I found out about an Atheist who put on eBay an auction to send him to church. A group named “Off the Map” were the top bidders and their purpose is to send Hemant Mehta to various churches in the Chicago area and get his feedback. Off the Map’s purpose is to help Christians see how non-Christians view us.
I think this is a great use of $504 USD (which is what the final bid was on eBay). I think we as Christians get so enclosed in our own “Christian” worlds that we forget that the church is about reaching out to the non-believers. I mean many Christians go to church every time the door is open, we send our kids to “Christian” schools, we only socialize in Christian settings, we even have our own fast food – Chick-fil-a (thanks, Don Miller for recongizing that). While these are not bad things in and of themselves, they are bad if we forget that we are commanded by Jesus to “go and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19) and a great way to know how to do that is to understand where the non-believer is coming from.
I have done youth ministry for many years and I think the greatest thing I learned was that it was more important to listen than to speak. If all you did was get “preachy” with the teens, then they would just shut you out. But if you listened to them, heard where they were coming from, then you could understand how to show God’s love to them (verbally and/or non-verbally)