Summary: God prefers that we woo people rather than whop them.
Title: The Power of Woo
Text: Colossians 4:5-6
The Big Idea: God prefers we woo people rather than whop them.
I’m reading a new book titled, unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons based on research from the Barna Group.
The first chapter begins with this line, “Christians have an image problem!”
The author defines those who are looking at the Christian faith from the outside as outsiders. It is a broad and inclusive term that includes any and all who are not Christians, without using terms that are offensive, like pagans or infidels or may not necessarily fit everyone outside of the faith, like seeker or pre-Christian.
The book is the result of unpacking research regarding the ways outsiders are reacting to the Christian faith. These outsiders, “think Christians no longer represent what Jesus had in mind… that Christianity in our society is not what it was meant to be.” (p.15)
The researchers discovered that outsiders expressed most opposition toward evangelicals. “There are twenty-four million outsiders in America who are ages sixteen to twenty-nine. Of these, nearly seven million have a negative impression of evangelicals; another seven million say they nave no opinion; and ten million have never heard the term evangelical… that leaves half a million young outsiders of the twenty-four million, who see us in a positive light.” (David Kinnaman, unChristian, Baker Books, p.25)
On June 25, 2008, the LA Times, Times Bloomberg Poll reported President Bush had a 23% approval rating among registered voters. If we think that is bad… if only five-hundred thousand of twenty-four million approve of us, that means evangelical Christians have a 2% approval rating.
Christians have an image problem.
We are baffled by the violence espoused by radical and extremist Islamists who are determined to destroy the “infidels” of the world. So we are really confused that we are not necessarily viewed as being all that gracious in eyes of the world either. So how does God want us to represent him in the world? What kind of ambassadors are we to be?
Jesus told us that when the Holy Spirit came we would have power nd we have come to understand that to include not only the ability to communicate the Good News of Christ but to live lives under the power or influence of God’s Spirit. “When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere… in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
The Spirit of God gives us the power to woo people… to influence them and make a difference in their lives. The Spirit of God gives us the power to gently convince them of the life-changing difference Christ can make in a person’s life… not by threats and browbeating, but by woo.
Here’s an amusing look at the opposite of woo.
Project Video Clip: Classic Dick Van Dyke
If we wish to become people who have the power to woo people to Christ, where do we begin? It begins with the inner life.