Today’s Devotional Tidbit – June 4, 2007
Projects, Objects and Targets (micro-targeting)
Jesus. What a name. There’s just something about it. He was God. He was a good guy. He did the friendly kind of things friends did. He hung out with them. Jesus gave away a lot of value. He gave it to those he hung around; those like Zachhaeus, Levi, the woman at the well, and the many other sinners and undesirables he kept company with. I doubt Jesus looked at these people and said, “Now there’s a project I could work on.” or “Bang! Another target I can shoot down for my father.” I think often churches, especially those in paid ministry, look at people who aren’t Christians and think, “project” “object” or “target.” I’m not saying every church does this, but there may be a few more than we think. I know I’m guilty of it. I believe this temptation is always present in a results based society like we live in. I repent of it. I almost want to cry because I’m still tempted to look at people in ways that aren’t too Christ-like. I’m tempted to look at people as projects, objects, and targets. I’m sure Jesus just looked at people as God’s creatures. He didn’t have a time schedule. He didn’t look at wrist sundial and say, “Oops, only 1 year, 24 days and six hours left here on earth; I better focus more attention on Aristobulous. Got to get him studying the scriptures with me in a small group or Dad’s gonna be mad.” I think Jesus understood it took time, even with those who were closely following and helping him. Oh my, did he understand it took time with them. Just look at Peter. Look at Jesus’ response when those closest to him didn’t get it, “Do you still not understand?” If anyone understood that people have their own time schedules, it was Jesus, even though that understanding was kind of forced upon him by his little group of twelve. I think churches everywhere, and ministries like my own, will be blessed, really blessed, if we look forward to having friends, and not strategizing on how to conquer the not yet Christian population. Now this is for anyone reading who I may have treated like a project, object, or target, “I apologize with all my heart.” I would ask any Christians reading this to examine their own motives when befriending others. Have you too, done like me, and treated anyone like a project, object, or target? Please do not misunderstand our need to make disciples. Jesus tells us to do just that. In itself, that is a command to target a group, the “undiscipled.” I would call that macro-targeting. Making people feel like a social project or evangelistic object, and a check mark on an attendance sheet is what I call micro-targeting, that’s what I’m against. I just thought I should add that little caveat before receiving any replies to this devo. 🙂
In Christ y’all,
To find out a bit more of where, when, and why I have begun to think the way I have on evangelism, please read the following book by Dr. Eddie Gibbs and Dr. Ryan K. Bolger.
Click the following link for more information on Emerging Churches, their theology and thougths on evangelism.