Through July 22, we are on a 5 week road trip visiting various churches, evaluating their evangelism programs, and gathering information from lots of different churches and denominations about their local evangelism programs.
We have been connecting with pastors and churches so far in 4 different states (1 more to go).
Simply noticing people:
At our family’s church, we heard testimony of how one member simply noticed a woman on a bench and felt led of the Lord to go and sit next to her. A conversation began, and it wasn’t too long before the woman shared that she was thinking about ending her life, in spite of the newborn baby sitting in her lap.
The church member listened for a while and simply began to share about new life in Christ. There wasn’t a formula, no script, but the conversational context led the church member to focus on new life. The woman on the bench has decided to follow Jesus and is now a participating member of our church.
“Song stuck in my head”
A teenager shared a story about a youth group outing to a bowling alley. Her friend had recently started coming to youth group at the church and a worship chorus had gotten stuck in her head.
She said to her teen friend, “I’ve got this song stuck in my head. What does it mean, and what do I do about it.”
The girl telling the story engaged in conversation, explained how the song was related to the gospel and asked her friend if she wanted to start following Jesus. The friend said, yes, so they prayed together. Even a teenager can lead a friend to the Lord when the moment is right.
The conversation was relaxed and appropriate for the context. There wasn’t a fixed script nor was the conversation forced. The teen telling the story simply noticed that the door was open, that the Lord was working and that the spiritual thirst was propelling her friend to find a solution.
Another church we visited has an evangelist who has the personality to speak to strangers on the street. His style allows him enjoy and be successful at confrontational style evangelism on the street.
He himself had become a Christian because, in his words, “a white guy came to my ‘hood, gave me a tract and said Jesus saved me and He can save you.” Within two years after that encounter, this man had chosen to start following Jesus, but the key turning point in starting his spiritual journey began with that tract from the out-of-place white guy.
This man now gave testimony of leading 8 people to Christ this past week, including “thugs at the bus stop” (to use his words), and other gang members.
There must be an anointing for this kind of evangelism, because it would terrify me. It doesn’t fit my personality or evangelism style. However, he’s working at helping these new believers integrate into the local church.
Road Trip news:
We are in Richmond VA this week, and next week we will be near Annapolis Maryland. If you are a regular reader, feel free to contact us and we can meet up. I’ve enjoyed meeting a few of you during our road trip.