Attention vs Access

4 12 2012

There is a BIG difference between getting someone’s ATTENTION and gaining ACCESS to their heart (life).

Two times in the last 2 weeks that thought entered my mind when I experienced two different forms of evangelism.  I’m not saying that people cannot be reached through these forms; I’m sure some people will take this COMPLETELY the wrong way, but it’s what I’m feeling.

Two Saturday’s ago I had the AWESOME privilege of taking my son Jonah to his first ever Oklahoma Sooner football game in Norman, OK.  The game day experience at a major college football game is unbelievable and I wanted Jonah to experience it all.  With that in mind we showed up to the stadium area about 3 hours before kickoff to take in the sights, sounds and smells of college football.  The tailgating, the band, the fanfare, it is incredible.

In our walk around the stadium area, we came to a very busy intersection of people on the campus that had gathered around several restaurants that were available to eat.  Jonah and I grabbed a sub at Subway, came to this intersection of people, when I noticed a man standing on a stool, yelling through a bull horn at everyone walking by about how, “hell is hot and they are going there” kind of thing.  As we walked past, there were people pointing, staring, arguing, gawking and Jonah asked me WHY he was doing that.

Now, I’m sure the person’s motive was to see people saved.  I’m not saying that God CAN’T or DIDN’T use that to reach a heart.  But I just thought, “Dude, you are getting LOTS of attention, but you’re not gaining access to peoples hearts.”  From what I saw, and I was there only a limited time, no one was engaging him in conversation about eternity.  For one, he was yelling the whole time, and two, his attitude reflected that he didn’t want to have a conversation.

I told Jonah, “He’s trying to tell people about Jesus.”  Then I said, “Don’t you think that guy would have more success if he was handing out free water, or giving away some free OU stuff, or serving the people somehow?  I mean, if he wants people to be open to talking about Jesus, shouldn’t he show them the love of Jesus?”  Jonah didn’t say anything, he just nodded his head as he watched this guy continue yelling at passerbys.

Again, I don’t know how God used that man to spark a thought in someones heart or mind.  God can do whatever He wants and use any method He chooses.  I just think it was creating a lot of attention, but not a lot of access to people’s hearts.

There is a BIG difference between getting someone’s ATTENTION and gaining ACCESS to their heart (life).

What am I doing to gain access to people’s hearts?  What are we doing as a church?  What could/should we do differently?  Those are questions we should be continually asking.  I didn’t even get to the second form of evangelism I saw.  Maybe another day.

Hoping God uses us for access to a heart,

Jeff

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