junk mail 2

It’s everywhere. It used to be called ‘Junk mail’ and ‘cold calling’ and now it’s called ‘spam’.
The unsolicited blurb that comes at us from every possible direction. I would like to declare now that I have never ever responded positively to spam or its equivalents. If any spammers are reading this, perhaps you could take note and not bother any more.

I don’t need a rolex (or genuine copy of a rolex!); I have no intention of using my bank accounts to launder money from African (or other) dictators; and I am happy with my body (hem, hem).

Today I checked the spam messages that have come in on the blog (yes, even here!) and was delighted to see that one of the messages has been translated from the original language either by a non-English speaker or (more likely) a computer. What do you make of this:

 I appear forward to approaching back to read your future posts as well

I suspect that they are trying to look forward to coming back… If spam is going to entertain like this, perhaps I am less unhappy about it.

It seems to me that some Christian evangelism is like spam / junk mail / cold calling. We spread the message as far and as wide as possible in the hope that one or two people might respond. Hallelujah for those who do, but what effect does it have on those who don’t? What effect does the street preacher haranguing passers-by with the news that they will burn in hell unless they turn to Jesus have on the majority of people? What effect does the ‘tract’ pushed through people’s letterboxes have on most people? What effect does ranting about Christian values in newspapers have on most people? Even (dare I say) what effect does door-to-door evangelism have on most people?

I fear that these things are used by the opposition to harden hearts and entrench attitudes.

I have always felt that the most effective form of evangelism is sharing our faith with our friends and family by being good free samples of Jesus, and every day that passes I become more convinced of this. That does not mean that we do not articulate our faith – far from it – but we actively seek to be used by God to share our faith with those who know us best.

The regular bloggerel-consumers at this site will now be considering me to be hypocritical considering last week I suggested that targeting those who are ‘warm’ neglects those who are not. Perhaps, except that Jesus was assuming that we would ALL be good free samples of him at home, at work, at the gym, at the school gate, in committee meetings, to our neighbours, on the phone to cold callers (!) and so on. It is not the methodology that is wrong it is our implementation of it. If all believers in Jesus were good free samples the impact on our communities and those who are not yet followers of Jesus would be considerably greater than it is now. If you think about the number of people we all meet in a week then there will be few people who remain uncontacted.

Most of us (if we are honest) would rather keep our heads down. But Jesus does not give us that option. ALL followers are called to be free samples and to make the most of every crossingplace into which God leads us. He promises to be there to help, but he is incarnate in our homes, workplaces and other crossingplaces in us and us alone!

Whose path crosses with yours today? How can you be a good free sample of Jesus to them? Can you make them a cup of coffee? Buy them a cupcake? Help them carry heavy bags? Give up your seat? Offer to pray for them? Be there for them? Give them your presence and full attention?

Be blessed, be a blessing.

Warning: Gender roles may have been reversed in this email…

SUBJECT: Update!
DATE: 20/10/2011

Dear Wife….

I’m sending you this email to bring up to date on the events of our family. I tried to talk to you while you were on your computer, but you just kept telling me that you would BRB…..whatever that means. So, I decided to send you this email.

John cut his first tooth today. He’s the one you bounce on your knee while typing. Remember how he giggles when he hears the Uh Oh sound? Sorry about him dropping his peanut butter sandwich on your keyboard. Is it working okay since I cleaned it up for you? Can you read the letters I tried to paint back on your keyboard? Most of them had been rubbed off.

Susie had her first date Saturday night. She had a good time and said to thank you for letting them use your car. She put the keys back on the key rack underneath the cobwebs where she found them. Do you realize that she wears the same size clothes as you do? In case you’ve forgotten her, she’s the one who has you raise your feet when she’s running the vacuum cleaner around the house.

Tim is playing football. He looks forward to going to school now that he has a sport to play. He wanted to know if you would come to one of his games if we bought you a laptop to bring along? Do you remember him?

Lets see…..since the last time I wrote to you (3 months ago), the refrigerator had to be replaced, the dog died from old age, your mother and dad painted the room where your computer is (hope you like the colour), the church has a new pastor, and oh yes….. I have a new job.

Well, I think that’s about it. I’ll email you again in about 3 months. You take care of yourself honey. We all miss you very much and will see you the next time the power goes off!

Your Husband

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