Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Counting Conversions...


Talking at them

My D group leader Jackson gave me a good quote last night from Brian McLaren. McLaren said "Stop counting conversions and start counting conversations."

We're taught in youth group that we should make certain friends just because their "unsaved." Of course they shouldn't be our best friends because we can't risk being influenced too much (sense my sarcasm). A common method; your youth pastor will say "list three unsaved friends on this piece of paper and think of how you can witness to them in the next month or so." After that you write them down you then spend the next couple of days nervouse about the next time you see them because you have to witness to them. This method was actually used in my youth group when I was young and also in the club that I was the facilitator of in High school.

Something I've been thinking about alot lately is the concept of authenticity, authenticity of love, faith, motive, friendship. In the method I described above do you think that's authentic in any way? Can I really say that I am loving that "unsaved" person. Mike Devries, a friend of mine who has influenced my thought alot, has talked before about "loving with an agenda." If I love with an "agenda" am I really loving at all. In this case I might say I love them (the "unsaved friends on the list) but my motive is to get them saved. Is that love? is that friendship? If I knew ahead of time that they'd never agree with me would I love them just the same? would I even talk to them?

7 comments:

Daniel said...

Excellent thoughts, Wes. Too often we're just focused on putting another scalp on our belt for Jesus. Unbelievers can see right through that.

Ashley said...

I completly agree with you Wes. I know exactally where you are comming from (literally!!!) Even with the Christian club we have now, we are still seeing the same exact thing going on. So many are loving with an agenda, and only loving with that if we are lucky. I think this world has yet to see a church that evangelises purely based off of love, hope and joy.

Ashley said...

Speaking of Brian McLaren, check out his book A New Kind of Christian, I know you would really like it!!!

Nathan Barnes said...

What if your agenda was just to have more conversations?

WES ELLIS said...

nathan,
The point of McLaren's quote was not to put emphasis on "counting conversations" but to take it off of "counting coversions."

I don't think there should be any "agenda." It's hard to put love in terms of goals and sustain its purity; meeting goals is, in fact, an "agenda." Christ called us to love. If we love simply to "answer the call" we aren't loving at all. In calling us to love, Christ was calling us to be the kind of people who love. It's a call to something deeper than actions, it's motives.

Daniel said...

Wes, what year are you in college? Are you wanting to pursue youth ministry or philosophy more?

WES ELLIS said...

Daniel, I'm a freshman. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do yet but I definetly want to do ministry, Probably youth ministry. Philosophy is a passion of mine but in all ways I try to apply it to ministry and human reality. I'm passionate about people especially youth my only concern is weather or not the things I'm most interested in are appropriate for youth. some of my theology is a little unorthodox but my hope is that I am authentic enough for those things not to matter. I love highschool kids!