Ordinary Attempts – A Fresh Approach
Jim Henderson has been a Christian for more than three decades. One of his earliest Christian memories was being taken out to “go witnessing.” He says that he’s been trying to recover ever since.
Jim is passionately committed to normalizing evangelism for ordinary Christians. In 2000, Jim co-founded Off the Map to help move that idea forward. Before that he led the Servant Evangelism movement at the Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.
What He Said…A Fresh Approach
I resigned from witnessing in 1996. Traditional evangelism isn’t normal. It’s a formalized program, a structured presentation, a memorized script. It works for extroverts, those with the gift of evangelism, and the few born to be salespeople. But that leaves us ordinary types out of the game. We have to work up a lot of nerve just to do it. So most Christians only do evangelism about once a year.
Along with many people in the church I was leading, we decided to do something doable and less threatening. We wouldn’t memorize anything, follow a script, or write down a carefully prepared speech. Instead, we decided to count all the small attempts we made to connect with people in our community. We could still be ourselves, but just live with a more intentional focus on others. We’d try everyday things, such as asking questions, listening, giving away our attention, and praying behind people’s backs. We called these everyday efforts Ordinary Attempts.
Adapted from a.k.a. “Lost” (WaterBrook, 2005)
Prayer for the Week: Lord, I want to come across to others not as religious so much as real. Help me make being Your disciple look inviting.