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Pilgrim Stories: Evangelism is a Dirty Word to Millennials
spacer Pilgrim Stories: Evangelism is a Dirty Word to Millennials
BY: John Seel
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The church has a significant communication problem with millennials. Not only do persons of faith tend to talk exclusively to themselves in coded religious language, they communicate with a tone and content that is perceived as offensive to many young people. Genuine disagreements do not need to be offensive. Effective communication can lead to the achievement of real disagreement. But the process need not be intrinsically offensive. Sadly, the way most evangelical churches frame evangelism is a nonstarter for most millennials. It is a communication problem needing urgent attention.

Four Social Imaginaries
In contemporary American society, there are four operating social imaginaries. If we are to discuss our apprenticeship to Jesus effectively, particularly among spiritually oriented millennials, we will have to fundamentally rethink how we communicate the gospel in terms of these social imaginaries.

“Social imaginaries” is not a term many are familiar with outside of the academy. Philosopher Charles Taylor says, “By social imaginaries, I mean something much broader and deeper than intellectual schemes people may entertain when they think about social reality in a disengaged mode [read worldviews]. I am thinking, rather, of the ways people imagine their social existence…. This is often carried in images, stories, and legends.” They reflect unconscious assumptions about:

What is the good life?
Who is a good person?
How can I achieve both?

These are our assumptions about how we imagine the world to be. In contemporary American society there are four distinct orientations to reality, four competing social imaginaries: 1) closed transcendent, 2) closed immanent, 3) open immanent, and 4) open transcendent.

Dividing these four lens on reality are the two distinct approaches or attitudes: closed or open / settlers or explorers. Father Thomas Halik, Czech philosopher priest and 2014 Templeton Prize winner, stated in the New York Times, “I think the crucial difference in the church today is not between so-called believers and nonbelievers, but between dwellers and seekers.” Dwellers are those who are happy where they are, who feel they have found the truth, while seekers are still looking for answers. Halik believes that those in the community of seekers actually have more in common with each other than do seekers and settlers from within the same faith tradition.

This is the source of our communication problem: settlers talking to seekers. It also explains why the church is so ineffective connecting to millennials. Let’s look at these four views more closely.

Settlers
Closed Transcendents – people who believe in the supernatural or unseen spiritual world and who hold to these beliefs with unwavering dogmatic confidence. This group represents most of the evangelical church.

Closed Immanents – people who do not believe in the supernatural or the unseen spiritual world and who hold to these beliefs with unwavering dogmatic confidence. This group represents those who have been called the New Atheists.

Most of the churches efforts in evangelism and apologetics are framed as a debate or discussions between these two groups of settlers whether the topic is the existence of God or evolution: closed transcendents vs. close immanents. Veritas Forums often feature debates between people representing these two positions. Debates framed in this manner are irrelevant sideshows to the discussions that are really needed.

It should be noted that these groups—particularly closed transcendents—have large and organized constituencies. Close immanents have also received huge press attention through their runaway bestsellers. Closed transcendents dominate the perspective of the middle of America and closed immanents are most commonly found within the academy.

What both of these groups are finding is that they are increasingly passé. In spite of their size and history, they no longer represent the cultural cutting edge. More and more they find themselves talking only to themselves. We live in a post-secular society where the old Enlightenment narrative of the secularization thesis is more and more challenged. Herein lies the missiological challenge for the American evangelical church. It must learn to speak, connect, and walk along side those who no longer hold to these two passé social imaginaries. Our natural teachers in knowing how to effectively move forward are millennials. It is time for boomer church leaders to start listen to millennials.

Let’s turn then to the front line for the soul of America, where we need to be refocusing and rethinking our communication efforts. This shift between settlers and explorers indicates a huge rupture in the American consciousness. It is an entirely new world that will require an entirely new style and approach to evangelism. James K.A. Smith adds, “Too much of our evangelism has been informed by picturing human beings as ‘thinking things’…. [P]eople aren’t looking for answers to questions. They’re not looking to solve an intellectual puzzle. They want to love. They’re looking for love, and they’re looking to love.” A hug is not the same thing as a syllogism.

Explorers
Open Immanent – people who adopt a secular frame of reference on reality in their day-to-day lives, but who are at the same time haunted by and open to the possibility of a larger transcendent order, a world of meaning beyond themselves. This is the premise of Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. For these folks James K.A. Smith observes, “faith” is the doubt of their secularity. They operate with a spiritual FOMO attitude, the “fear of missing out.” These are those who are uncomfortable with the dogma of “religion,” but who talk easily about their own spiritual journeys and long for fellow sojourners. This is the fastest growing social imaginary in American society and one that dominates millennials and storytelling cultural creatives that run Hollywood. Because storytelling cultural creatives curate the public social imaginary for society at large, they should be the focus in the church’s efforts to communicate to a post-Christian culture.

Open Transcendent – people who believe in a transcendent spiritual reality but who at the same time hold to these beliefs with an openness to new ideas and continuing exploration—they do not have the sense that they have arrived or that they have a corner on truth. We could say that they have “humble convictions,” as they recognize that there is more to know than they will ever know, and that they could be wrong about what they currently claim to know. Therefore, they maintain a learner’s attitude and one that is genuinely open to learn from anyone. They are not relativist or skeptics—all truth is the same or no truth can be known—but they affirm the limits of human knowledge, particularly their own.

Nor does an open transcendent perspective commit one to Christianity or even theism. The Dalai Lama has an open transcendent perspective though there are some who would claim that his pantheism doesn’t get him far beyond an open immanent viewpoint. The late philanthropist Sir John Templeton captured this open transcendent view in his notion of “humility-in-theology.” This same kind of attitude is seen in Pope Francis. This in part explains his resonance with millennials, and why he graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

The most pressing evangelistic task for the contemporary church is to learn how to connect with people who are open immanent and begin to move them toward a Christian open transcendent perspective. For this task, the evangelical church is woefully unprepared.

What was once uncommon, when an Enlightenment perspective held unquestioned cultural sway, is now becoming far more common. Many today are following in the footsteps of C.S. Lewis’ intellectual path. Lewis traces his faith journey this way; “On the intellectual side my own progress has been from ‘popular realism’ [materialism] to Philosophical Idealism; from Idealism to Pantheism; from Pantheism to Theism; and from Theism to Christianity.” Put differently, the arch of Lewis’ spiritual journey was from closed transcendence to close immanent to open immanent to open transcendent. It is a spiritual path many are now following.

David Kinnaman sees evangelical young people moving from the faith of their fathers to atheism (prodigal) to some form of spirituality (exile) and only rarely to open transcendence. Usually, individuals are so beaten up by the process by their parents, churches, and other Christians that they abandon church-based religion all together. Such is the spiritual biography of Rachel Held Evans and Franky Schaeffer. Such was the experience of Peter Enns.

Today there is a huge opportunity to assist people on their spiritual journeys from an open immanent perspective to an open transcendent one, from the pop Americanized pantheism of Oprah to a vibrant open Christianity of real presence of C.S. Lewis.

Even the word “evangelism” is a stumbling block for many. The immediate reaction is “What are you trying to sell me or do to me that I don’t want?” This is a fair reaction in light the church’s typical approach to evangelism. While there is not a set recipe for effective evangelism to open immanent persons, of which millennials dominate, there are eight common ingredients that one needs to have on hand in each relationship.

1. Connection
Effective evangelism today requires genuine human connection. This means creating a judgment free environment. The church does not start its engagement with contemporary culture on a level playing field. Scandals, hypocrisy, and Right wing politicized coercion are the operative assumptions of most nonbelievers. Many would instinctively agree with Henry Drummond, “As long as a prerequisite for that shining paradise is bigotry, ignorance, and hate, I say to hell with it.” To be effective the church must adopt a new tone. Pope Francis has been most effective in demonstrating how this is done. The shift in tone from Pope Benedict to Pope Francis has been marked. Actress, lesbian political activist, Maria Bello acknowledges returning to the Catholic Church because of this Pope’s change in tone. He has not changed the lyrics, but he has changed the music. This is an essential starting point. So the initial step is to reorient the relationship so that there is a genuine human connection in a safe, affirming place. There is no effective evangelism that doesn’t start in a judgment free zone. Since the church is presumed to be judgmental, it will have to lean over backwards not to be so.

