The term “baseball bat method” was originally coined by my mother when describing how she attempted to convert my father to Christianity.
I know that opening sentence is somewhat colorful, but I might maybe possibly sort of explain that whole expedition later on.
Regardless, the baseball bat method is basically a type of witnessing done by naturally passionate and somewhat outspoken people, typically women (though I must make a disclaimer; I have only ever seen this method used by women, but I am sure that it is used by men on more than one occasion :)). To some, the message of the gospel and the beauty and wonderfully applicable little details that surround that message are crystal clear: ‘this makes perfect sense but no sense at all, which is why everyone should believe in it and take it as one-hundred-percent truth.’ While I agree with this statement, not everyone else thinks the same way I do…imagine what a boringly chaotic life it would be if that were so. Most people think differently, grow differently, see differently, and experience differently.
Where am I going with this? The baseball bat method comes in when the naturally passionate and outspoken person (we’ll call her Sally) really cares for the person who thinks, grows, sees, and experiences differently (we’ll call him Joe). Sally has been a Christian for quite some time and her relationship with the Lord is blossoming, but Joe has not come to accept Christ as his Lord and Savior….Sally becomes frustrated because she cannot understand why Joe won’t just stop being a pain in the butt and just get saved already!
Sally continuously pelts Joe with scripture, brings up Christ in conversation (though not because it was smooth or fitting at the time), asks Joe to pray all the time, and she very often asks him what’s wrong with him or what’s in the way of him getting into a relationship with the Lord.
Quite frankly, Sally…
Sally is much like me. When there is someone I love very dearly whom I have known for some time who is unsaved, I too often panic and think ‘I must jump into a random bathroom and emerge as: Super-Christian-Woman! Capable of saving any individual with scripture, dazzling intellect, witty remarks, and, of course, bacon!’ I feel as if I automatically have more control over the situation when I adopt this guise. This mind set, however, emanating from fear of my loved ones never getting saved, makes me focus more on what I can do to save them, rather than what God can do through me.
The baseball bat method is basically a way of letting God know that you’ve got it all under control; you can handle this one; He can stay home for the day, sitting in the hot tub eating chocolate.This is where things get messy, because we know, as Christians, that God is the only One who is capable of efficiently and perfectly saving anyone…we are far from having that capability. John 14:6 (ESV) says, “And Jesus said to him (Thomas, his disciple),”I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through me.”” I understand this verse has been used and used again, but it epitomizes the simple truth that we cannot save our loved ones, but God can save them through us. The problem grows when we forget to work with Him.
Moral of the story: Shoving the gospel down a loved one’s throat or trying to hit them hard over the head with it, hoping that some splinter sticks in their brain, does not work. God often leads people to Him through example, through experience, and through time.
So be patient, really love the one you want to save, and let go so you can let God 🙂