The Other Side of the Tracts

There’s a growing trend among Christian churches these days to have regular smaller meetings of church members outside of the church.  I’ve heard them called community groups, small groups, family groups and growth groups.  This is an opportunity for church members to learn from one another as they study and to inspire friendships to be formed by church members, thus drawing “the church” closer together as one body. Kind of sad that this can’t be actually done AT church, but what are you gonna do?Of the previously mentioned list, I have joined a “Growth Group”.  Our first meeting was last week and at this meeting amidst the awkward small talk that I love so much, we were given a Covenant to sign stating 1) our dedication to the readings and 2) that we would commit to regular attendance.  I have no problem with this.  I do however have a problem with the other three addendums to the covenant which said we would3) Serve 5 Sundays at church as part of the welcoming group, beverage service and other spots
4) Go evangelize and hand out tracts and church information on the street
5) Invite friends to church.

It’s funny – all the info I was handed at church trying to inspire me to join a growth group promised I would meet fellow Christians, engage in bible study and grow closer to God.  I get to our first meeting and also find out I will be free labor for the church.  I have a serious issue with the fact they waited until I was at the end of the first meeting and then asked me to sign MY NAME to something that I can only see as a guilt trip.  Tell me how I’m not supposed to feel like an awful person if I choose not to sign this document in the presence of a church leader.  I was promised a meaningful experience learning about God – instead I’m asked to also be a PR rep for a church I’m not even a member of.

And then there’s the gospel tracts.  Oh how I despise gospel tracts. I think tracts only add to an already devastated image of Christians as bible beaters.  I believe in relational Christianity first and foremost.  That means spreading the word of God through actually living life and investing in others.  Actions speaking louder than words.  Let me explain it this way: Jesus did not walk up to total strangers and ask them, “Have you found me?”  He met them, helped them or got to know them on a personal level (gaining their trust) and THEN revealed himself as the Son of God.  Once he did that, the people saw him and believed and then CAME TO HIM for what he had to offer.  I will readily share my faith with anyone who has questions and wants it, but who am I to tell a person they should believe something else?  Who am I to approach a total stranger uninvited and tell them they should believe like me?  I’m not Jesus and I believe He is the only person who has ever had that kind of authority.  

And further more, on top of the tracts I’m handing out information about the church itself.  Now I’m spreading the word of God AND the church I am not a member of.

I couldn’t make it to our second meeting last night because I had to work.  I have a previous engagement that will keep me from going next week.  I don’t know if I’ll go to the third because I will have already missed so much and I’m still a little iffy about their motives.  I would not be near as concerned or upset if they had told me up front about all the little extras required.

I’d love a little feedback guys.  Am I being petty or selfish?  Does my argument have any merit?  Does anyone agree with me?  

Much Love,



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