Hospitality is an essential part of this process. When the Celtic missionaries encountered the pagan Druids, the pagans were invited into their community and treated like royalty. Their guesthouse was the finest lodging facility in the entire village. The Celtic assumption was not that one believes in order to belong, but that “belonging comes before believing.” They simply made you want to belong. Dinners with strangers and guestrooms prepared for the alien are not the normal practice of modern believers. We need to establish the priority in our churches of open homes and exuberant hospitality. The relational power of the films Chocolat and Babbett’s Feast comes to mind. To be effective the gospel in the contemporary world needs to celebrate the goodness of God’s creation and the glory of human creativity. We must work toward a genuine human connection that celebrates the other with joy, beauty, and love.

2. Experience and Imagination
The contemporary millennial does not start with abstract principles, but lived experience. The gospel will become real not via reasoned argument, but through deep human experiences, particularly those that engage the imagination. Lewis’ conversion was greatly enhanced when he failed to secure a teaching position in philosophy and turned instead to English. In A.N. Wilson’s skeptical biography of Lewis he writes, “Without [the change to English], Lewis would not have been the man he became…. English was to restore to him with inescapable force the message, which he had been hearing…. This was the knowledge that human life is best understood by the exercise of not only the wit, but also of the imagination.” Modern millennials reject the assumptions of the Enlightenment, its left-brain bias toward the rational and abstract, as well as its conceptual authoritarianism. They respond instead to story, music, and film. As American evangelicalism has a heady bias toward the Enlightenment, this will require an entire reversal of priorities. Theologian Peter Enns captures this shift in his important book, The Sin of Certainty. Enns suggests that God is more interested in our trust than our “correct” beliefs. A relationship with Jesus does not start with acing a multiple-choice theology exam. To be effective the gospel in the contemporary world needs to prioritize shared experiences that capture the imagination. It does better with cut flowers, flowing wine, and a gourmet meal.

3. Non-instrumental Relationships
It is also imperative that we enter into these relationships without an agenda—particularly an evangelistic one. We know what happens to a friendship when a friend becomes associated with a direct sales organization. In time you will be asked to buy a product or become a distributor. To be a successful salesman every friendship is eventually commodified. And if you feel “used,” you’d be right. So too are the friends of many Christians.

Millennials are highly sensitive to being “sold.” Their relational radars can immediately sense that there is an ulterior motive to the friendship. People are ends, not means. If our love is genuine, then we cannot enter our relationships with our nonbelieving friends with a secondary motive, even if it is a noble one. The goal of our friendship is friendship. Since evangelicals have violated these terms so frequently, we should assume a hermeneutic of suspicion on the part of our non-believing friends. We must lean against this and allow conversations to develop naturally. We can never violate the self-determining integrity of the other person, by pushing our own views on points where we might disagree: politics, religion, or sexuality. Just being a good friend through hell and high water is enough. This is why there is a problem with the term “friendship evangelism.” What is needed is “friendship friendship.” Sadly, church types need to be reminded of this more frequently than nonbelievers. Authentic friendships do not have an agenda.

4. Shared Pilgrimage
We can overcome this need to “do evangelism,” what is pejoratively perceived by the typical nonbeliever as “doing proselytizing,” by picturing in our minds a shared pilgrimage rather than Hyde Park’s Speakers Corner. It is not that followers of Jesus have arrived and we are calling others to our settled destination—which is the typical framing of evangelism. That is not the picture to have if we are to be effective in connecting with the contemporary nonbeliever. We must hold in our minds the picture of being together on a shared spiritual pilgrimage to a yet undeclared destination. It is less important that we are conceptually heading in the same direction or going the same speed, but that we are on a shared trail together and that our paths have for this moment meaningfully crossed. What is important is to make this path crossing, however long or short, deeply meaningful and hopefully memorable.

By using this metaphor of shared sacred pilgrimage, I am not suggesting “all spiritual paths lead magically to the same place.” I am simply suggesting that what is as important as an imagined destination is the quality of our encounter on the path. It is the journey that will change us. The problem with the traditional view of evangelism is that it falsely bifurcates destination and journey, placing almost exclusive emphasis on the destination with no reference or regard for the necessity, beauty, and meaning of the journey. Creating meaningful moments along the journey is just as important as delivering the friend to the destination… if that ever happens. We share together the mythic hero’s journey, the Greek epic, and the pilgrim’s progress. It is in this shared experience of spiritual companionship on an open-ended spiritual adventure that God works in the pilgrim’s life.

