Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Free Money on the Ground

Why reinvent the wheel when someone else has nailed it. This guy pretty much sums up my feelings of the popular "Money Tract" that Christians use: "Creating Tracts That Look Like Money" two cents (my thoughts, not a coin tract).

The church needs to be creative, needs to be innovative - I'm 110% behind those concepts. More importantly though, the church needs to be faithful in being like Jesus and telling other about Him.

That being said...good intentions don't equal effectiveness. Just because a room full of Christians think something would be a great idea to "reach the culture" doesn't mean it is. Sometimes it is a recipe for embarrassing disaster.

It's like this: I love seafood; my favorite. Say my wife's birthday is coming up and I decide to take her to Red Lobster, or better yet, an actual really nice seafood place for the occasion. I'm all about surprising her, so she doesn't know where we're going. The suspense reaches it's peak when we pull into the parking lot. Can you guess what the first words our of her mouth are? It's easy: "Why are we here?"

She hates seafood.

When it's her birthday I'm supposed to give her a gift, and I would have given her a horrible one. My good intentions won't save the night because in reality what I've done is appeased my own preferences rather than really trying to give her a gift in a manner she would best receive.

If we'd have gone to Connie's Pizza - then I would have given her a REAL gift.

Doesn't matter how many Church people think something's cool, think something's neat. If those who are the target audience think it's dumb then the verdict is in - dumb. If people are going to get mad at getting tricked by fake money on the ground - then the greatness of the tract's message doesn't negate the great ineffectiveness of the tract.

Disclaimer #1
I'm not saying churches shouldn't do events or use materials. What I'm saying is that maybe the people in the room coming up with the ideas should gather some insight from others outside the room, outside the building.

Disclaimer #2
I'm not talking about the essence of truth, the gospel, or any of that. I'm talking about the MEANS by which we communicate it.

Bottom line in my mind: get to know people simply for the sake of who they are, not because they have a gospel target on their shirt. Be a good neighbor. Help people when they need help. Live in a way that shows you believe in Jesus, and then talk about Him to others whenever you are able. People need to see us living Him as much as they hear us talking about Him - and they need to see us living normal, every day life for Him. That's the real gift. That's the pizza.


Anonymous said...

Try this... put a real $5 bill in a tract like the 4 Spiritual Laws and leave it for someone to read.

Kim said...

I really enjoyed this post. I have never really liked tracts or thought they were effective, especially the stupid fake money one.

I especially liked your point about not befriending someone or talking to them because they have a "gospel target" on their back.

I also have to disagree with anonymous. "I will give you $5 to give your life to Jesus" just isn't quite as effective as leading by example and SHOWING what it means to love Jesus and be like Him to someone.

Anonymous said...

Amen Bobby!