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A mountain biking ride with a group of students taught me three surefire ways to turn people off Christianity. Learn from my mistakes!
Do You Ever Turn People Off Christianity Without Realizing it?
“Did you sign up to go on the bike ride?” I asked one of my students.
“No, I signed up to make cards.”
“Really? That sounds like fun. How come you don’t want to ride?”
“Honestly, Mrs. Ojeda, I don’t know if I’ll ever go again,” the student confessed.
“You’ve improved so much,” I exclaimed.
“Yeah, but you guys keep going on harder and harder rides, and I’m not having fun anymore.”
“Oh.” I didn’t know how to respond to my student’s honesty, so I fumbled for a good response and hope it worked. “I’ll let you know the next time we go on an easier ride, ok?”
“Sure.” The student didn’t sound convinced.
Pedro and I needed to have a conversation about truth in advertising our bike rides. I hated to think of kids giving up because the trails scared them or they felt inadequate. This conversation happened five or six years ago, and we’ve done a better job of fitting riders to the terrain. Occasionally, one slips through our system, and we end up with near-disastrous results.
I’ve learned a few lessons from our mountain biking experiences about how we inadvertently turn people off Christianity. We can have the best intentions, but if we don’t watch these three things, we can turn people off Christianity faster than we can say, “Let’s go mountain biking!”
If you’d like to read about more of our mountain biking adventures, you can click here and here.
Come Back Next Week
Next week I’ll continue to theme of spiritual self-care when I share three ways to learn to love outside your comfort zone.
- Welcome to the Inspire Me Monday Community! The link-up opens Sundays at 4 pm, Arizona time.
- Link up your family-friendly inspirational posts (no more than two, please).
- Visit the person who links up BOTH before you and after you and leave a comment. This helps keep our community vibrant!
This is a good point Anita, our best intentions can often put people off. It’s about being sensitive to those we are witnessing to in either word or action…isn’t it?
I’m just wondering if the link up is on today? 😊
Tea With Jennifer recently posted…What makes a blog post popular?
Thank you for lettimg me know it wasn’t working! It’s fixed now :).
Anita Ojeda recently posted…28 More Devotionals for Nature Lovers
Great food for thought, Anita!
Lisa Blair recently posted…I Have Decided to Follow Jesus Story
You’re welcome Anita 🙂
What a good vehicle to explain how better mentor new Christians – even how friends need to realize their friends who are new Christians might be overwhelmed because they don’t understand what their friends understand. We so need to be careful that we don’t use church-ese to build walls and set ourselves apart! Has your new bike rider come back or did he give up?
Maryleigh recently posted…A Donkey-Fetching Thriller (& Remember Me Monday Link-Up)
What a wonderfully gentle and challenging way to present something we may not always think about when it comes to our Christian brothers and sisters. Although I’ve written about the sweeper and not leaving anyone behind, I confess that I haven’t thought as practically about this. As a women’s ministry leader in my church, your point about meaty Bible studies was especially helpful. Thanks for this!
Really practical things that we sometimes forget! Thanks for sharing in such a relatable way.
Kym recently posted…Scripture and a Snapshot – In Every Situation
Thank you for bringing this up! I always want to think before speaking; because pushing someone away is the last thing I want.
Jerralea Winn Miller recently posted…March Edition – 4 Somethings to Share
Anita, thank you for this excellent podcast and why we can turn new Christians off to Christianity. This is important and helpful for our interactions, writing, and everything. The most important thing is to show them the love of Jesus -thank you.
Deborah Rutherford recently posted…Transform With Jesus This Season
Yes to honesty! Faith in Christ isn’t easy and, in fact, is an uphill ride–much like the one your young friend experienced.
Tammy L Kennington recently posted…The Resurrection and the Life: A Lenten Reflection on Jesus’ I Am Statements