This week I'm talking about talking about Jesus. This would be part two, the first post was Getting Rid of Evangelism. Along with my own thoughts on the subject I encourage you to check out Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism by Carl Medearis. It's really messing with my head right now, in a good way. Get it, read it, you won't regret it. Jesus is electric. Ruthless, witty, intensely compassionate, strategically silent. When I finally discovered Him, I found Him to be the most compelling person I had ever heard of. I believe Jesus when he said, "If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto myself."
Jesus was magnetic to the messiest people of His day, the sort of people that rarely show up to our churches on Sunday morning. He had parties with them, in their homes, to the extent that he earned himself the nicknames 'friend of sinners' and 'wine bibber.' As my pastor highlighted a couple of weeks ago, Jesus said of Himself, "the Son of Man came eating and drinking."
I used to find Jesus drab, browbeating, uptight even, so I figured to be Jesus to people I had to do the same, to spread the infectious love of Jesus that wanted nothing more than to make me polite, responsible, and perfectly moral. I tried to obey that Jesus, but until I discovered Jesus for who He was, removed from the pomp, circumstance, and drudgery we've put around Him and gained a desire to follow Him, there is a profound difference.
It could be that people reject our message because of Jesus, or it could be that they reject us because of the Jesus we present to them.
I'll let Tony Campolo have the last word.