In Defense of Jesus Memes

“People can come find the church,” she said, “I’m not going to tell anybody to do something if they don’t already want it.”

“But people don’t know what they want!” I exclaimed. “Not in romantic relationships, not in dream jobs, not faith.” Holy shit, I thought, what am I saying? This week, over brunch with a dear friend, I got into a heated conversation about evangelism. We’re both from environments where “evangelism” is a bad word; it means manipulation and fear-mongering. I am not, by temperament, an evangelist, but here I was on one side of a plate of Indian spiced fusion breakfast potatoes, arguing in defense of something that always irritated me.

As I re-read the 2006 survey of U.S. Mennonites this week, I found a surprising statistic:

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Y’all been in church your whole life and ain’t never asked anyone to come with you? I bet you asked people to watch “Game of Thrones” with you.

The church is shrinking; I know that, we all know that. But the corollary is: Mennonites don’t want it to grow. Continue reading

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