“I’m an athiest, no thanks.”
That’s the response I got when I invited a guy this weekend to enjoy a free burger at one of the block parties our church hosted. In my mind I quickly began to wonder if all atheists are vegetarians.
“A burger’s a burger. If you’re hungry go for it.”
The guy looked at me and reminded me that we were a church, and that he was an atheist (not a vegetarian atheist is turned out). I explained that we were hosting block parties in various neighborhoods not to preach at people, but just to let them know we care.
I told him it was like public relations for Jesus.
The guy ended up having a burger that night, but the idea still stuck with me. No-strings-attached kindness is so foreign in our culture that this guy just assumed a church wanted nothing to do with him. In a society where nothing really is free, let alone from those on the other side of an issue, he was hesitant. And rightly so. We all get credit card offers in the mail, we’ve seen infomercials; nothing is really “free.”
Until a few years ago when some churches started doing this whole loving people thing. When they stopped asking for something and started giving something. When churches began to undo the years of misrepresentation that Jesus has had, but being His hands and feet. Churches began a new PR campaign for Jesus.