Call to mind someone you might think of when the word "evangelist" is mentioned. Clean cut? Lots of jargon? Trying to convince you of something, is he? Perhaps he's wearing a conservative shirt and tie -- maybe even penny loafers. Do you feel comfortable? Would you like to look him up for lunch? If not, what a missed opportunity for the Holy Spirit.
I heard about a different approach the other day. A friend of my daughter went on an organized mission trip with a church group, I believe. They were in a poor area of a Latin American country; they had brought lots of beans and other food to distribute and a boatload of Bibles.
But this young man got a bit impatient with his friends' foot-dragging as they got everything organized and programmed. So, he went down to the place where the men of the village appeared to gather, the local bar. He was warmly greeted when he walked in and offered a drink, but he explained in his halting Spanish that he only had $1. A shout went up - no problem! - and soon, equipped with a beer, he was swapping stories of his home town and hearing about their families, their chickens, and their difficulties finding work.
He left to get some money and convince his friends that he had stumbled onto an opportunity. So, better bankrolled this time, he returned and bought a round of beer to good cheer. Soon, one of his friends walked in with a load of the beans they had brought. Could anybody use some beans? Hey, sure, everybody could, and wasn't it great that the visitors had turned up with all that extra food. The fun continued.
Soon another friend came in with his arms full. Could anybody use a Bible? Huzzah, sure, that's great. Thanks, come on and sit down, what will you have? You guys read the Bible? Yeah, I've wondered about that too, but the really important stuff like our good Lord is all there plain as day. Yes, even though it's mostly women in the churches, manly men are stronger when they are living like God wants them to. Want help getting those beans home? Sure, we're staying for a week. I'll get you back tomorrow for that dart game.
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My daughter tells me that this fellow "was a guy before he was a Christian." Maybe that's the secret.
My friend Joe Grabowski writes…
1 hour ago