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Ways to (accidentally) drive off nonbelievers

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:08 pm
by Sstavix
I mentioned this in another thread, but came across an article that brought it to mind.

Everyone on this planet is different - even identical twins can have variations in their personalities. As a result, we may all have different beliefs, and different ways we've come to those beliefs. And there are some that, for various reasons, choose a different path other than Christianity.

So if we want to serve as missionaries, to go out and spread the "good news" to the world, what would be the best approach to take? Believe it or not, sometimes the things we do in order to attract people to our various churches actually may drive people away. This is hardly our intention, and often we may be completely unaware that we're doing this! But it does happen.

That's the purpose of this thread. So we can discuss our experiences, or articles that we've come across, and discuss them. Here is one article I found that, as an extreme introvert myself, I can identify with. I have found myself in situations like this - and if a church makes someone uncomfortable, it makes it more likely that that person will not return to that church.

Here it is - 10 Church Things That Alienate Introverts.

Re: Ways to (accidentally) drive off nonbelievers

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:44 pm
by evered
Okay so.

What I usually do is I say "Hey wanna hang out for 10 minutes?" If they say "sure" I usually talk to them a bit usually just going into a conversation and whatnot and some times give little hints about God. And hopefully start a conversation bout him. Then sooner or later you can go full power mode. "Well, you realize God loves you very much." And whatever.

Re: Ways to (accidentally) drive off nonbelievers

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:45 pm
by Sstavix
So what if they say no, they don't want to hang out?

Re: Ways to (accidentally) drive off nonbelievers

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:35 pm
by evered
Wait a bit?

Re: Ways to (accidentally) drive off nonbelievers

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:46 pm
by Comotto
This book applies to all relationships, evangelization included not only business.

http://www.dalecarnegie.com/about-us/da ... gie-books/

CARZ

Re: Ways to (accidentally) drive off nonbelievers

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:36 pm
by Thomas
The best thing I think you can do in this day and age is be yourself. By that I mean, if you want people to do what you do then you have to present yourself as a living advocate of that thing. For examples I'm a vegan however I don't share the same tactics of other vegans that go into fast food places and stage tantrum like protests.

Just be yourself, do what you you feel is correct (with the Lord's guidance obviously) and you'll get them at least talking to you soon enough.

Re: Ways to (accidentally) drive off nonbelievers

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:07 pm
by evered
Actually yeah, when ever I preach or whatever, I get this feeling God's guiding me through my words. So half the time I don't really have to worry! :D

Re: Ways to (accidentally) drive off nonbelievers

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:14 am
by Sstavix
Here is another interesting article that I read. I heard Glenn Beck talking with the author about it on his radio show yesterday, so I just had to read it to see if it would fit here. :)

One problem is that our churches and their leaders are not offensive enough. Basically, they aren't providing the kind of spiritual substance that people really need these days. This drives off members because they aren't being fed, and nonbelievers feel no reason to return or explore the church more because they are failing to find the spiritual sustenance that they need in their lives.

You can read the opinion piece here. And lets use this thread to discuss it! If you're a pastor or someone who speaks in church, do you find yourself toning down your sermons or changing your topic because you're afraid of driving people away by discussing controversial things? Or have you wondered about your own pastor doing things like that?

I sometimes wonder if my own church is guilty of this. The LDS church is different than most Christian churches - rather than one person who writes a sermon and delivers it each week, the church leaders ask other members to deliver a talk each week, instead. And the first Sunday of each month is an "open mic" day, as it were, where anyone can come up front to talk about whatever. But most of the talks seem to focus on the content of the scriptures, or the practices of the church. If there are any references to the world outside the church, it's usually in relation to modesty or keeping the Sabbath day holy - which are typically "preaching to the choir" talks, rather than admonitions to people to reflect on their lives and change their ways. If and when they ask me to talk again, I'm going to have to consider my talk carefully, and see if I can come up with something to provoke this kind of response.

Enough of my rambling. What do you think?

Re: Ways to (accidentally) drive off nonbelievers

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:54 am
by Comotto
If we follow the Good Shepherd, the sheep will follow!

