The “New” Evangelism


So in getting ready for the wedding, I splurged on a "mani/pedi." And believe me, after all the weeding, pruning, painting, staining, and cleaning to get my house ready for guests–my nails were in trouble!!!

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The most interesting thing was the amazing conversation I had with the manicurist. She had some unique views about God and spirituality (including reincarnation). In the past, I would've been "ready with an answer" to argue with her about where she was wrong. Instead, we had an amazing dialogue. On some points (other than reincarnation), I listened intently and tried to find truth in what she was saying. I shared with her my journey and some of my fears and doubts. She said she'd read a quote about "maybe we don't know everything about God and can learn from others." Then I was able to challenge some of her views later that maybe she didn't know everything. In fact in one area I agreed with her and still asked, "But what if we're wrong?" She later thanked me for opening up her eyes to how she'd boxed in her views. And even at one point she said she'd read that "God has only one son and it's us." I responded, "Now I don't believe that. I do really believe that 'Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life…and that no one comes to God but through him.' " By the end of the conversation, I asked her to jot down the names of books, films, etc. that she'd mentioned so I could learn. (We even hugged goodbye!)

It was an amazing evangelistic dialogue that wasn't about "arguing" her into the kingdom of God. It was about respect and listening and sharing. So I shared this with friends at work and one of them asked, "What does that mean for the way we teach kids?"

Interesting! I know this kind of dialogue and encouragement to think is at the heart of Grapple curriculum. And we seek to ask thought-provoking questions in all we do. I'm curious, though, about what others have found. Is it possible to dialogue with children of all ages–and not just tell them what to think? What do you think? What are you doing that's working?

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About Author

Christine Yount Jones

Christine has more than 26 years of children’s ministry experience. She is the Executive Editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine, has authored many books and articles on children’s ministry, and serves as Group’s Children’s Ministry Champion. She’s responsible for development and innovation of new resources.

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