Kuzushi Evangelism

Carl shares a lesson he learned while training in Judo to evangelism! Seriously, the Bible and Judo class?  Yep!

Acts 17: 22-25

22 So Paul stood in the midst of the [a]Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. 23 For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;

In my younger years one of the things that I really enjoyed was practicing Jukido.  Jukido is a Japanese martial arts that combines Judo, Aikido and Karate.  I was blessed enough to obtain my black belt and teaching certificate.  That was a LONG time ago though, times have changed.

One thing that I’ve taken with me from this training is a basic concept called kuzushi!  Kuzushi is the technique that is used to unbalance your opponent and is an essential principal that you must learn to be successful.

For example, if I wanted to throw someone in a direction that was towards me, I would first give a very slight push away from me.  Then, as they shifted their weight to correct themselves from that slight push I would use their momentum against them and pull them towards me to take them the direction I had first desired.

The proper usage of kuzushi takes away any advantage that someone may have just because of size or strength.  I know this from first hand experience, my instructor was half my size and threw me all over the room as if I was a rag doll!

What’s that got to do with evangelism?  Good Question!

Some people may wonder why I talk about such things as media, video games, museums, zoos and aquariums.  Well, we live in a world where there is a generation that has a very distorted view of Christians and Christianity.  Many people think they know Christians and Christianity from what they’ve seen in the media and let’s be honest, they don’t represent us very well.

Here are some examples of how I employ kuzushi with this generation:

  1. I’ll ask a question like, “Did you know that the movie “Jurassic Park” teaches that dinosaurs couldn’t have lived millions of years ago?” which is typically responded with something like, “What?” I then take the conversation where I wanted to take it in the first place.   By the way, the information that I share regarding this is in the DVD, “Jurassic Park or Jesus, Who Knows More?” which is a part of the Becoming Bold series.
  2. Another way is in the course of a conversation if someone makes a statement like, “There’s no evidence for God!” or “Carbon dating proves the earth is millions of years old!”  I’ll open up the rforh App on my Smartphone or iPad and show them the deBUNKED or Questions Answered video that answers that claim.  This powerful tool is free of charge for those of you with these devices.
  3. An even more blatant way that I do this is by leading tours through a zoo, museum or aquarium so that while I’m teaching the folks that are with me the others that are visiting overhear and many times join our group.

Every one of these examples I have personally used many times and find them very successful in challenging someone to think deeper about what they think about Christians and Christianity.

You see by engaging the culture, giving answers for what you believe with meekness and fear you are being obedient to what our Lord Jesus Christ has commanded us to do.  God blesses obedience!  Don’t worry about what you don’t know, share what you do know and allow the Lord to do what He’s promised to do.

When something comes up that you don’t have a clue about, admit it, then go and study to show yourself approved and get back with that person if at all possible to give the answer.

By the way, the fact that you go and study and then get back with them is kuzushi in itself.  Folks just are not used to someone taking their faith seriously enough to admit that they don’t know something and then going and doing research and coming back to answer them — blows folks out of the water!

May I encourage us to follow Paul’s example in Acts 17.  Paul was in the culture and was able to take what they knew to talk about the one true God!  As you go through your day keep your eyes open to what is going on around you and pray for the Lord to give you wisdom to communicate His truth to those He puts in your path.  Stay bold!

Carl Kerby

Carl Kerby is an inspiring, motivating and highly respected Christian speaker. With more than 20 years of ministry experience, Carl shares his extensive knowledge and understanding of God’s creation in his presentations, outreach events, books and other resources as the President and founding board member of Reasons for Hope, Inc.