I’ll never forget the day I asked Dr. LeRoy Lawson to speak to our staff at CCV about how to lead a church from 1,300 to 3,000.
What he shared was so counterintuitive, and so contrary to popular approaches to evangelism, that I thought every Christian who reads this blog would greatly benefit from hearing what he shared that day.
“You know, your pastor invited me to talk to you about how you can lead your church to grow from thirteen hundred to three thousand. I don’t know how much help I’ll be. I don’t think you can manufacture such things, even if you tried. Instead, what I’d like to do is help you think about how to become the kinds of leaders three thousand new converts would want to follow.”
Everyone on our staff leaned forward. We were hooked.
“What makes you interesting?” he asked.
“Think about that for a moment,” he said.
“Most Christians are incredibly boring, wouldn’t you agree?” Everyone nodded.
“I want to tell you about a friend of mine named Maud L. Eastwood. Maud is a worldwide doorknob expert. One day Maud invited me over to her house and showed me her vast collection of doorknobs. I honestly had no idea people collected such things, but Maud is a world-class expert. She’s written books. She speaks at conventions. She travels around the world teaching seminars on doorknobs. Google her name when you get a chance.”
Where’s he going with this? I thought to myself. And what does this have to do with evangelism and making converts?
“It sounds crazy,” he continued, “but I could sit and listen to Maud talk for hours on end about doorknobs. Why do you think that is? I think it’s because, like all great teachers in school, she’s interesting. I love listening to Maud talk about doorknobs.”
“But here’s the more important question: Why is Maud so interesting? I mean we’re talking doorknobs for crying out loud! That has to be the most boring subject in the world to talk about. But Maud is captivating. Why? She’s interesting because she’s interested. Maud is head over heels interested in doorknobs. Why? Doesn’t matter. She just is. And because she’s interested, she’s an interesting person to be around.”
Lightbulbs went on all across the room, especially right over my head.
“I personally believe that those most effective at personal evangelism are those who are wildly interested in things that have absolutely nothing to do with their Christian faith. So, let me ask you again—what makes you interesting? If you really want to be effective evangelistically, the most important piece of advice I can give you is to develop a few interests in your life that when other people find out about them they tilt their head and say, ‘No kidding?!’”
What Makes You Interesting?
Then, just to make sure we knew that he practiced what he preached, Leroy went on to tell us about how he still continues to ride a Harley and water ski, even into his late seventies.
“Want to know why I ride a Harley and water ski? I originally started because I was interested in those things. I don’t know how I got interested, doesn’t matter. All that really matters is that those things have given me countless opportunities over the years to strike up conversations with people far from God. I wouldn’t have been nearly as effective without them. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to relate to someone who talks all the time about God if you don’t talk about God all the time yourself. Anyone can talk to someone who’s interested in riding Harleys, especially if they’re interested in motorcycles.”
How about you?
What makes you interesting to someone far from God?
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