I am constantly enamored with the changing face of evangelism. In this piece by the NY Times, the church has moved one step closer to my demographic, perhaps everyone’s demographic considering they have divided their musicianship into target groups for better appeal.
What I love about the Times, is that it’s a bellweather of news. After watching Chomsky’s Manufacturing of Consent this past week, I see the Times as the corporate machine that it is despite it’s notoriety of being “the paper of record” for our history.
It was really Wess who turned me on to looking more deeply at evangelism and it’s role in today’s world of Quakerism. He noted that evangelism isn’t missionary work, but is an act of witness and faith combined. It manifests itself in friendship with others, in belonging to a community that cares for one another. It isn’t realized through converting others to your faith by proselytizing to others but rather by just “being there” where the need is. He spoke about how in the emerging Church, evangelism should be found in bars, in MySpace, and other places where people gather.
It seems like these folks in the Times article are broadcasting the message and bringing people to their door, but is it really true that people decide to return to your place of worship in the first 11 minutes? That sounds like speed-dating. Why not imagine people as joining Quakerism out of witness to the faith as it is practiced?