Angel Tree Party

December 10, 2010

It was amazing to see little faces light up with the sights of free food, sweets, Santa, and their gifts.  One young mother with two kids was blessed especially driving a long distance and the opportunity to see her husband.  My prayer is on this family. The Lord gave me the green light to bless this mother by helping her carry the child’s gift to the car and the HUGE, HUGE Gingerbread house she won in a drawing.  I gave her some info on the Calvary Chapel in her area if she wasn’t plugged into a church.  I recommend to anyone next year to get involved in any way possible for Angel Tree.(purchasing a gift, pray, or helping out at the evening event.)

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Many think of Evangelizing is solely going out on  a street corner and passing out tracts. However, there are different aspects of being apart of Evangelism.

Here is a list I have complied on my own or by some of the books I have read on Evangelism(not an exhaustive list but a framework):

1. Father/Jesus/Holy Spirit(GOD): Without God, Evangelism does not occur.

2. Evangelizer: The actual person that meets a person(s) or leave gospel material available to people.

3. Prayer Team: Those with a holy passion to pray for any or all aspects of Evangelism. These individuals are like the pre-strike airplanes in war that alert the civilians in the targeted area to flee the coming attacks. These prayers  go before, during, and after the Evangelism.  Realizing God is the Master Conductor, prayer is realizing our need for God to be involved in every aspect of life.

4. Encourager: This person is the Cheerleader for the Evangelizer.  We all need Barnabas in our life. The Evangelizer needs to be continually uplifted in spirits.  Encourager puts a smile and spring in the step of the Evangelizer.

5. Tract Supplier: Title says it. The Evangelizer uses tracts to communicate to people. Tracts have been around since the printing press started printing Bibles. They are a like the bullets to Barney Fife’s gun. Although, the Evangelizer needs more than one tract(unlike Barney) in his arsenal.  There are different kinds of tracts to give to people. Just ask the Evangelizer his preference in tracts. Warning not all tracts have the Gospel and all are not Christian tracts. Hence, communicating with the Evangelizer is necessary. Don’t want the Christian Evangelizer giving a tract that is not biblical or may direct the reader to a cult.(i.e. Mormons, J.W., etc.)

6. Accountability Partners/Board members: These are usually the same gender of the Evangelizer. Evangelizer reports back on occurrences in the field. Any dangers they encounter.(physical harm, sexual temptations, verbal confrontations, law enforcement encounters, etc). Help keep the Evangelizer humble, honest, and above reproach.

7. Lawyer: Assists on legal issues, local laws, legal entanglements with groups/individuals/law enforcement/city code officers/etc.

8. Pastors: When the Evangelizer goes out to Evangelize, he not only represents the Lord, but to his home church. The Evangelizer needs to realize the biblical authority of the Pastor to the Evangelizer.   If a person on the field becomes a Christian believer, then the need for the new baby in the Lord needs spiritual nourishment from a body of Christian believers. If they do not have a church home and are in the same area as the Evangelizer, the Evangelizer needs to invite the person to his/her church. If they are not from the area, try to keep in contact with the person to help them find a Biblically based Church. (Pray the Lord lead them to a church if further contact will be unable to occur.)

This is a very basic list. The Evangelism Team list helps form a framework for the Body of Christ to operate in a biblical function.  Everyone can participate in Evangelism through many aspects. I pray this is a help to the Church body.

 

Jail Ministry

The evening at the Knox County Detention Center was a tremendous blessing. The Lord allowed me to share with several men the Word of God, spiritual encouragement, and prayer.  The Lord laid on my heart to read to many of the men a Psalm from the book of Psalms. I prayed for the Lord to let me read the Psalm which would speak directly to the heart and soul of  each man.  Many of the men received a New Testament Bible and a new believer took a new believer guidebook in helping him on his Christian walk. I left rejoicing and praising God that men behind bars are more free, by Jesus Christ, than they were on the outside.

