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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Get A Hobby

Get a hobby.

This is my advice for Christians everywhere, and especially those who are intentional about living out their faith in culture. For some reason, many believers act as though time spent doing anything other than witnessing and studying the Bible is time wasted. But those same people have an extremely difficult time relating to and interacting with nonbelievers. I say, get a hobby.

Think of all the people in your town, and all that those people are into. Shopping (malls, garage sales, eBay). Collecting (stamps, Beanie Babies, cars, antiques). Projects (art, crafts, home renovations, fund raisers). Sports (golf, softball, leagues and pick-up games). Clubs (book clubs, crafts, support groups). Video games. Blogging. Tattoos.

These "hobbies" are much more than that. These are the activities that define the people who participate in them. They spend lots of time and money on their hobbies, and they aren't alone. Even the most solitary of activities can foster a real sense of community among the people who participate. These are affinity groups.

To speak into- to influence- an affinity group, you've got to do more than just know about whatever it is they do. Mac users have some sort of internal radar that can identify a PC user from a mile away. Scrapbookers can find stories and memories in what you've thrown out as garbage. Civil War "reinactors, " well, they're a breed unto themselves. But if you aren't in, you're out.

These groups have their unique cultures, languages, and moral codes. If you had a hobby, you might be able to be a Light among other enthusiasts. You might be able to show fellow Lord of the Rings fans the Truth behind their favorite epic tale. You could have the opportunity to share Christ as your motivation for volunteering, giving, or playing. Perhaps you might find yourself in the middle of a group of people who enjoy great fellowship and never run out of things to talk about.

Or, you could read a book about how to engage lost people.

1 comment:

platformshoes said...

I asked this same question recently at a team meeting and was met with "What is this guy talking about?" face. I serve on a team of boring people. They have no hobbies, do nothing fun and don't know how to laugh. Why do we think that living overseas requires us to leave behind huge pieces of who we are as people?

Could it be that God gave me a love for photography so that I could reach others with a similar love? Hobbies not only open up new arenas for relationships but also create healthier people.