Seems I wrote yesterdays post, when methods fail, a few hours too early. The following story could fit perfectly under many of the 10 reasons methods may fail, but definitely fits under “stupid methods (will fail)”. Last night as we were hanging out with about 20 unbelieving students playing futsal and having a big cook-out, my staff partner from over at KKU shared some tragic and great news. We were standing on the sidelines watching two teams playing and Moe started telling me about a student (we’ll call him Fred) who gave his life to Jesus earlier that day. Here is the story in bullet points.
- Fred becomes a freshmen at Khon Kaen University and starts hanging out with some guys from Campus Outreach
- During his freshman or sophomore year it appeared to our staff that he was on the brink of following Jesus.
- At this point, another “Christian” organization began talking with him. For clarity, we are encouraged by multiple influence. We are not in business of potential sheep stealing or trying to keep folks strictly with us. We just want to be purposeful and helpful.
- A dude from this other group decided to take Fred down to the river and force him to be baptized and “pray”. Fred refused knowing that this was not right and was going against his conscience.
- Fred became distant from us and Christians and was “turned off” from Christianity. You think?
- 8 weeks ago Fred, in his senior year, started coming back around and playing futsal with us.
- He was told he was missed and that we were broken over the fact that it’s his senior year and there was not much time to hang.
- Moe began hanging with him and pouring into his life and sharing Jesus.
- Nai, one of our Thai staff guys, met with him for lunch yesterday and and Fred gave his life to Jesus.
- Fred will take his final university test Monday and will graduate.
- I met Fred last night and loved seeing his calmness and smile.
I would like to think about a couple of things here.
1. What in the world are people thinking is going to happen by forcing people to be baptized and say a prayer?!!?
If you have ever been in Thailand you know that the Thai people are extremely friendly. They will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and respected. Many will even “pray a prayer” with you just to make you happy while knowing all along they do not believe. I think some people take advantage of this and haphazardly and unlovingly “bring many to Jesus”. Is this a result of:
a. bad theology
b. bad methods
c. wrong motives
I would like to comment on each point but I can’t today. What I do know is that I don’t like it.
2. The power of the gospel and the workings of the Holy Spirit.
a. Even in the midst of bad theology, methods, and motives if the gospel is shared their is hope.
b. There is something to this that should make the careless “evangelist” wake up and the overly cultural sensitive evangelist relax a little bit and trust in the Holy Spirit and gospel more. Fred was wronged, hurt, and confused, but Jesus prevailed and Fred is a Christ follower now.
c. This does not remove the need to have methods, but I do think God is showing us how awesome he is.
d. Good A+B=C methods are not supreme. But bad M+E=me methods are stupid.
3. We should share the gospel lovingly and liberally using methods that honor the culture and hold the gospel supreme. We should not be stupid and unloving in our methods just to produce false numbers. I would rather a group sin by lying about their numbers of converts than actually bring real people into their schemes.
4. I praise God for our KKU team. Fred was being stirred by the Holy Spirit and went to where he had received real love!
a. Always show love
b. Always be honest
c. Always share Christ
d. Always be hopeful
e. Always pray
f. Always be driven by truth
g. Always depend on the Holy Spirit
h. Always be purposeful
i. Always welcome people back
j. Always rejoice
k. Always honor God and people
May I see when I am being stupid and be sorry for it. God show us your ways! We desire a true awakening here, a real movement of Jesus lovers who find there hearts resting in you as they labor and toil with all YOUR strength! Be glorified in our methods.