Cumberland Strip Evangelism

After leaving the Knoxville Detention Center, the Lord gave me the physical, spiritual, and emotional strength to top off the night by Evangelizing down on the Cumberland Strip.  Handfuls of tracts were passed out. I had a variety of tracts from different organizations and businesses.  When I finished handing out tracts, I stood on two different street corners and started reading the Bible.  After the second place I stood was directly across four bars, a Taco Bell, and a liquor store.  One man kept yelling at me as he walked by…..”No one can hear you, no one can hear you!(He was singing the statement over and over.) I called out to him that “Jesus loves him” and “I follow Jesus and not him by obey his Word to publicly proclaim his Word in the streets”.

Another man walked by and in a cadence he was yelling at me to, “Shut Up! Shut Up! Shut Up!” I called back saying, “Jesus Loves you.”

Both men entered the bar of their choice to fill themselves with alcoholic spirits instead of choosing to continue to listen to the Word and be saved and be filled with the Spirit of God.

One incident that shook me as I was walking down the strip was seeing a young person that attended our church. The young person was with a group of friends. They waved and smiled at me as we walked by each other. I gave them a gospel tract created by some Calvary Chapel people.  The tract is called “The Man of Salvation”. For some reason seeing this person down near the bar areas concerned me and I quietly prayed for them.  I do not know why they were out in the college bar section as I knew they were of high school age.

Conclusion

It brought  my attention to see how the men in jail for the crimes they have committed have a more willing ear and broken heart to love of God and the Gospel. The men with a personal walk and repentance in Jesus are truly free.

It also brought my attention to see how people going to bars and elsewhere in public are very closed to the Gospel message.  They believe they have found freedom in having the ability to do whatever they desire and with no care for the consequences following feeding on the flesh.  Sure, many like the church friend I saw participating in  negative worldly activities, may feel that by going to church on a Sunday or any other religious ritual then be able to do whatever their heart desires the rest of the week.

These bar hoping people are not truly free. They are  in chains and prisoners to their flesh than those behind jail bars finding true freedom in Jesus Christ. My old worldly days was going to church on Sundays and Wednesdays followed by going to alcohol bars and strip joints on the rest of the week.

God’s Word speaks on having a “fence rider”/”one foot in church the other in the world” mentality.

Luke 16:13 (New King James Version)

13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon.”

Matthew 12:33 (New King James Version)

33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.”


Evangelism Time in Tennessee!

September 5, 2010

For most East Tennesseans, you would not hear this statement in the title of my post. You would normally hear, “IT’S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE! For all intents and purposes, I deal mainly in the area of ministry. Especially when it has to do with Evangelism.

I went down to Market Square and Old City to pass out tracts. I did a change-up in Old City after my normal stroll up and down the sidewalks. I actually stopped and passed out tracts on the Southwest corner of Jackson and Central.(In front of a closed down bar is where I did the street evangelism.)  I was getting tired, but had some Holy Spirit power giving me the energy to keep going as long as the Lord needed me.

Once older gentleman, Mike, was walking down the street a little inebriated. He could still hold a conversation after I gave him a gospel tract.  He remained by my side as I was handing out tracts. The rest was the Lord work. It is hard to hold a conversation with a man having one to many drinks. Yet, I knew this was an opportunity for this man to remain in one place and not get himself into any trouble. I shared a quick testimony of my life before Christ and after Christ. He told me he was saved and could quote scripture(albeit out of context). His conversations were not completely coherent due to the alcoholic intake. Yet, he still needed a listening ear and the love of Jesus displayed to him.

On the tracts I give out, I stamp my website on an available area on the tract. This is to help for any potential follow-up a person may have about spiritual issues if they do not have a church home or need a little more one on one before going to a church. I just pray that Mike does not lose the tract and starts seeking satisfaction in the Jesus rather than a bottle of beer.

Several others throughout the evening accepted a gospel tract. A few rejected or threw down the tract after taking a tract. Yet, I am just being used by the Lord to plant a seed and what happens afterward is up to the Lord.

