Evangelism Challenge: I Had A Bad Experience At Church


(Carson Weitnauer) #1

Hi friends,

Here’s this week’s evangelism challenge:
You are talking with a friend. They ask, “How was your weekend?” You say, “It was good, I guess the high point was church on Sunday. An amazing sermon that was really helpful to me.” They respond, “Oh, I don’t do church. I had a bad experience and I’m just not interested in all of that anymore.”

How would you respond? Over the short-term? Over the long-term?

(joyce yung) #2

Listening to Ravi for years, I have learned a thing or two. We are answering the person is the most helpful tool.
My respond would be – ask if he/she care to share the bad experience and goes from there.
One time I was talking to a female employee at Lowe’s who told me she won’t go to any church that has Christmas tree. I listened carefully to all her reasons and that she was once a big time church goer and she still loves God very much. I dial 911 to Jesus for help immediately naturally. I said the Christmas tree was not really the reason you stop going to church, wasn’t it. She agreed !!! Then we have an hour long lovely conversation. Sorry Lowe’s!!! Joyce Yung

(Tim Ramey) #3

I have had similar experiences.

The first thing I’d do/did was to ask her if she minded telling me what happened. Her reply is not as important as the fact that she was “justified” in being offended. I apologized to her as Christian. She said that I didn’t do it but my reply was that we are a body and so I am responsible. Again, I told her I’m so sorry.

I then asked her if she felt that Jesus would have done what the church did to her. She replied, “No, He wouldn’t have.” I then encouraged her to look to Jesus and not man because we always fail people. I told her that she should come to our church and I will guarantee that at some point, we’ll disappoint you too as man seems to be good at that. But I told her to make sure she realizes that Christianity is all about Jesus and not people. I mentioned that even Jesus’ disciples, after He had ascended, missed the mark and told her where that was in Scripture. So I again reminded her to keep her eyes on Jesus.

(David Cieszynski) #4

Similar to Tim & Joyce, I’d ask what happened and how they are doing now. I would then ask them to ask me any question about the church, gospel and / or any moral issues happening in their life.

(Jennifer Judson) #5

It sounds like a pretty deep hurt if it caused you to turn away from the church. I’m truly sorry that happened. If you’d ever like to share that with me I would be honored. If it’s a wound that still hurts would you mind if I prayed for your healing?

A friend once told me to think of church as a hospital for sinners, and each one is at a different place in their healing. Hurting people often hurt people in an attempt to feel better about themselves. Unfortunately that can even happen at church. As a Christian, I’d like to apologize. As a Christian, I’d also like to talk sometime about the wonderful experience you might have had at church if we Christians were already fully conformed to the image of Christ. Sometimes doing church can be hard, but I truly believe that Christ is the one who can bring healing, for you, for me, for everyone.

(Jimmy Sellers) #6

Short term:
You too! So have I, let’s compare notes maybe we can help for each other. I believe that God wants us to minister to each other in difficult times. Is this how you understand things?

(Kelly) #7

I’ve enjoyed reading through each of these responses! I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who hasn’t been hurt at church. Where can they possible go in life that they will never get hurt? My prayer is God give us each wisdom to know how to respond. I think each of us can think of times when we didn’t need someone crying with us; rather we needed someone to tell us to get up and get moving. Let it go! People can wallow in self pity forever. On the other hand, for the person who’s never had that kindness and love extended to them, ohhh, maybe a hug and shedding a tear with them is exactly what’s needed. May God give us the grace to walk in His Spirit when an opportunity comes our way!!!

(Carson Weitnauer) #8

Hi friends, I just wanted to follow-up and say how much I appreciated the compassion and kindness that came through in everyone’s response. The heartfelt love and respect you each have for your friends is encouraging. I’m grateful for this warm and caring community!