News Articles

Paula Hemphill exhorts women to evangelize with their homes

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–“Home and evangelism” isn’t just a designation for married women in foreign missions. It is the calling of all Christian women, according to Paula Hemphill.

Hemphill, whose husband, Ken, is president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, was keynote speaker at a Women Reaching Texas luncheon Jan. 14 in Fort Worth, Texas, in conjunction with the annual Texas Baptist Evangelism Conference.

Women Reaching Texas is part of the Texas 2000 vision of sharing Jesus with every person in the state by the year 2000. The emphasis on praying, equipping, mentoring and networking women for evangelistic outreach is designed to fit into existing church structures.

Hemphill, citing the biblical example of Lydia, said women should make their homes havens of hospitality to unchurched people and centers of outreach.

“Open your homes for Bible studies, prayer groups or discipleship groups,” she said. “Invite one of the young preachers from seminary to preach in your living room to your neighbors.”

Hemphill offered five principles for personal witnessing:

— Prayer. “If we are sensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, he will make us sensitive to sinners,” she said.

— Power. The Holy Spirit will provide both the avenues for witnessing and the ability to witness. “The Lord will open doors of opportunity and he will give you boldness you do not have,” she said.

— Preparation. Learn presentations such as those taught in Continuing Witness Training or Evangelism Explosion, she advised. “Write down your testimony so that you can share it in five minutes or less. Tell what God is doing in your life now,” she said. “Be ready to share with soccer moms at the games or with other patients waiting in a doctor’s office.”

— Perseverance. “A lot of time, we’re too easily offended and put off,” she said. “Hang in there.”

— Praise. “As we praise the Lord of the universe,” she said, “He will give us opportunities to witness.”

About 2,000 Baptists attended the annual statewide evangelism conference, Jan. 13-15.

Snow, sleet and freezing rain kept thousands of Baptists — and some program personalities — away from the conference at Fort Worth’s Tarrant County Convention Center.

The choir loft was empty during the Tuesday morning session when the praise team from Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston was unable to make the 260-mile trip north on treacherously glazed roads.

Ice storms also prevented two of the dozen scheduled speakers from delivering their messages.

    About the Author

  • Ken Camp