I saw a guy with his Bible open at Starbucks teaching theology to another guy. He was unloading all kinds of information about creation and moral laws and prophecies and pneumatology and atonement, and it was all very good and knowledgeable and I applaud him for that — but I guess the one thing I would’ve done differently is just ask questions. “What’s always bothered you about Christianity? How’s your church experience been? How’s everything going with you? Do you want me to pray for anything?”
I don’t mean to diminish this guy and it’s actually really hard to do what he was doing. He’s much braver than me. I also know we don’t have to pit theology against fellowship; we can do both. I just wonder how many times I tried teaching someone all my impressive information without listening first. I wonder how long I let myself get into lecture mode without really caring about my fellow human being who didn’t need extra theology, but needed the theology to be me, by his side.