I got Tagged the other day from a local youth group person. Not having a clue what that meant I had a look on the site was kind of confused by the whole thing. I guess like My Space, beebo and some of the MSN groups before them it is a way of socialising, semi anonymously with people from around the world. It struck me as being kind of weird, not that i don't think socialising is a good idea but there does seem to be an element of collecting people and their links, just like I collect Psychedelic Firs Cd's or my wife use to collect stamps - i think there is a real danger in this type of phenomenon that people become numbers and not a lot else. We call it making friend but is it really, or is it making transactions?
It reminds me a lot of how I have seen many Christians approach evangelism. In my BC days I had quite a few Christian contacts who only i think wanted to know me because they saw me as a potential convert, and a good one at that having been a new age Church of Scientology type with a leaning towards being a goth. It all came to a head one day when I accused one of the people of only being interested in me because they saw me as another notch on their crucifix. Needless to say after this spread many of these people wanted nothing to do with me, to them I was just a link a transaction.
I guess this experience has really shaped my approach to evangelism in the fact that I don't believe in it - and yet people often tell me I am an evangelist. I do however believe in relationships, sharing bread in whatever form that may be and I am also not ashamed about what I believe. I believe the gospel is good news, but I don't want to deliver it like postman carrying a bill, but I do want to demonstrate it and i believe that relates to the whole of what I do, whether it be smiling at a stranger who has had a bad day, and being patient with the check out assistant, it also means that i am not as quick as i used to be to judge others but would rather encourage them and dare i say it try to relate to them. I do not want to tag people for Jesus, people are not a commodity or a link to be collected.