NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–“We have to be careful about how we come across to non-Christians, but we also have to take advantage of the opportunities that we have,” an evangelism leader told women attending the Women’s Enrichment Ministry Leadership Forum.
Jaye Martin, women’s evangelism strategist with the North American Mission Board, led a discussion group on Reaching Your Neighborhood for Christ during the Nov. 13-15 event at the LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention complex in Nashville, Tenn.
She told the women to ask God, “What doors are you going to open for me?” and then to proceed.
Martin said one of her opportunities came through a Moms in Touch group.
“When I would go to my daughter’s school and ask the principal and the teachers if there was anything I could pray about for them, they were very open,” she said. “You will never find a school teacher that can’t use prayers!”
She said that through this opportunity, “several moms, dads, teachers and school kids have accepted Christ.”
Getting involved in other organizations such as Girl Scouts also gave Martin an avenue for witnessing. “I don’t even like camping,” she said, adding, however, that camping trips offered great opportunities for witnessing and talking about spiritual things.
“We are holding this precious gift right here within us,” she said holding her heart, “and we think no one wants it. But they do. They are starving for it; dying to know the Lord.”
Opening up the conference to the women in attendance, Martin asked what they were doing to reach out to their neighborhoods. A wide variety of responses were given.
— Volunteering through a neighborhood association. One woman said she volunteered to help with her neighborhood newsletter and from this advertised that she was going to host a Beth Moore Bible study in her home. She said seven women have become involved.
— Witnessing to “soccer moms.” Another woman said that doing a short devotional during soccer practice could be welcomed by other moms. She added that bringing refreshments for the kids following a practice or game would be welcomed. Also, just being there to cheer on someone’s kids would be a great way to make friends with the moms.
— Prayerwalking. One of the women said she began prayerwalking around her neighborhood, noticing each home and praying for those who lived there. After doing this, she said it was a natural step to get acquainted with the neighbors, and eventually asking if she could pray with them, then taking advantage of the opportunity to present the gospel.
— Hosting a holiday event. A woman said that she had a open house for her neighbors at Christmas. She said that everyone likes to see how other people decorate their homes, so people like to come. She distributed flyers as invitations, adding that a short inspirational message would be given, then made light refreshments. Her husband read the Christmas story from the Bible, saying that during Christmas everyone expects to hear the Christmas story during that time.
Martin said, “All these suggestions are great. It’s not about being elaborate. The point is you are getting to know your unchurched neighbors and opening your hearts to them.”