence. This will greatly enhance your standing in the community. If you can shout out, ‘You’ll never take me alive copper!’ or ‘I’m saying nothing pig!’ then this will greatly add to your mystique and open up many doors for further, profitable conversation (particularly if you’re innocent, although it doesn’t really matter if you’re not).

2. Buy a couple of old motorbikes and just leave them in the front garden. This will lead to (a) discussion from passers-by who will think you know your stuff (b) mockery from passers-by who will mock your‘junk’ ( a great ice breaker) or, my personal favourite, (c) local thieves and/or scrap men will steal them in the night thus leading to conversations with the neighbours about the ‘heinous’ crime (another great ice breaker).

3. Put on a dramatic show either in the house or the front garden (the latter is preferable, but try practising indoors until you get the hang of it) where you and your significant other have a screaming match. The twist is that one of you pretends to be an unbeliever arguing against the existence of God and the other puts forward the gospel passionately. 10 minutes should suffice to have effectively presented the good news to those who are either watching from their gardens or listening through the walls in their homes.

If you would like further information on these or other tried and tested techniques on housing schemes then please don’t hesitate to not contact me.

Have a great day .

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