Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Jesus Model of Witnessing

Are Strangers Aliens to the Church?

I have been teaching and writing about the best ways to influence people. I am an educator so I was trained in what is called, Pedagogy, or the study of "The Art and Science of Teaching".

I went on from elementary and secondary teaching to Influence in Higher Education. That is where I was taught the theories of immersing college students in the importance of creating a good educational Paideia or "Pedagogical Environment. As a former coach I already knew the social context was critically important. That is why we had cheerleaders at games.

It was here I also learned more about the Psychological and Emotional components of developing a powerful educational environment. I studied small groups, adult stages of development and the power of positive emotions to affect positive behavior but negative or punitive behavior to bring about regressive behavior.

I was a Christian and had studied the Bible through and through. I was struck by the fact that its central focus is on building positive relationships. That was not my experience at church or among Christians who often, in fact, chose warfare metaphors rather than those of peace and love. It seemed to me that our best evangelistic customers were seen as the enemy not friends we wanted to woo as prize customers.

When I moved to Cincinnati I learned a lot about Procter and Gamble. It was, I found, the largest marketing spender in the world. P&G created the very first serial TV shows and that is why we call them, "Soap Operas".

I was fascinated by the P&G advertisements. They were designed to make customer WANT the P&G products. they never said, "You people are dirty, stinking outcasts. Buy our soap and you will be saved." Whey then did so many Christians seem to adopt negative, accusatory and demeaning things to say about unbelievers?

The fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5: is all positive (Love, joy, peace, gentleness, patience, etc) and the fruit of the flesh is all negative (Anger, bitterness, divisions, etc). Jesus said we would know His followers by our fruit. A few years ago I discovered the Jesus Model for Witnessing. It is found in Luke Chapters 9 and 10.

I am looking for ways I can upload my Power Point slides to the web for you to see. Maybe I can do it on Face Book. Can you help me with it?


Vicar of Vincennes said...

Interesting that Jesus's model for getting the message out was for untrained followers to go into the villages and homes rather than the temples. He didn't announce a service by sending out messages or newspaper announcements. Just thinking out loud here...but it looks like the ministry he was proposing would be out of everyday daliness and above all from personal relationships. Ok, maybe I didn't derive all of that from chapters 9-10 in Luke, but certainly living, intermingling with people seemed to be the protocol. This method set forth by Jesus was common, daily and certainly born out by "they will know you are Christians by your love".

Gary Sweeten said...

Dear Vicar,

I thought I read a copy of the New Jerusalem Times from 32 AD that had a full page spread about the big Prophetic Witnessing Conference coming up in Galilee. Room rentals and spa went for 20 drachmas a day with a coupon from the conference sponsors. Guaranteed to scare the hell out of people and people out of hell.

A photo of Peter with a big sword to cut through the wishy washy stuff was on the flyer.