Thank the Lord for the spiritual and physical strength walk in the heat of the night for street evangelism.  My tract supplier sent me three different envelops full of tracts.

A college student in a Chevy was given a tract while pulling out of the Taco Bell. Another group of college kids(wow at 30, I am calling college student, “Kids”) were from out of town looking for a steak restaurant near the college strip. I told him not really in walking distance on Cumberland Ave. Yet I gave them a Gospel tract.(A.K.A. Spiritual food) A street prostitute walked past me and I gave her a Gospel tract.  Then I past by three different phone booth locations and placed tracts.

After about thirty minutes, I got in my car drove to the Pilot for an Icee(Any size for 99 cents during the summer month.) and put gospel tract in the bathroom.(Something for someone to read while they think hard on the pooper.)

The Lord just gives me impressions on my spirit to lay a tract while passing out gospel tracts. I did have some competitors while out passing out gospel tracts: the Budweiser girls. If the devil cannot just get a guy to drink alcohol, then Satan uses very attractive and scantily dressed women to lure guys into drinking.

BONUS: Keep a young man in your prayers(He found one of the Gospel tracts I left in  Chick Fil A in Georgia while taking the pastor to the airport over two weeks ago.) The young man contacted me via the website I stamped on the back of the tract. He needs Salvation and a good solid church home.

Remember last week of my experience with a bouncer at Bar Knoxville? Now a different bouncer/gatekeeper at Bar Knoxville, but a much more positive meeting.

As I was handing out Gospel tracts to people going to the bars and walking past Bar Knoxville, the gatekeeper/id checker/bouncer guy started talking to me.  He was very, very, very, polite as opposite to the bouncer from last week.  He asked me what I was handing out. (Many other bars send out scantily dressed women to hand out handbills to new bars/strip joints/best-dressed or least-dress women contest, on a regular  basis.)

I told him I was a Christian handing out gospel tracts and what church I attended. He was curious because he told me he sees me out walking on a regular basis. I introduced myself to him and shook his hand. The conversation was polite. I gave him two different gospel tracts I distribute to the masses. I asked him if he had seen the Million-Dollar Bill tract. He said he did so I gave him some different ones.(One was the tract created by one of the Calvary Chapel Knoxville elders.)

I explained to him how I conduct myself on the street as he was more likely told a different story by the bouncer from last week.  I shared with him I hand out tracts to people only if they want one, NEVER do I force a tract on anyone or prevent them from walking down the sidewalk unhindered. I  gave the golden rule.(Do unto others as you would have done unto you.)

People respond better if you show genuine Christ-centered love towards them. This only can be done by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Now, it doesn’t mean I water the Gospel to a  everyone gets to Heaven message. It means I present the Truth of Jesus….IN LOVE!

Someone was entering the bar and I thanked him for stopping me to talk and I did not want to hinder him any longer from doing his job. I told him where my church is located if he ever became curious about attending a church service.

I was walking down the street thanking the Lord for this opportunity. It was a completely different experience from last week.

Now the Lord is directing me to create a website so when I pass out tracts that give a space to place contact info(example: Fellowship Tract League or Chick tracts) buy a stamp from Office Max to stamp the website on the tracts. Now when I look at the websites on different tracts, they tend to be geared towards the tract passer outer or to sell their tracts, etc. The Lord is directing me to create a website geared towards the Receiver of the tract. On the website, it will have the Gospel message, basics for new believers, list of Biblically based churches(don’t want them led to a cult, a watered down emergent church, etc. ) So this will take time for me to research local churches in my area where I pass out tracts to ensure they are Bible based(not perfect but Sound Bible teaching places of worship) and can help the unbeliever or new babe in Christ as the Lord grows them. There are many other facets to the website, yet you probably get the premise of how the Lord is directing me. I have been given a few suggestions on web programs online. I am also praying for guidance on the website name.(simple to remember, not already taken, biblically) I have a few ideas, some where already taken, and some have given me suggestions(one is a little hokey, don’t really care for the idea but it is a brainstorm idea nonetheless). So pray for me on being patient and in consideration for the lost, on the creation of the website. To bring God glory and see many brought to faith and repentance in Jesus.

