Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Training your dog in evangelism

A friend has the maxim that, if he has a bright idea, he waits for at least 2 other people to come up with the same idea before doing anything about it......

Being out and about is vital as lots of life in Derwent is conducted out on the street so we got a dog, and it was brilliant to see the kind of 'God things' that happened as a result. Billy looks like a greyhound on steroids but he's actually a lurcher/Staffordshire bull terrier cross so he has got quite a lot of street cred because of his quite 'tough' appearance. When we first took him out for walks, people would say things like, 'Would you look at the muscle tone on that?!' The irony is that he wouldn't hurt a fly, but Billy's unconventional looks have certainly sparked many a chat we wouldn't otherwise have had. There are a number of neighbours we now count as friends through these haphazard conversations. (read the full story here)

and from a new book on sharing faith:
Some of their ideas are pretty quirky - like getting a dog just so you can chat to your neighbours when they happen to be in their garden - but the idea behind them is the same: to get talking to the people around us.
Their ideas are laid out in their new book from Moody Publishers - A Field Guide for Everyday Mission: 30 Days and 101 Ways to Demonstrate the Gospel. 
"Walk your dog when your neighbors are outside. Strike up conversations. Invite them over. No dog? Here's your chance to guilt trip your spouse into getting one," they write.  
There. You were thinking about getting a dog weren't you? Not that 'guilt tripping your spouse' is a great way to conduct your marriage, though I'm hoping that quote is tongue in cheek. 
It's also an ethical dilemma: how does a Christian (or any person for that matter) justify spending money on feeding, insuring, housing etc. a dog when there are human beings who have neither food or homes? 
I once did a research degree on a chap who declared that his dog was his spiritual director. It took me years for my attitude to our canine friends to recover, though now we own a dog, I can occasionally see what he was getting at, even though I disagree with just about everything else he said. 

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