Over the past few weeks I’ve been feeling a bit conflicted. It all started one Friday a good few months ago. I was supporting a class when suddenly from outside we hear a young lad on a megaphone screaming at people as they passed that they would ‘Go to hell if they didn’t turn to Jesus.’
In the weeks that followed the class named him the ‘Jesus man’, and they all complained loudly when they heard him quoting Bible, shouting about Jesus and judging the passing schoolkids at deafening volume.
This week, there were two ‘Jesus men’, with matching megaphones, shouting individual messages over one another at the scores of kids as they made their way home.
I’m conflicted because I don’t really know how to react to this situation. Part of me thinks, brave lads standing on what they believe and proclaiming it loud and proud, while another part of me thinks, when has anyone come to Christ at the bellow of a megaphone? And when was the last time anyone wanted to stop and talk to someone who told them they were going to hell?
Maybe I’m wrong. Feel free to tell me I am!
Seeing street preachers has always made me cringe, I admire their bravery, but I also think, what if the only thing someone passing by hears is that they’re going a sinner and they’re going to hell? What if they walk away thinking that the judgment they are hearing somehow reflects the way Jesus thinks of them?
For me, leading people to Christ has always meant showing them how loved they are, that’s what Jesus did. He stepped into the lives of everyone who had a need. Soldiers, fishermen, tax collectors, prostitutes, rich and poor alike, churched and unchurched. He loved unconditionally to the point of death.
In my eyes, creation is God’s megaphone, the changing of the seasons, the falling rain, the driving snow, the scorching sunlight. Spring fresh days, flowers blooming, waves crashing, the beauty of the world all reflecting a creator.
The intricate design of humankind alone a reflection of artistry, creativity and mastery all in one.
My heart says love people, show them that they are not forgotten, that they are valued, beautifully created and are just a prayer away from a relationship with the creator of the universe. It says, choose to walk beside one another, encouraging one another, lifting each other up in prayer. Be real, in the good, the bad and the down right snotty!
For me, this life isn’t about shouting at passersby, it’s about walking alongside them and cultivating real, beautiful, friendships and relationships.
However you choose to share the message of Jesus, be blessed! Pray it out! Whether you’re called to be a megaphone bearer or coffee sharer – do it with love first.