Pilgrimage is not a common experience today. Wiki defines “pilgrimage” as “a journey or search for moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person’s beliefs and faith, although sometimes it can be a metaphorical journey into someone’s own beliefs.” Like the various stories told in The Canterbury Tale, there is much to be learned from each person’s story.

To view life as a pilgrimage is to understand journey as a liminal space. The word “liminality” comes from the Latin, limen, meaning “a threshold.” The pilgrimage is a transformational space between a “real” known world and an unknown imaginary world of risk and possibility. Consider four films that make a pilgrimage a metaphor for life: Into the Wild (2007), Eat, Pray, Love (2010), Wild (2014), and A Walk in the Woods (2015). In these films, which character is the most beneficial companion on the journey? What were his or her characteristics? What was it about the encounter that made it meaningful? What can we learn from them? Most of us need to get off our self-righteous soapbox and stop preaching. We need to join others on the damp and cold trail and simply listen to the stories of others. There we will find wisdom for our own journey. We need to stop trying to be the guru, shaman, or “spiritual-know-it-all” to others. Rather we need to get down in the muck with others, who with us are trying to muddle through life with some measure of personal integrity and open search for meaning. As one friend said to me, “I’ll love you to heaven or I’ll love you to hell. You can count on me loving you either way the whole way.”

5. Haunted On-ramps
The modern nonbeliever is haunted by the possibility of an unseen spiritual world. We live in a post-secular society, where openness to other worlds is taken-for-granted. We must learn to appreciate this spiritual openness, the restlessness of a haunted longing for enchantment. We need to be careful about dismissing others’ search for enchantment as New Age pap or ecological mysticism. Such dismissals do not help. We must learn to expect and respect the “nova effect,” the explosion of different options for belief and meaning in a post-secular age. The common enemy is a world without windows—of the older Enlightenment and closed immanent perspective. With others we should be looking for the light beyond. Like the children in Lewis’ tales, there is a longing for Narnia, and a perpetual search for the right wardrobe, the door to another world away.

This sense of hauntedness has four distinct onramps to spiritual pilgrimage depending on one’s life experiences, calling, and personality. Four common onramps through which modern seekers explore their spiritual longing are the search for justice, the embrace of love, the rapture of beauty, and the still small voice of the spirit. Whether one is a social justice activist, a lonely single living on the edge of the hook-up scene, a romantic artist or climate change ecologist enraptured by the grandeur of Nature, or simply a spiritual seeker back from Red Rock and a spiritual cleansing with a Tsachila Shaman, we will each be following the dim lights of our own experience with the perpetual signals of transcendence. As apprentices of Jesus, we would do well to learn the languages of these onramps, not so that we can do apologetics more effectively, but so that we can ask the insightful question in a manner that is both respectful of where they are and helpful for encouraging them to take the next step in their journey.

Hal Holbrook, playing the widower Ron Franz, in the film Into the Wild, comments with insight to Chris McCandless, “When you forgive, you love. And when you love, God’s light shines upon you.” It was a comment aimed at the point of Chris’ spiritual metaphysical blockage. Chris did not have ears to hear until the moment before his death in the Alaska wilderness when he scrawls in his notebook, “Happiness is only real when it is shared.” How far will we have to run? How many layers will we peel away before we acknowledge that the search for truth leads to the reality of love? Will we be prepared to ask the perceptive question? Are we willing to be asked the same?

What is the role of the Bible in these shared pilgrimages? Its role is significant, but in a manner that is markedly different from the past. The first emphasis needs to be the story of the Bible, rather than the Bible as a book. We must learn to recapture the narrative arch of the Bible in a manner that captures the imagination rather than using the Bible as a source of modernistic proof texts. Theologian David Williams writes,
Before the Bible is anything else, it is story. The dynamic tension and drama and adventure of that story need to be recovered by storytellers for a generation that is hungry for stories. Culture has become immune to the drama of this particular story, perhaps because other forms of knowing have obscured its preposterous character. If we don’t tell the story well, we will not engage the culture in the way the story deserves and demands.

The New Zealand based online gaming company, Scarlet City Studios has captured this well in their Narnia-like game, “The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance.” For many, the Bible as a book of doctrine is a nonstarter. As one millennial said at a religious retreat, “I don’t read the Book as it would mess up my relationship with Jesus.” There is both ignorance and insight in this statement. The Bible is a love letter from Jesus and as such can only serve to enhance one’s relationship with him. But it is also true that any love relationship cannot be captured in the left-brain propositional ways that the church has tended to read the Bible. Relationships thrive on poetry not prose.

