I think we have all had fake friends before that we can think of. Maybe to some of us we have to think back to High School, or for others it was as recent as yesterday. The “friend” who just liked you because you had a car. The “friend” who really just wanted to date your hot older sister. The ones who wanted money, popularity, sex, drugs… whatever. Either way, we all know it blows.
It may seem like a “High School” thing to do, but adults do it as well. Except most of us don’t need rides since we have our own cars, and already banged your hot sister.
We all have been through it, and we all know that it hurts.
However, it is the next great evangelism tool coming your way! In fact, odds are that you are already someones friendship evangelism project.
In Bible School, in our leadership courses, training seminars, retreats, and youth meetings – we are all being trained and equipped with all the necessary skills to go out there and make a “friend” with the soul intent of using that friendship/trust as a powerful way to reach you and evangelise the hell out of you.
I’m taking classes right now on how to effectively evangelize you all. They talk about all the old ways that failed and then the teacher informs us that 67% of teenagers said they would listen to someone talk about religion if they were friends with them first. In fact, if people are friends they are more likely to trust you and your advice. People trust their friends advice more than parents, teacher, or leaders. Also, people desperately want friends and are open to their suggestion, approvals, and opinions.
Put that all together and we now have something awesome! We finally found a good use for peer pressure! We can use it to lead you to Christ.
Then the questions come up in class as to how to make these deliberate friendships. I am sitting there in classes hearing people say things”How can I make someone think I care about them?” or “How can I act like I am someones friend?”. Then I raise my hand and say “You could actually care…” but that just normally gets me a laugh and a pat on the head.
Maybe its a jerky thing to do. Maybe its manipulation, but the end justifies the means. We are not after your car or your sister – We are getting you to heaven! And all we get in return is another notch in our belts, and another jewel in our crown that we get in heaven. I think the size of the crown and the number of jewels is directly related to how many people I win to Christ and I will be damned if I let Mike beat me again this year!
We need to get people to think we are their friends first, we need to get up close and into their hearts. Sooner or later one of a few things are going to happen. The person is going to have a weak moment, a moment of total vulnerability, and that will be our cue to pounce! Maybe your boyfriend will break up with you, maybe your dad will die, mom gets cancer, brother moves away, or you finally open up to us about your abuse or eating disorder.
This moment will happen eventually, in fact we are praying every night that something like this does happen to you so we can use it to brind you to the Lord.
Finally God has delivered you to us, and all my hard work pays off! You are hurt, you are crying, you need a friend and I am there to tell you that you need Jesus!
I will tell you now all about Hell, and maybe that God kinda hates your sin. I will also inform you that the reason why I seem so happy and nice, and the reason why I am such a good friend to you is that I have God and you don’t. If you act now – you can have Him too.
This concept isn’t anything too new. Sure they are teaching us all new techniques and methods on how to “friend you” now for our cause, but years ago we called it “chasing” and I was trained in it by the best of the best.
These guys were so good, they would target people that they said had the largest spheres of influence for Jesus. So basically they would go into an area and look to see who the leaders were. Who were the popular kids? The pretty girls, the sports stars, the kinds in bands, the ones with the most influence – we need to target those ones with our friendship.
If you get the popular kids the rest of the ones generally follow. We were also taught that our time was precious and we needed to make the greatest impact possible, so we were discouraged from targeting or helping the unpopular, hurt, poor, and outcasts. A leader can only do so much, so why not make what you do count?
We show up to your games, and read your school news. We even have scouts looking for an “in” with you all. Then it happens! A car accident happened last weekend, and it was the captain of the football teams brother who was behind the wheel! This is what we were praying for church, and it is time to move in and get him. By the way, we hear that he has a thing for blonds so make sure Sara comes along when you talk to him and tell her to wear her low-cut shirt. If Sara complains again just tell her it is for Jesus.
We got him by the way. Got the whole football team eventually. Had one of the largest youth groups out there. I left that youth group saying that I would never work for a church again. I was through with all of this nonsense. I spoke out against their practices and was asked to leave to protect their image. Years later the leader was fired for misappropriation of church funds. They left and started a new church, and now again have one of the largest youth groups out there.
Now I am just trying to do it right. I am disregarding all of the tips and the advice I have received, and I am just out here to try to see if I can maybe help some people.
Oh, and if you and I are friends please know that it is not to get you “saved”, or about your sister. Although, if she asks about me I don’t see the harm in letting her know that I think she is kind of cute.
For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com