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Friday, May 27, 2005

Bursting to share (II)

Now you might say that you could possibly accept hearing about Christianity from a close friend out of respect for your friendship. But you just cannot abide those mass produced leaflets or random strangers coming up to you in the street.

Why do Christians stand in the street handing out tracts or approaching people to 'have a short chat'? I've already outlined why Christians feel the need to share their faith...but here's why we try to share it with people we don't know.

Sometimes it's just less complicated to talk to a stranger than to somebody whom you know or who is close to you. I'm not saying that it's easy to approach a random person on the street and talk to them about your deepest feelings. However, if you offend a stranger, it is less devastating than offending a friend. Or if a stranger laughs at what you have to say, it's far less hurtful than a friend doing the same thing. If you embarrass yourself, chances are that you will never see that person again. I have been on these 'Street Witness' things before and it can be pretty embarassing as well as demoralising to be rejected time and again.

Occasionally there will be someone who really does want to listen. Or somebody who has wanted to know more about Christianity but has not approached anyone about it for fear of being scoffed at.

Finding someone like that is like finding a lost treasure.

Another reason why Christians do this 'street evangelism' thing is because it makes us visible. We're standing in a public place practically holding a sign reading 'Christian Here', so that anyone can approach us to rant/ask questions/ask for directions to the supermarket. It makes us vulnerable, but it also makes us accessible.

That's all the thoughts I've got on this subject, so I think I shall stop here.



Anonymous hamster said...

Nice way of explaining active evangelism either through friends or on the street. Personally I feel street evangelism loses that personal factor and people tend to lose steam unless they have someone to talk to as a follow up. Which doesn't always happen.

Anyway that's personal preference - so long as God's word is taught and the good news is spread!

11:21 am  
Anonymous hamster said...

Oh blast. Please don't link to me - my blog is definitely personal and may not even be of interest to you. But just in case. Thanks!

11:27 am  
Blogger tscd said...

hamster: I think that anyone who does street evangelism should also follow up on the people who have been interested to know more. That is the whole point of it. It should always happen.

On the other hand, churches are readily available anywhere in Singapore - someone who is truly seeking God should have no problem. If they 'lose steam', then it's obvious they weren't all that keen in the first place.

The whole problem with street evangelism is sometimes the people involved are not well-prepared enough to engage in debate. That's when we just appear foolish. We are meant to always have an answer ready in any situation (2 Tim 3:16-17).

2:38 pm  
Anonymous hamster said...

Honestly speaking, what I see more in Singapore is that people have that mindset that follow-up is for someone else - my duty is done when I've finished getting people to sit down with me to say the sinner's prayer.

I'm not sure I agree with the comment on "someone who is truly seeking God should have no problem". How do we define someone who's truly seeking? Also, not every church in Singapore necessarily is helpful - people can get turned off when they do seek and don't even know where to start, and step into the doors of the next church to find the prosperity gospel being preached.

Also, you're right - people tend not to be well-equipped enough to prepare in debate. So much to learn... But then again, we can't have all the answers, can we?

Anyway I still think it's a nice explanation as to why we evangelise at all, the good news of Christ.

3:03 pm  

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