There is a great deal of openness to the spiritual discipline of “Mindfulness,” a kind of secular meditative practice based loosely on Buddhism. Though fundamentally different in its spiritual origins and orientation, one might rightly propose that reading the Bible meditatively is a portal to a wider spiritual reality. Bible reading is a “thin place”—to use the language of Celtic spirituality. Meditating quietly on Psalm 23 or Romans 8 has a way of allowing the Holy Spirit to work existentially in one’s life often in ways that are even beyond our conscious mind. Thirty days of daily thirty-minutes of meditative Scripture reading will change the reader and will appreciably enhance their awareness of a wider spiritual reality. This is not typically how the Bible has been brought into the discussion of evangelism. This is not the “Roman Road” of evangelism, but the Holy Spirit’s open road.

6. Authenticity and vulnerability
Perhaps the most important feature of genuine connection with a contemporary millennial is one’s willingness to be authentic, which requires a combination of integrity and vulnerability. Most of us have two résumés: one we use to outline our career choices and one that maps the hidden trajectory of our heart. Jean-Paul Sartre knew that the latter is what is most determinative in our life. “The order of the past is the order of the heart. We must not believe that the present event, after it has gone, becomes the most immediate of our memories. The shift of time can submerge it at the bottom of memory or leave it on the surface. Only its own intrinsic value and its relevance to our lives can determine its level.” Wounds and triumphs of the past at the heart level are what define us as persons. Personal integrity demands the willingness to face these painful events and memories. This is the kind of honesty seen in an AA meeting.

We must be able to express our doubts, struggles, and failures with candor. Such humility is a key to human connection. Under the conditions of what Charles Taylor describes as secularity3, faith and doubt are mutual expressions of belief. James Smith explains, “’Living within’ this frame doesn’t simply tip you in one direction, but allows you to feel pulled two ways.” The existential experience is one of feeling “cross-pressured.” Christians need the honesty to admit these feelings. Too often the church has celebrated the confident certainty of the closed frame as a measure of faithfulness, when in fact it is often the mark of self-righteous hubris. We struggle to accept the spiritual normality of Mother Teresa’s doubts. Again Smith clarifies, “The picture of knowledge bequeathed to us by the Enlightenment is a forthright denial of our dependence.” This is the thesis of Enns book, The Sin of Certainty. The crying need for the Christian is to embrace our humanness again with all of its limitations. Smith concludes, “True epistemic humility would be more a matter of recognizing the contingency, dependence, and contestability of our claims while also unapologetically proclaiming them and seeking to convince others to see the world our way, precisely because we take them as true.” For this reason, we don’t have to have all the answers, be an apologetic encyclopedia, or even have it all pulled together in our lives. None of this has anything to do with being an authentic person—to one self or to others.

It is our inability to be genuinely human that is the biggest barrier to nonbelievers. Instead we hide behind pious clichés and hypocritical smiles. We need to cut the God talk, the incessant insider psycho-spiritual babble of evangelicals and start talking like normal people. Such talk is not spiritual. It’s a form of hiding. It reeks of cult-like insularity, too-pious-by-half self-deception, and the unconscious conformity to the evangelical subculture. It is a linguist cul-de-sac and a conversation nonstarter.

The irony is that the process of apprenticing oneself to Jesus should make one more human not less, more humble not more self-righteous, more comfortable being a creature in God’s world not asserting God-like confidence and knowledge. Dutch art critic and L’Abri worker Hans Rookmaaker stated, “Jesus didn’t come to make us Christian. Jesus came to make us fully human.” Then this should be our starting point and we should stop hiding behind an artificial Christian persona. Cut the pious crap and start being real.

7. Wi-Fi Hotspot
Our lives, however broken and our knowledge however limited and contested, if in a personal relationship with Jesus should exude the kingdom of God, the reality of Christ’s indwelling presence, and the reality of God’s cosmic love. The central message of Jesus is that the “kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). He meant by this that all around us is God’s presence and power and that his spiritual presence and power is available to us as we acknowledge him in all that we do.

