I have a confession to make. The other day, I discovered I was sick of doing Ordinary Attempts.
The realization came as I was talking with a woman I recently met. Only it wasn’t really a two-way conversation. The entire time she was talking, I was trying to figure out how to OA her. I walked away from our conversation feeling tired and a little peevish. Man, I wish I didn’t have to do this OA stuff, I thought to myself. I just want to have a regular conversation.
I almost stopped in my tracks. That was a lot like how I used to feel like when I walked away from conversations in which I was trying to “evangelize” someone—spending the entire time trying to figure out a way to get Jesus into the conversation so that I could talk about him.
Oiy. I thought I’d left that life behind me the day I walked into a clergy friend of mine’s office and confessed that I was through with “evangelism.” I was sick of the way evangelism in popular church culture treated people as targets and portrayed the process (even “relationship evangelism”) as notching up converts. I was tired of treating my friends and the people I loved that way. Yes, I desperately wanted them to know Jesus, but I also wanted to love and enjoy them—not treat them as targets. . . .
So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them: "I'm here to introduce you to this God.... He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. We live and move in him, can't get away from him!" ~Acts 17