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Evangelism begins with Updog!

May 20, 2010

E-Dub sporting the Updog shirt

As the summer quickly approaches it feels like only yesterday I was in Haiti post-earthquake. At times I feel ill-prepared for what’s coming over the next 10 weeks–6 camps and 3 Haiti trips.

Somewhere along the way the world kept spinning and LIFE continued. Funny how during ties like this I tend to get self-consumed. I tend to focus on the things that are affecting me in the moment and sometimes lose sight of the big picture…just being honest.

The cool thing is, this summer has something new. Our BGM office has designed a new shirt (more appropriately I had Boo design it)! I am so excited about it because it communicates the message I’ve been sharing for a few years now.

Having worked at churches for almost 15 years I have seen a lot of things. One thing that I have always battled has been the way we as Christians (ad more specifically those in evangelical churches) do evangelism. I believe most evangelicals believe in evangelism. The truth is I know some don’t ad others are petrified of it butthe majority (whether yet practice it or not) do believe in evangelism.

I have seen evangelism done in many ways. I have seen it take place from the pulpit or stage, through drama, teaching, skit, sketch, and song. I have seen it done through classes, with training, visitation, and mentorship. I have also seen it done around the globe through teams, individuals, and groups going door to door, hut to hut, and setting up on street corners all over this planet. I have also been able to see evangelism done through relationships.

I have seen men, women, teenagers, and even children tell their friends about what Jesus Christ means to them. I have watched those people (and myself) pray for an search for opportunities to share what they believe. I have seen churches encourage Christians to share their faith in ways that begin with relationships…and I have seen churches require people to take classes on evangelism.  I have even heard church staff members comment on the “untrained” people in the church…those who haven’t been through classes on evangelism.

Let me say this…I don’t think it’s EVER wrong to prepare the church for action, but when I hear people (especially church staff people) discredit someone for sharing their faith because they didn’t use the proper outline, plan, or because they weren’t certified, I have to laugh…or cry.

So, what I think about it is simple.  The best way to begin ANY evangelism strategy is simple…with one word…HELLO.  That’s right, Hello.  Can you imagine building relationships with people?  Can you think of a better way to start a conversation with someone…even someone you don’t know?

That’s where the Updog shirt comes in.  It’s self-explanatory.  Maybe it goes like this, you walk up to someone.  They notice your shirt.  You nod that nervous smile and watch their eyes.  They have that puzzled look and you have them where you want them.  You say, “Hello.”  They say, “What is that?”  You reply, “What are you talking about?”  They say, ” What’s Updog?”  You say, “Not much, what’s up with YOU!?”  They shake their head in disbelief because they just fell for some silly 3rd grade humor.  You smile and say, “Gotcha.”  Then…the rest is up to you.  You can begin the conversation, talk to them, or even take time to get to know them…you’ll be surprised at what happens.

Praying that Updog helps you.  You can get your own shirt if you want it…hope it helps.

Check out Acts 9…Saul became Paul and Ananias had to begin a conversation with one of the most threatening murderous people in the history of the early church.  Think you have people in your LIFE who intimidate you?  Just imagine having to chat with the hardest man in the world…makes Updog look simple doesn’t it?

Get your own Updog conversation starter!

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