Geography, Approachability, and Evangelism

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by CompassionateConservative, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. CompassionateConservative

    CompassionateConservative
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    Do you all find that it is easier in some parts of the country to strike up a random conversation with a stranger? I'm from Charlotte, NC where people have the "city" mindset of don't talk to strangers under any circumstances. Now I live in Wake Forest, NC where enough of the quaint "town" mentality survives. It is astoundingly simple to get into a meaningful conversation with virtually anyone. Yet I discuss this form of evangelism with a Miami pastor who doesn't buy into it all. Is this a geographical phenomenon?
     
  2. bapmom

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    I sure think it is in many cases. I grew up in California, where you mostly don't talk to strangers. Then I went to college at a small-town Wisconsin Bible college. In my Personal Evangelism class they actually suggested starting off with "small talk" while going door-to-door....and I just couldn't get beyond that. In my mindset, a regular Californian wouldn't stand for that. I even got points taken off in my class because I just couldn't imagine knocking on someone's door and talking about their flower pots on their front porch. [​IMG]

    It really is different here, though. I think alot of its "big city" mentality, rather than geography. In Watertown, where my college was, you could talk to strangers a bit more freely, but here in Milwaukee you have to have some sort of relationship to some degree. Although we do go out passing out tracts on the street and we get some very good responses with it.
     
  3. PamelaK

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    bapmom, I grew up in California too and you are so right! In South Carolina and Indiana tho, I have had several of those "flower pot" witnessing conversations! [​IMG]
     
  4. John of Japan

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    CC, it is a cultural thing. As one who has traveled on deputation and furlough all over America, I am a witness that culture in America differs north and south, east and west.

    It is even more different in Japan. We fight all the time the Japanese fear of foreigners. I have been in a fast food place ordering, only to see the young man actually tremble as he tried to get used to speaking to a foreigner! Obviously he wouldn't have heard the Gospel if I tried to give it to him!

    In an even worse case, our co-workers once lived in another town, and were delighted when a KFC restaurant came to town. They walked in the joint, only to see every single worker flee to the back of the restaurant!! The workers only ventured out to take their order when my friends called out to them in fluent Japanese! [​IMG] [​IMG] :rolleyes:
     
  5. CompassionateConservative

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    John, this makes a lot of sense. I have much respect for missionaries on the "foreign" field.

    I hope to study formally the "effectiveness" of cold-turkey evangelism in various geographical and cultural settings. The findings might inform those in a setting where cold-turkey evangelism is most effective that they can use that method with confidence.

    For others, how do you recommend navagating the situation - by trying to change the responsiveness factor or by developing more innovative ways to communicate the gospel (or both)?
     
  6. John of Japan

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    Depending on how seriously you are going to study "cold turkey" evangelism, you might consider door-to-door religious surveys in various parts of the country. Of course when you do this kind of survey, you will definately have chances for personal evangelism!

    How I navigate the Japanese "fear of foreigners" is usually with a tract I've written and a little humor. I say, "Please read this. I wrote it, so ignore my strange Japanese." This sets them at ease and allows me to talk more with them.

    The cultural aspect in much of Asia (esp. Japan, China and Korea) is Confucianism, fundamental to which is various human relationships. Most Japanese will not give much of a listen to the Gospel if they have no relationship with you. So missionaries here build relationships through various classes and Bible studies: English (the big one), cooking, ladies meetings in the home, and my most recent one, self defense classes. [​IMG]
     
  7. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    My country is one when materialism is king - because of the huge number of sex and child abuse scandals in the Catholic Church here folks have "thrown at the baby with the bath water" and have tried to rid God from their lives totally. They only "need God" five time - baptism, communion, confirmation, marriage (almost passe here), and death.

    Apart from that folks generally have no use for God or anything to do with Him.

    My only really fruitful witnessing takes place after years of fellowship and friendship. It is usually over a cuppa tea with a good friend.

    [ March 23, 2006, 11:50 AM: Message edited by: C4K ]
     
  8. John of Japan

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    All of Europe seems to be rejecting God, from what I've read, Roger.

    In some ways this process of hardening is similar to what the Muslims accomplished with violence when they took over the Christian Mid-East, which is now so hard-hearted against all forms of Christianity.
     
  9. CompassionateConservative

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    Let me give all of us (myself included) a bit of caution and encouragement. This thread is intended as a closer look at some of the obstacles the Gospel faces in the 21st century. Let our discussion of these obstacles lead us, not to discouragement, but to an improvement of our presentation of the Good News.

    I am confident that the message of Jesus Christ is just as powerful as it ever has been, and that no matter how dark the night, how formidable the obstacles, and how disheartening the culture, the Gospel is capable of overcoming every obstacle in its way to the glory of God.
     
  10. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    No discouragement sensed here - - just following along with the topic. Here I have found that a solid witness requires some kid of contact first.
     

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