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