This is not super-spiritual nonsense, but it is consistent with all other aspects of reality. Philosopher Dallas Willard states, “Every kind of life, from cabbage to the water buffalo, lives from a certain world that is suited to it. It is called to that world by what it is. There alone is where its wellbeing lies. Cut off from its special world it languishes and eventually dies…. We ought to be spiritual in every aspect of our lives because our world is the spiritual one.” We were made to thrive as humans only by being fully connected to this spiritual reality. As Teilhard de Chardin notes, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” If this is the case, then as we are connected to God’s presence, the source of our natural spiritual reality, acknowledge God’s presence, and cooperation with God’s presence in all that we do, we should expect there to be a movement in our lives that is more than you and me. Though the metaphor is a bit impersonal and pantheistic—but not fundamentally different from Jesus’ vine and branch metaphor—we should become a Wi-Fi Hotspot for the kingdom of God for all those with whom we encounter. Writer Madeleine L’Engle reminds us of the obvious, “We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.” By God’s grace and because of our humble reliance on him, God’s presence, God’s love, God’s forgiveness, and God’s reality should be evident in who we are, if we have entered into a personal relationship with Jesus and have apprenticed our lives to him. It is for this reason, that our “being” is more important than our “talking.”

8. Bumpers
As we enter into the spiritual pilgrimages of others, we don’t have to have the posture of knowing all the answers, we can genuinely listen to their stories and learn from their own search for meaning, we can express our failures and weaknesses, and at the same time rely on and expect the presence of Christ to be the silent partner in our shared journey. More important than our persuasive ability is the authenticity of our presence and our daily reliance on Christ in all things, which enables us to channel the reality of Christ to others.

From our perspective it may seem that we are simply muddling through together. It may sometime seem like the blind leading the blind. But this is not so. To use a bowling analogy, there are internal and external bumpers to this joint pilgrimage. Novice bowlers can have bumpers put up on both sides of the alley to serve as a guide for the ball. God does the same for novice spiritual pilgrims.

The Holy Spirit is invisibly working in all the lives we encounter. He is the one who knows best how to address heart issues. We do not need to nor should we want to take the place of the Holy Spirit. He is the one who will finally guide us home. Our confidence in his presence means that we can abandon all forms of coercion. We may talk of “man’s search for God,” which C.S. Lewis describes as misguided as a mouse’s search for the cat. God is the Good Shepherd and he is in the business of finding lost sheep. He is the active agent in our sacred journeys. The circumstances of our pilgrimage are finally under the dictates of his loving providence.

The other bumper is reality itself. If reality has a design—because made by a Creator—then engaging reality in life will guide us by trial and error to what serves human flourishing and what does not. The more we resist the dictates of reality, the more tension we will feel in life, a kind of ontological dissonance. The existential rub is not in the argument but in the living. While the dictates of reality can be resisted, those who are genuine seekers are in a better position to learn from it. God’s claim is that “you will find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). This is why we must celebrate all who are seeking, all who are muddling through their pilgrimage. There is no human thriving without being on a spiritual journey. This is also why our spiritual pilgrimage is best done in the company of others. Our friends can challenge our blind spots; encourage us when weary; and pass on the wisdom they have learned along the way. Marketing guru Seth Godin observes that when people submit short bio and are given the opportunity to update their bios after seeing the others’ bios in their class, the bios always get better. He concludes, “It’s not because people didn’t try the first time. It’s because being surrounded by people on the same journey as you causes you to level up. Your path forward is pretty simple: Decide on your journey and find some people who will cause you to level up.” This is the value of having the right people with us on our spiritual pilgrimage.

This is a very different picture of evangelism than is typically communicated within the church: one of confidently giving answers to someone without them. Does this new approach elicit a different reaction among nonbelievers? Would they be willing to join us on our spiritual journeys? Can we quest together?

Here is a picture of a shared sacred pilgrimage engaged in the context of humble seeking, authentic humanness, shared storytelling, and mutual respect. And who knows, the believer may find Christ anew in the face of their non-believing friend. Such is the mysterious way God works in the lives of pilgrims who walk together in a spirit of humble seeking.

Copyright © 2016 John Seel


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about the author
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John Seel
John Seel is a business consultant and cultural renewal entrepreneur working with people and projects to promote human flourishing and the common good. He has done extensive research on millennials and their potential contribution to society. He is the former director of cultural engagement at the John Templeton Foundation. He and his wife, Kathryn, and four-legged child, Malibu, live in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania. They live in the English Village on the Erdenheim Farm, a 450-acre working farm started in 1765.
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