Thats not to say there arent differences.
Oh, no, you may groan. Another Mars/Venus approach. Well,
you can relax. We refuse to fight the battle of the sexes.
The fact is that men and women have much in common, including what works and
what misses in evangelism.
For example, both genders need respect, encouragement and accountability.
Both seek purpose and fulfillment in their lives. Both want success in their
Effective gender-based approaches meet these needs and desires. They attract
the non-believing person to the One who can deliver on levels not limited by
gender. It is said that men think and do; women share and feel. But Jesus
appeals to the mind and the heart, to the body and the soul.
Jesus cannot be either/or. He spent time preaching, and He spent time with
people one-on-one. To be Christlike we must do the same. We must recognize both
the commonality and the differences among people we seek to tell about Him.
Gender differences are
not as neat and simple as some would prefer. If that were the case, stereotypes
would not make us squirm. All men are comfortable with motor oil under their
fingernails. True or false? All women like pink dresses. Yes or no?
Yet we can learn from some
generalitiesand perhaps be more effective in showing the Lords way to a friend
who is lost, directionless or just plain stuck.
Our mens story author, Brian Peterson, who gained professional insight into
the male mindset in the Promise Keepers movement as New Man magazines founding editor, tells us
whats bugging men today. Among his most fascinating finds: Men are
underchallenged to do the things they love. He notes that men need to see how
Christlikeness is connected with excellence and success. An unbelieving brother
will listen to a man he trusts and respects, and he will explore with him the
grand wonders of being a believer. A lost man can recognize the Christlike
visionary in a truly effective on
mission Christian. And he will respond to the practical, active aspects of
the Christian faith because of his inclination to do, to make a difference, to
Connie Cavanaugh, popular writer and lively speaker at womens conferences,
notes in her article that women are spiritually hungry. Even many women who
left home to pursue careers in the marketplace often will admit that their
motivation, besides service and money, was to find purpose and fulfillment for
their lives. But regardless of professional or personal achievements, women
always need other women to come alongside and speak their language: the
language of the heart and of feelings. On mission Christians who reach out to their
sisters in godly love will use their feminine inclinations to be empathic,
nurturing and caring. And the lost women who see Christ in them will respond
because of their need to be wanted and their desire to belong.
Do you have the evangelism gene? Because you were created
in Gods image, then, yes, you certainly do.
Carolyn Curtis is editor of On
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC