Thursday, July 30, 2009

You've Got to Try This...

We live in a culture inundated by slogan, banners, logos, one-liners, and incessant commercial. Moreover, as a Christian trying to engage a culture that needs to see the light of the gospel of Christ, I struggle with how the message of the gospel written with black ink on paper--a message more powerful than all the Hummers in Frisco--can be heard through the noise of culture. This is the challenge of handing someone a booklet, tract, or even an invite card. How will this rise above every other gospel--every other life-changing offer--in this land? So, like you, I'm looking for best ways to gain a hearing.

Yesterday I purposed to go to through a drive-thru and attempt something recommended by Steve Sjogren. I went through a drive-thru to pay for the people behind me and give them a booklet and invite to church.

I chose Taco Bell (...I somehow felt led to the most inexpensive place for my first attempt).

I ordered a couple of tacos. My total: $2.04. I went to the window and paid. I was thankful to see the lady was cheerful. I noticed there were two guys in a pick-up truck behind me. I thought honestly, "man...I hope their order is not like $15 bucks."

"...Have the guys behind me ordered?"

"uh...yes they've ordered."

"I'd like to pay for their meal as well."

She seemed surprised but said it was fine. She took my card, and my "Quest for Joy" with an invite to church to give to the guys behind me.

Their total: $5.78 [yeessss...]

As I drove off I saw her her smiling and explaining what the car in front did. I have no idea what their response was but at the end of the day I was encouraged by the only response I imagined they could have given.

"Wow. thanks. that's great." I hope that they took a second look at the literature and card.

I know it's just Taco Bell. I know it's 5 bucks, but it left me thinking about the demonstrated power of God's love in us for the lost (a love that is burdened for its fulfillment in Christ) as a means through which power of the gospel gains a hearing (Acts 4:29-31). Maybe it's not as dramatic as a healing we see in Acts--but then, maybe to some in a drive-by culture it is.

I do believe the love of God demonstrated to others (Sjogren will call this the Spirit's fruit of kindness--different from the world's understanding of merely being nice) incarnates the message we proclaim. Loving deeds pointing to loving truths. The more I consider it, the more I see the need for it in my life.

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:18)