|I‘ll be hanging with these Bemidji State crazies all of next week|
This is week four on the topic of reaching today’s young people with the message of Jesus. See prior posts dated Feb 20, 28, Mar 6.
- Last week: reaching postmodern students.
- This week: reaching modern students.
Step One with modern students: Show yourself a player.
That is, show that you care about being reasonable and rational. I heard one of my mentors, Jim Sire,* state in a public talk awhile back that faith is never less than logical.
Yes, it’s much more than logical. It involves commitment, passion, risk.
But it’s never illogical. That stuck with me.
So I try to establish early on that, like many young atheists, I care about the rational process of arriving at truth.
Step Two: Admit fallibility.
Amazingly, this step is tough for many evangelicals.
Actually, all I am saying is that while God is perfect, I am not. God makes judgments without error, I do not.
If I were infallible rather than fallible, I’d be God.
Admitting my fallibility to young “free thinkers” makes them think I am actually listening to them–actually open to their perspective.
Which I am.
Step Three: Love.
Whereas with postmodern students the relational part comes first, with modern students it comes last.
(Yes, I’m exaggerating. In real life it varies from student to student.)
Most modern students care about truth, science, rational method. So connect with them on that level first. Show yourself a player there.
Then at some point step 3 kicks in: You draw them into experiences of the kingdom. Not even hard-headed, cynical atheists can say no to genuine expressions of Christ’s love.
OK, some can.
But not usually.
* Dr. James Sire, author of The Universe Next Door and a lot of other excellent books.