Tennis Evangelism

I'm not much of a tennis player. Those of you who go to my church know that there's a story behind that which involves my wife "almost" beating me early in our marriage. But, that's not the topic of my entry today so I won't go there.

If you watch a great tennis match, you know that the best tennis players are those who can volley the ball back and forth in such a way that they maneuver their opponent out of position. Once that is accomplished, they go for the kill shot and win the point.

It strikes me that a lot of us view our intentional conversations with people who are far from God in much the same way. We volley the conversation back and forth hoping they'll make a mistake and get out of position and we'll be able to hit the "kill shot" and lead them to Christ.

Can we stop doing that?

Seems like the point of evangelism is not to make sure our opponent is defeated, but to make sure that our friend wins.

Rather than trying to out-maneuver our opponent so that we can go for the kill shot, it would seem like we ought to view our conversations as opportunities to lob the Gospel so that they come out winners.

It's more than semantics. The difference changes everything about our perspective in the conversation. If we view people who are far from God as primarily opponents who need to be defeated, our approach will be combative and relentless. If we view them as friends with an opportunity to win, we will  treat the conversation gently and kindly, but deliberately and intentionally. It makes all the difference in the world.


Debbie said...