Unique Tract Reactions

November 22, 2009

1 Thessalonians 1:5 (New Living Translation)

For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you.

God’s Word has can have an explosive effect on people. When sharing your faith, sometimes you can see people’s reactions.  I had three separate incidents by just using a simple gospel tract.

The first was an older couple. The man noticed I dropped a Million Dollar Bill.  He thought I accidentally dropped the bill.(I did not.) I told him I sometimes purposefully drop the Gospel tract which look like real money. He said that was neat. He then proceeded to tell me he was a retired minister and how it was a blessing to see someone evangelizing.  He encouraged me to never quit doing what the Lord started in me.

The second incident was at my every other year eye exam.  After the doctor was done checking my eyes, I showed him one of my eye illusion tracts(the curved angle tract).  He liked it and I told him he could have it to show his other colleagues in his eye profession. Then I told him there was a gospel message on the back of the tracts.

The last and funny incident was at KFC. I sat next to the trash cans.  I placed the fake Monopoly game piece(Get out of Hell free card) on top of the cans where the trays are returned.  I watch how one man took the card back to his family and church family, about 25 adults and children,  occupying half the KFC building.(Must have been Baptists. Ha! Ha!) He handed off to one of the ladies and she very loudly in the dinning area read the gospel tract. They kept the tract.

Just because someone attends a church and has the appearance of  a Christian, does not mean they are saved.  It maybe someone in the church group will come to actual repentance and faith in Jesus instead of playing church religion.

I did have other opportunities to hand out tracts or place them in unique areas such as benches, tables, books, and etc.  It was these unique incidents God let me encounter the explosive power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 4:3 (New Living Translation)

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.”

” Neo-Christianity, which seems for the time to be the most popular(and is certainly the most aggressive), is very careful not to oppose sin. It wins its crowds by amusing them and its converts  by hiding from them the full implications of the Christian message. It carries on it projects after the ballyhoo methods of American business.” – A.W. Tozer from “The Next Chapter after the Last, p. 18.

” The feeling that we got to make converts at any cost has greatly wounded the Church of Christ. We must present the truth as we are told to present it and let the Holy Ghost(Spirit) work and the individual man decide whether he will accept it or not. This soft, pussy idea that in order to keep people coming and giving and filling the seats we don’t dare in any wise offend them, and we’ve got to make everything smooth and soft, is not New Testament.” -A.W. Tozer from sermon, “This I Believe,” 1969.

“The temptation to modify the teaching of Christ with the hope that larger numbers may ‘accept’ Him is cruelly strong in this day of speed, size,  noise, and crowds. But if we know what is good for us, we’ll resist it with every power at our command. To yield can only result in a weak and ineffective Christianity in this generation, and death and desolation in the next.”- A.W. Tozer from the “The Size of the Soul”, p. 119.

“The crowds-at-any-price mania has taken a firm grip on American Christianity and is the motivating power back of shockingly high percentage of all religious activity. Men and churches compete for the attention of the paying multitudes who are brought in by means of any currently popular gadget or gimmick ostensibly to have their souls saved, but , if the truth were told, often for reasons not so praiseworthy as this.” A. W. Tozer from “The Size of the Soul”, p. 117.

The liberal humanistic pervasiveness via  the Emergent Churches and many of the mainline denominations has taken hold. They exalt man, and push down God.  They water down the Gospel to bring in more people to their churches.  They substitute pagan rituals over relationship and holiness to the Lord.

1 Kings 18:20-40 (New Living Translation)

“20 So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel. 21 Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.

