It is amazing what God will do when we simply make ourselves available to Him. Praise God with me as you read this testimony of God's faithfulness from Greg Davidson, Associate Pastor of Discipleship and Evangelism at First Baptist Church in Naples, Florida.
We are so very thankful to average well over two hundred each week in our FAITH Evangelism program. We have been involved in this program for fifteen months, and recently we had a high baptism emphasis. Our teams were intentional about seeking out people with whom they could share the Gospel. In one weekend we baptized sixty-eight people, which was an all-time high for us. A month later, we baptized twenty-four in one weekend! Those numbers reflect families that have been touched, lives that have been changed, and souls that have been delivered. Our people are excited and encouraged to see how many people respond to the Gospel if only we will tell them. And they prove it by faithfully going out each week to share the Gospel.
We also visit new people moving into our community. One night, a team went to visit four individuals that were either not home or turned them away. At the fifth home, they presented the Gospel and led five members of the family to the Lord. That was everyone except the fourteen-year-old daughter who claimed to be an atheist. The next week another team went to the same home. The Holy Spirit clearly had been working, because they led that young teenager to the Lord. All six family members have now been baptized and assimilated into our church.
Our Sunday School classes also do "ministry visits" to the people in their classes who have been absent. One lady had gradually drifted away, and then she just dropped out. At one time she had been active in the church and in our orchestra. When a FAITH team visited her, she began to weep. She was going through a very difficult time in her life, which neither the church nor the Sunday School knew about. It was a very moving visit — the team started weeping with her — and they were able to encourage and minister to her. Now she is back in church and in the orchestra. People need to know we care and that we want to encourage them through the difficult times in their lives.
Finally, there was a new learner on a team, and for the entire semester her team found no one at home. As you might expect, they were a little discouraged. But knowing the Lord just required them to be available and faithful, she signed up again the next semester — this time as a team leader. The first night, her new team led one to the Lord and enrolled three in Sunday School. Continuing on that semester they have enrolled more, shared more, and led more to Christ. Many might have quit, but she knew the Lord called her to be a "fisher of men" not just a "catcher."
Discipling scores of our people has led us to a greater day of evangelism and a greater day of lifestyle witnessing. We are in a spirit of revival! And in this Christmas season, we are especially excited and looking forward to being able to have many new visits that will come from our non-churched guests who attend our Living Christmas Tree.
I love December! It is truly a festive time because Jesus is the reason for the season! And as hard as so many try, they cannot get away from the fact that we are celebrating Jesus' birth! I love saying "Merry Christmas and Jesus loves you" to everyone who says "happy holidays" to me.
Just about every church will have some sort of Christmas celebration and invite their community and friends to come to church. Don't miss the opportunity to follow-up on these guests by visiting them in their own homes. Let them know you care, and pray for them and their families during each visit. Thank them for coming and invite them back. You, too, can experience that "spirit of revival!"
May each one of you be filled with the excitement of CHRISTmas this year!