The Gospel According to Schwinn
How many times have we been approached by a friend, or been the approacher, asking us if we want try a new activity, sport, or organization but we were intimidated or turned off by the level of detail expected of us as a novice? I am guilty as charged as the initiator of the conversation. The Bike Doctor in Frederick, MD suggests that in order to indoctrinate someone into cycling that you must show them how much fun the sport is before you bog them down with spandex and hill climbs up Mt. Kilimanjaro.
"You don’t convert people to your cause by giving them the most outrageous, over the top intro you possibly can. You slowly indoctrinate them, and when they are hooked, well into the indoctrination process, that’s when its ok to pull out all the stops."
This idea is applicable outside of the secular world. There is a reason why the doctrine of original sin is not taught in second grade Sunday School. One the kids are not interested in doctrines and two they are new to Christianity. Even though these kids might have grown up in the church they are still learning the basics. This something we, as leaders in the church, need to be aware of as we teach our youth and as we invite people who are unchurched into our congregations.
We have all seen the tract distributing evangelicals on the street, trapping people as they are trying to exit Starbucks and head into Banana Republic. For someone who has never read about Christ, or the redeeming power of salvation which is offered by Christ, it can be intimidating and will turn people off who might be curious about the church and what role the church can play in their lives.
What I am saying is that we need to remove the spandex shorts, clipless pedals, and blinking lights when we are introducing people to Christ and to the church. By doing this we can remove the stigma Christianity is assuming in our society and continue to make new disciples.