CARZ

Re: Ways to (accidentally) drive off nonbelievers

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:09 am
by ArcticFox
Enough of my rambling. What do you think?
The problem is that there's such a fine line between that and political talk in church. Not that political subjects should be taboo per se, but the assumption is that the members of the congregation may have a wide variety of political views. If we bring politics into our Sunday worship, we're going to wind up turning Sunday services into a political forum, and how can we feel the spirit then? How close will we be as brothers and sisters in Christ if, instead of seeing each other as fellow brothers and sisters we see Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Loony Lefty, Right wingnut, etc...?

But that's the insidious part, isn't it? To a massive extent, issues of morality and politics overlap like never before, and that line is becoming thinner and thinner every day. Some issues are purely political, but some are fully political AND fully moral, like abortion, LGBT issues... what does a Bishop/priest/pastor say about those? Do we just ignore the people in the congregation who are pro-choice but believe, honestly in their heart, that their view is consistent with their religion? (Hard to imagine for some of us, but they're out there.) Do we want to turn a sermon into a pro-life vs pro-choice debate right there in church? I wouldn't go to church if I had that to look forward to.

As you said, the LDS Church is unique in a lot of ways and one of those ways is that we're encouraged to listen to the Holy Spirit when struggling to understand these issues. And if we're doing that, we don't need to be told what our politics should be by the person at the pulpit.

Unfortunately, that does leave us with a lot of bland content on Sunday, which I agree with you on... but I think maybe it's because we're being reinforced in our knowledge and understanding of the basics of the Gospel, so that we can be stronger and better equipped to use our discernment on the more juicy issues. Most of the Mormons I know are pro-life, and yet not once have I ever heard it preached in Church. It doesn't need to be. When your moral compass is pointing in the right direction, everything else attends to itself. Our church doesn't tell us what to think with these issues. It equips us to work that out for ourselves.

Re: Ways to (accidentally) drive off nonbelievers

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:35 pm
by cedaroak
I wasn't ever totally a non-believer, but as someone who was non-religious, I pretty much quacked like one for most of my life. So here's my personal experience on what turned me off:

A neighbor got really preachy when I just met him the first time. Pulled out a bible and asked me to read it.

When the "Jesus is the answer" message is too simplistic. Answer to what? How?

Debates over theology.

==============================

What I like about my church:

sensitivity to the human condition in all its variety -- being welcoming and accepting

intellectual humility

a service-oriented mindset

respect for history and tradition

expanding Jesus's love to those who feel rejected: we are situated in a neighborhood with lots of homeless people, freaks, outcasts, etc.

Re: Ways to (accidentally) drive off nonbelievers

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:27 am
by Comotto
Need another thread - " Ways to (purposefully) drive off nonbelievers (and some believers)" e.g. Not practicing what is preached or being exclusive rather than inclusive.

CARZ

Re: Ways to (accidentally) drive off nonbelievers

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:40 pm
by Sstavix
Thanks for contributing, cedaroak! It's always nice to get thoughts of new members! :)

When the "Jesus is the answer" message is too simplistic. Answer to what? How?
I can understand that. If the question is "should I play this video game," the asker is likely looking for a simple "yes" or "no." Not "well... what does it say about games in Deuteronomy?"
Debates over theology.
Now this one varies on the person! :lol: I personally like a good theological debate, provided the person I am talking with is willing to respect a difference of opinion and experiences. It's no fun trying to have a debate about any topic where the other person has a "my way or the highway" approach to the discussion.



==============================

What I like about my church:
If you don't mind me asking, what church is it?
Need another thread - " Ways to (purposefully) drive off nonbelievers (and some believers)" e.g. Not practicing what is preached or being exclusive rather than inclusive.
Are you saying that some churches intentionally drive off people? I'm not disagreeing with you - in fact, I can see some churches doing this intentionally, given our divisive political climate nowadays.

Re: Ways to (accidentally) drive off nonbelievers

Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:46 pm
by Comotto
There are still many Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees although the names have been changed.

CARZ

Re: Ways to (accidentally) drive off nonbelievers

Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:22 pm
by DandiestBerry68
I have come to believe that in this day and age one of the most attractive things in christian living is christian communities. As life has gotten more secular, church and town communities have weakened and disappeared. No longer is it everyone's responsibility to take care of the poor- there's government welfare, and so forth. So to attract people, you need to love them. Now, that will look different for intro/extroverts, but be there for them, show them your care, and they'll be drawn in and hopefully meet God and accept Jesus
-B