Since the church is such a big part of the Christian life, it’s always a good time to ask how is your church doing. Is it healthy? Is it doing the work of the Lord? Is it stepping out of its comfort zone and right into God’s comfort zone? Is it obeying the commands of Scripture?
I received this email from Pastor Gabe. You have got to read it. Wow.
I want to encourage you and share my gratitude for your life and calling. After my son and some of the youth he was discipling ran into you at the Little Caesars on Memorial Drive, and after we read your book, I was so convicted and spurred on that I changed our entire ministry model as a church. Our ministry motto is “The Great Commandment Fuels the Great Commission,” but we rarely went out to share our faith—that is, until we read your book.
For the last 4 months, our church staff and those in our community have gone out onto Memorial Drive and spent at least one hour each workday finding people to share the gospel with. I must report that the harvest is truly plentiful! Even the rejections we receive are a blessing, now that we understand that even those are a “win” for us!
That is not the only component we changed, though. I shifted our entire daily schedule to three non-negotiables that we, as a church staff, must do daily before any other work is done. They read the Scriptures together, worship and pray together, and witness together. I found that this model not only fueled our evangelism, but we brought people immediately into this daily community rhythm with us, and they are being discipled with us.
For example, on Monday, we found a young lady living on the street. We invited her to come to our church to get out of the cold weather, and she eagerly came. She stayed the night in our kid’s ministry room, and the next day she joined us for Scripture reading and then sat in on our worship set. During the worship set, my daughter-in-law felt impressed to go pray over her and share the gospel. The young lady ended up repenting of her sin and believing in Jesus for her salvation. She has joined us every day since and has even gone out witnessing with us on the very streets she was homeless on just a few days ago!
There are dozens more stories like this that we have had since October. We have seen growth in our Sunday gatherings and more and more people joining our church staff in our daily rhythm of Word, worship, and witnessing.
Your book and resources have been instrumental for us in adding this often neglected component of ministry called evangelism.
Thank you for being faithful to your calling. Our fruit is your fruit as well.
I remember the encounter with some of the youth from his church. I try to strike up conversations everywhere I go. There were probably three or four of them, and they were picking up some pizza for a youth event. I started witnessing to them and found that they seemed pretty strong in their faith. So, I gave them a book and ended up walking out to my car with them and giving them some other materials to encourage them in their soul-winning.
Well, I had no clue what that one encounter would lead to! God is way too good to us. That church is now so much more of an outreach church. They realized that Christians need to be on the streets. We need to be where the lost souls are. We need to be out on the “highways and byways” to find and plant seeds in people. And when you are, you need to be very careful. Your zeal for our Lord and the things of God can explode like a rocket from the launch pad.
Are you, your church, and your pastors this zealous for getting out there and reaching the lost? If not, why not?
You can do what Gabe’s church did. They went through One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven, and then they were off and running. The Watchmen and Ten Questions from the King are also books that churches use to get folks fired up to witness. They all have free study guides to go along with them.
And if your church doesn’t want to get fired-up, make sure that doesn’t stop you. You can go through the books in your Sunday school class, small group, or ladies’ or men’s group that you host in your home, etc.
If we aren’t going to reach the lost for Jesus, then who will?
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Until the nets are full,
P.S. We have heard so many testimonies through the years of people reading One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven and then totally stepping out of their comfort zone and becoming soul winners for our Lord.
So, let’s knock the suggested donation of that book down 33% so you can get a copy to read, or it might be good to give them away to other believers. That is all I did with those folks at Little Caesars, and God created an amazing ripple effect from that encounter. Praise ye the Lord!!