I signed up for all the evangelism classes available in the hardline Churches of Christ. I dutifully took notes. I knocked on doors. I turned conversations with friends and acquaintances into opportunities to talk about the gospel. I toted around the Jule Miller filmstrips.
Only one problem: Nobody wanted to hear about it. Nobody wanted to be drawn into that kind of discussion, and nobody wanted the manipulations and guilt that these discussions brought about. We were taught to ask pointed questions, not listen to the answers, guide the discussion toward baptism, and push, push, push. We were condescending, superior know-it-alls. We were ready to give an answer, just like we were taught. Our greatest competition were the Mormons, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the ICOC.
We were not taught to: listen, think about what the other person was saying, have a give-and-take conversation, enjoy hearing about other people’s faith, or model a respectful relationship. So why would anyone want that kind of gospel? “Yeah, I’d like to have a relationship with a Lord who makes me act like an Asshole!” Not!