I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. – 1 Corinthians 9:22
Followers of Jesus should lead their lives in light of the Great Commission; we are supposed to go into the world around us and make disciples of Jesus. In the above verse Paul gives some insight into what it means to share the good news of Jesus. Paul says that he became all things to all people in order that he might share the love of Jesus. If you’re hoping to become a nerd in order to save some nerds, here are a few things you should avoid doing.
Holding Signs at Conventions
I’ve been to a few nerd conventions in my life and there is nothing greater than finally feeling that sense of belonging. I attended the Electronic Entertainment Expo and it was awesome to be in a place with so many other video game nerds. Imagine, though, if a well-meaning Christian had decided to use that convention as their mission field, evangelizing to all the video game nerds. What would the signs have said?
“MT GOD IS MORE THAN A GOD OF WAR”
“SALVATION: THE ONLY REAL EXTRA LIFE”
“HELL: IT’S A LOT LIKE BOWSER’S CASTLE”
“YOU CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS, CHIEF!”
“IF PRINCESS PEACH IS CAUSING YOU TO LUST, CUT HER OUT”
Nerds go to conventions to celebrate their obsessions and bond with others who share the same obsessions. They’re not looking to be converted, unless it’s to another vein of the nerdclination being celebrated. So keep your signs to yourself and definitely don’t confuse them. No one wants to see you on the corner with a “HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS” sign next to a “JEDI AREN’T THE ONLY ONES RETURNING” sign.
Comparing Christianity to Nerdclinations
It may be tempting to become a nerd in order to save a nerd. This, however, is much easier said than done. If you wanted to save someone who likes football, you could probably get away with having a passing interest in football and watching a game or two. Nerdclinations aren’t like that, though. Nerds get super deep into their obsessions and, if you’re not as obsessed, attempting to find a common ground may seem disingenuous.
Someone trying to compare Christianity to Star Wars may try drawing a connection between the force and the Holy Spirit. That may lead the nerd to think that the Holy Spirit is something that can be used and mastered. Or the nerd may jump off on a tangent, trying to find out how midi-chlorians fit into the picture or whether or not there’s a dark side to the Holy Spirit. An unprepared evangelist may start to show his or her lack of knowledge and the nerd may interpret that as disingenuous interest.
Or the nerd will just be happy to have someone to talk to…especially if you’re pretty.
Other ways to impair your ability to evangelize nerds include anything that would impair your ability to evangelize to non-nerds. Jesus told his followers to make more followers and there are plenty of ways Christians have screwed that up over the centuries. If we really want people to follow Jesus we need to respond to them like he did: with love, grace and compassion. Those qualities of Jesus are much more attractive and much more effective than any sign, no matter how clever you think it might be. Those qualities combined with an honest relationship provide the best opportunity to bring others to Jesus. And if that relationship includes some Star Wars or a little Settlers of Catan, then I think Paul would be proud.
What nerdy evangelism signs can you come up with?