I think there are two mistakes we can make as Christians as we seek to be missionaries or evangelists in our world today.

The first, is to assume that if people react negatively to us it's because we're preaching the gospel faithfully.  That is we're confronting them with their sin and need to repent and sinners will obviously get angry about this.

This is a mistake because whilst that may happen, it could also be true that you're just being a bit of an arrogant jerk.  You might not be working hard enough to make sure it's actually the gospel they're reacting to and not the fact that you're yelling at them with a loudspeaker.

But the other mistake is to assume that if you walk away from the conversation and people think you're a good bloke, that you've somehow done good mission.  That you've presented an attractive message in an attractive manner.  Maybe you have, but you might also just be a good bloke and they liked your smile and the fact you seemed to care about them enough to talk to them.

What's my point.  It's almost... scratch that it just is impossible to find the perfect strategy to get out there with the good news that God has entrusted to us.  And, whilst we should make sure we aren't being barriers to the gospel, in the end the gospel is only effective by the power of God.  I think we spend too much time in seminars and conferences trying to figure out the perfect strategy and less time just doing something!

This is on my mind after a talk from John Dickson today.  I may have misunderstood him, but what I heard him say was that if we're humble then people will respond well to us as we seek to explain our faith to them.  I assume the fact that Jesus got killed (most humble guy ever) and Paul ended up in jail a lot (I assume reasonably humble guy) that humble explanations of the faith do not equal good reception of the gospel. I'm sure John was probably more nuanced than I'm giving him credit here.

Anyhow, I'd love your thoughts on this, or even better, your stories of getting out there with the good news!