so i took in that live web event last week with chris brogan and i've been pondering on some of what he said and i'm reading in "trust agents." he wasn't at all speaking to a church context, but as with most things (but is becoming much easier in todays business environment & language) i turn it around into some church framework.
one of the things chris brought out were some stories of 'trust agents' who were "there before the sale." it was one of those quotable moments as you could see heads dive into notepads and laptops typing.
it reminded me from a time last summer where i hosted a conversation with regular church going folk & those who are disenfranchised with the church and might call themselves non-religious or spiritual but not religious put together by my friend jim palmer. one of the stories that really stuck with me from a participant was how they were put off that the friends they made in their neighborhood, invited them to church, eventually helped them come into Christ, then left them hanging as they moved onto some other couple. this person then found out that this was a process of that church and they were to go befriend new people to bring them to the church as well.
so what makes up evangelism in when our common framework makes up some commodity sale & that conflicts with how people want to be treated & how we improperly fix some consumption to grace? is there a way in which one could just "be there" with people and not try and control the workings of God to force a sale of salvation, but allow God's mystery to work?… i don't know, maybe you have some ideas