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!”
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.
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