22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only prophet of the Lord who is left, but Baal has 450 prophets. 23 Now bring two bulls. The prophets of Baal may choose whichever one they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood of their altar, but without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood on the altar, but not set fire to it. 24 Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed.

25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “You go first, for there are many of you. Choose one of the bulls, and prepare it and call on the name of your god. But do not set fire to the wood.”

26 So they prepared one of the bulls and placed it on the altar. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning until noontime, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no reply of any kind. Then they danced, hobbling around the altar they had made.

27 About noontime Elijah began mocking them. “You’ll have to shout louder,” he scoffed, “for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!”

28 So they shouted louder, and following their normal custom, they cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out. 29 They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice, but still there was no sound, no reply, no response.

30 Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” They all crowded around him as he repaired the altar of the Lord31 He took twelve stones, one to represent each of the tribes of Israel, 32 and he used the stones to rebuild the altar in the name of the Lord. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold about three gallons. 33 He piled wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood. that had been torn down.

Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.”

34 After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said, 35 and the water ran around the altar and even filled the trench.

36 At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. 37 O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”

38 Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!”

40 Then Elijah commanded, “Seize all the prophets of Baal. Don’t let a single one escape!” So the people seized them all, and Elijah took them down to the Kishon Valley and killed them there.

A church is not a church just because of a fancy title, fancy music,  and bells and whistles. Seek the Lord and His Word when looking for a fellowship of believers.

milliondollaroriginal

Philemon 1:5-7 (New International Version)

“…because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. 6I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. 7Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

After the Way of the Master class with Tim Weakly, I took the million dollar bills given by Tim.  I gave some to a gas station attendant, fast food employees, individuals, and college students. The following  is a snippet of the interactions during the handing out of the million dollar tract.

When you are by yourself and walking along, you have less than three seconds for the exchange. Some of the places downtown I gave some away was Market Square, the escalator by the theater(I went up and down it several times and gave the bill to people going the opposite way of me.), people standing in movie ticket line, one fun incident was on the UT strip(college bar and restaurant area). At a stop light a big long black limo was carrying a group of college kids. They hollered at me while I walking. This was my Holy Spirit cue to approach the limo and handed about a dozen bills to the occupants in the limo. On the opposite corner was one of the public transit buses. The driver had her window rolled down and I told her, “Here is a tip for all you hard work.” She gave a smile and a laugh. This bus driver needed a good laugh especially dealing with some of the crazies riding her bus. On my way back to my car, I came upon a small group of college kids and all of them took a bill.

Saving souls at a the Collective Soul concert at the Tennessee Theater: Yes, as people were waiting to get in the Tennessee Theater, I started handing out the Million Dollar tracts.  Question is for the attendees: Who is going to “collect their soul”?

I only came across one bill thrown on the ground.(after handing out about 75 bill tracks.) Of course, a few refuse to take a bill. Remember Mark Cahill says, “A  no rejection is a win-win situation.” No matter what occurs, if done in biblical love is still obeying the Great Commission. Your reward in Heaven will be great.

Luke 6:23 (New Living Translation)

When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.”

Matthew 5:12 (New Living Translation)

Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.”

I do recommend if you go out street witnessing, take someone with you. Now if you cannot get anyone to go with you, then use wisdom and discernment.  Always pray before and after street witnessing. Remember to be led by the Holy Spirit and not in your strength. (Zech. 4:6).

Towards the latter part of the evening,  I came upon a black gospel music performance in Market Square. When one of the organizers asked what I was doing. He offered and I accepted prayer over me for boldness in witnessing. This guy’s name was Robert.(not ironic, but a God-sent conformation.) He was an on-fire brother in Christ. Covered in tattoos and looked like a bouncer. God definitely used him to help and encourage me. Many times in street witnessing, you need an encourager. It was much needed for the rest of the night.  He wanted info about my church. I gave him a business card and the group of people with him each got a million dollar tract. Hopefully, the bill tracts will encourage them to boldly share Jesus with people.