Prior to founding Reasons To Believe, one of my roles as a pastor was to train teams of volunteers to go door-to-door with the gospel. Most first-timers expected the worst—slammed doors, angry insults, and heated debates. I often took the most terrified beginners with me, letting them simply pray and observe.
One Saturday afternoon I went into a run-down neighborhood with two apprehensive newcomers. In three hours we visited seven homes. No one answered the door at three homes. At four others we enjoyed pleasant conversations about the Bible, Jesus Christ, and the need for repentance and salvation.
While talking on doorsteps, I noticed a tough-looking man working on a beat-up old car in the street. He glared our way as we approached every door. When we prepared to leave, I felt an unusually strong inner tug to talk with him.
My companions trailing far behind me, I asked the man if he had ever prayed to God or read the Bible. He replied that he had never read the Bible but that for the last three hours he had been asking God to send us over to him. He said he really needed to know God but didn’t know how to get started.
Needless to say, He drank in every word we spoke. He eagerly received a New Testament and a packet of basic information about life as a Christian. Over and over, he thanked us for taking time to share Christ with him.
As we walked away, my companions confessed that they had been hoping and, yes, even praying throughout the afternoon, “Please, God, protect us. Don’t let Hugh go near that man.”
They saw that God overruled and supernaturally guided us to someone prepared to receive salvation. Our job involved simply showing up, prepared to offer some reasons for the hope within us, graciously and respectfully.
Now, as then, Christians shy away from outreach for lack of preparation and confidence. Good models are needed. Will you be one? The difference between then and now is that many more people are openly searching for answers today. Please join hands with me in taking reasons to believe into our hope-starved world.
Sincerely in Christ,