I want to take a look at three different distinctives that separate how postmoderns view faith and church from their predecessors.
1. Show me vs. Tell me
It has always been common to teach people that evangelism is telling people about Jesus. People like Billy Graham have taken this to a new level by having huge events all for the goal of telling people about Jesus and giving them a chance to accept him into their lives. In middle school I remember being at a camp where we spent considerable time on the different parts of the gospel and how to tell our testimony. All of this type of thing is a tell me mindset. We simply need to tell people about Jesus.
I think postmoderns view evangelism in a different light. Instead of simply telling people about Jesus they would rather show them their lives. Establish a relationship and invest in people. The goal isn’t necessarily to then have a chance to tell them about Jesus, but rather that they would see the hope within and be attracted to Jesus. Obviously there is still a role of tell me, but it isn’t the goal.
The Benefits to this-
- I think the problem of a tell me mindset is that it is hands off. Instead of actually showing nonbelievers that you care, you can just tell them about Jesus and never share in their lives.
- In the end I think a show me mindset produces devoted followers of Christ. The importance of an established relationship is so key as a new Christian becomes involved with their faith in Jesus.
- The opposite of this is that a tell me leaves new believers on their own to discover this new faith. With little direction or support they are likely to flounder in confusion.