Right now is a perfect time to show our neighbors how much we care. They all have needs, especially now. A great way to approach these friends is just to be concerned enough to ask each if there is anything you can pray with them about. This caring concern can often open an opportunity to share what the Lord has meant to you during difficult circumstances, which may lead to sharing the Gospel with them. This is a great time to show His love, which is what we see in these accounts from Greg Davidson, the evangelism pastor at First Baptist Church in Naples, Florida.
One of our evangelism team leaders decided that he wanted to take his team to visit the neighbors on his own street. The team arrived in the subdivision, and they first visited the team leader's next door neighbors. The neighbors were delighted with the visit and asked if the team could return the next week when all the family could be there to hear the Gospel. The team then walked across the street and knocked on the door of a neighbor who had recently lost her husband. She invited them in, and after a time of conversation the leader asked the key question about what she believed was necessary to go to heaven. Shirley, this neighbor, gave a works answer. The team leader proceeded to share his faith. When the team leader asked her if she would like to pray, she bowed her head and prayed to receive Christ as her Lord and Savior.
We also have a couple in our church who have used the FAITH presentation to lead forty people to Christ in four months. Both David and Teresa Ritter are evangelism leaders. Recently they had several football players from their son's high school football team in their home. Teresa asked the players if they knew what it would take for them to go to heaven, and then began to share the Gospel. The boys listened with undivided attention as she explained the way to heaven. She then asked the boys if they understood what they had just heard, and asked if they wanted to receive God's forgiveness. Two of the boys expressed their desire to receive Christ, and they bowed their heads and invited the Lord Jesus into their life. Another player prayed to receive Christ with the Ritters while they were driving him home from football practice. God can use us anywhere and anytime to share Jesus when we are just available and are willing to be equipped to share the Gospel. This profound truth has hit home with the Ritters since they became involved with our evangelism program.
Persistence and follow-up are always important. One leader, Forest, took his team out to see a family this semester, and after encouraging a backslidden mom to come back to Jesus and receive believer's baptism, they shared with the lost dad, Tim, who did not make a decision for Christ. They asked permission to make an appointment to return. To Forest's disappointment, it ended up that the family could not keep the appointment. Yet, Forest politely asked for another appointment. The family agreed, and when Forest and the team arrived, he found the daughter home. Tim's wife, Karen, shared her salvation testimony, and after Forest shared the Gospel, the daughter was ready to make sure of her salvation. Right then Tim, who had dodged their visit, arrived home and was surprised the team was still there. Forest was able to share the Gospel once more, and he encouraged Tim with the words, "Jesus will accept you right now, right where you are." Without hesitation, Tim and his daughter, Crystal, bowed their heads and prayed to receive Christ, and the whole family was scheduled be baptized together. All of this took place on the last night of the evangelism semester.
Don't ever give up; always follow through, for it was Jesus who taught us that the persistent win the prize for the glory of God.
You know … they really are everywhere! We saw them around Christmas, we saw them at the New Year's Eve gatherings, we saw them during the football games we watched, and now on Valentine's Day. The Lord puts people in front of us all the time, doesn't He? Those are all called "OPPORTUNITIES." Opportunities to share the Gospel, to invite them to church, or just be a friend. Begin looking around at the people you see time and time again. Engage in casual conversations that will possibly allow you to share your faith.
We have a lot to do in 2009. I'm thankful to be doing the Lord's work with you. Let's keep on keeping on till Jesus comes back!"