Saturday, September 01, 2007

Coffeeloo

Today presents itself as a watershed moment in my life. Today, I abstain from Dunkin' Donuts for the next 30 days. Today, I also embark on the longest work day of the year.

Napoleon had his Waterloo. Today, Ben may have his Coffeeloo.

We welcome 3000 new students to UNH today, 1000 of whom attended InterVarsity's Ice Cream Social last year. The number has doubled each of the past three years, so we expect at least quadruple digits tonight. We spend the day advertising and preparing for tonight's festivities, before diving into that daunting, week-long task known simply as "follow-up." After meandering through ice cream, door knocking, more ice cream, coffee, ultimate frisbee, the week ends Thursday night with our first Large Group Meeting of the year - and the first of my UNH life.

Exciting times, these are.

Demanding ones, as well. Especially without Dunkin' Donuts.

Lord, have mercy.

6 comments:

Matt said...

Ben, at 2am I should definitely be asleep. Instead, I felt a tug to read the Daily Tarheel (online, as I'm in Cleveland). This article was most popular there today. Let me know what you think.

http://media.www.dailytarheel.com/media/storage/paper885/news/2007/08/31/Opinion/First.Letter.From.John.To.The.Christians-2945557.shtml

Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

I'm not sure if that link works. If not, look for "First letter from John to the Christians" at dailytarheel.com.

JC said...

I think that article is excellent. I think that it says an incredible amount about our sorry and pathetic attempts to indoctrinate people. Notice that he doesn't talk poorly about Christianity or about Jesus, he talks about how Christians make him feel devalued. Whenever people cease to become people and become just potential converts, I would say that those doing the converting understanding NOTHING of the Gospel.
Thanks for bringing that up, Matt.

Ben said...

Thanks for the link, Matt. The author does a great job of articulating how a lot of folks seem to feel.

My thoughts, specifically pertaining to the door knocking strategy which seems to be at question, are confused. I have heard stories recently from folks at church and parents of college students about their conversion beginning because someone knocked on their door and invited them to an event. I have also seen freshmen this week thankful that someone invited them to something, anything, in a place where they know no one.

That being said, when Christians knocked on my door in college, I wanted them to go away. Even after deciding to follow Christ, I still did not look at these folks as "brothers in Christ" but rather as "people I wanted to go away."

So if we stick strictly to personal testimonies, I guess we have evidence on both sides. What do we do then? Pray? Listen to the Holy Spirit? Seek wisdom and discernment? I imagine the author would find this silly as would a lot of Christians, self included a lot of the time.

I think about this idea of turning people off to Christianity a lot. I always end up thinking about Peter, Paul, and the Acts apostles. They certainly must have turned a lot of people away with their brash words. Yet, their work also spread the Gospel beyond the Ancient Near East so that it eventually reached Charlotte, North Carolina.

All that to say, do we count how many people are turned away by seemingly brash evangelistic actions? Or do we judge by the people who came to Christ because someone knocked on their door? I do not have the answers to these questions.

As for my personal stance, I am new in New Hampshire. I am insecure and fearful in a new position and am thus doing what worked for my predecessors. Such great backbone here on this side of the computer :)

Jeff said...

Well said there Ben. I think the difference comes in the heart. Are people just walking around knocking on doors or are they relationship building? People can tell what you're thinking. (and i'm JC, by the way...I was playing with my profile name)