Sandwich Board Guys and Church Methodology
I had visceral feelings when I noticed him. I’d seen this guy before, but not in years, and not in my neighborhood. The feelings his presence and message elicited were strong, perhaps sinful. Standing at the corner of the intersection, with a sandwich board draped over his shoulders, his board’s message declared: “Believe on Jesus. Repent or burn!” Ironically, my reaction to his message made me need to repent (but not for my salvation). I have my reasons for believing his methodology is poor, and maybe you do too. I find it to be:
- Rapport and relationship killing
- Disconnected with the gospels. I have a hard time seeing Jesus carrying his message that way
- Ineffective. While I have no hard evidence, I doubt many people have seen such a sign, gotten out of their cars, walked up to the sign carrier and said, “Tell me more about believing on Jesus.” However, I’m sure many people have walked up to these sign carriers to say or do other things, other than inquire about Jesus.
But his message and methodology did cause me to think about our church’s methodologies. Not just for evangelism, but also for the many other things we do.
Likely, this particular man’s message and methodology were more about his own personality than Jesus’.
Which got me thinking… Does our church’s programming reflect our personality rather than Jesus’? Does our church’s ethos reflect our church’s DNA rather than Jesus’ DNA?
How many of the things our churches do, your church does, are personality driven? Are our ministries created and perpetuated by the pastor’s or staff member’s likeable personality, or by their alignment with Biblical expectations?
How many of our methods are out of touch with Biblical mandates? For the sake of being progressive and living in a post-modern world, have we created missions, messages, and methodologies that have sharply diverted from Jesus’ mission (e.g., Matt 28:19-20, Luke 4:18-19, Acts 1:8)?
Have we become just another sandwich board guy, using methods that are offensive (to Jesus) and ineffective?
I suggest we pray and take inventory of our mission and methodologies, and consider if they’re relevant to Jesus. Ask yourself this: If Jesus had one opportunity to share his message to the world through our church, would he use the methods you’re using?
p.s. I’ll give the sandwich board guy some credit; at least he works his method. I have a methodology for sharing Jesus that I think is superior to his, but I don’t always do it. Once you’ve determined the method that best reflects Jesus, work it.