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Until All Have Heard

Evangelism, for me?

By Gene Miller June 26th, 2019

   
                   Evangelism was never my strong suit. Every time I was confronted with participating, I always walked, no ran, out the back door. If approached and asked, “why do I have a negative response?”, my answer was, “God hasn’t called me to be an evangelist.”
Attending liturgical churches didn’t inspire me to enter into any ministries, especially evangelism. The tides began to shirt after becoming a part of full gospel congregations, but still, evangelism was not on my radar. If you have read this far, thanks for staying with me, as I want to tell you where the Lord has been leading me recently.
The appropriate beginning of this blog starts with God’s word:           
  “Go, then to all peoples everywhere, and make them My disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all that I have commended you.” Matthew 28:19 (GNT)
 
My wife, Bea, is a retired high school English teacher and reminded me that the verb “GO” is not only an active verb, but also a command. I believe that not honoring His word “Go” all these years as a Christian has created a void within me. I have missed it, all these years, not that I didn’t understand His word, I just felt, believed, and claimed that making disciples wasn’t one of my gifts, and therefore justified my inaction and disobedience. What I truly experienced is a fear of approaching strangers to establish a common ground and a meaningful conversation. I have always placed the burned on myself. Sometimes, I just don’t get it. What about the Holy Spirit and His ability to work through me?
 
A new outreach ministry, “Time to Revive” has come to our Englewood Churches. This movement started in Richardson, TX about 10 years ago. It is touching many of our U.S. and European cities. Time to Revive is about equipping the saints to share the gospel and make disciples. Pastor Don has started a new Sunday service series teaching us about ministering to new Christians and the lost. The Time to Revive Team is facilitating this movement to our community and region. Experienced leaders teach and give examples of how to partner with the Holy Spirit in approaching people on the streets, shopping centers, park areas, and even businesses. They emphasize three principles before approaching individuals: asking the Holy Spirit to take control, listening to His guidance in our responses, and praying for Father’s love to flow through us.
 
On June 4th, 2019, the Revive Englewood Team, Pastors and lay people, met from 10am to 2pm. After some training, discussions, and a question and answer sessions, five teams went out to the streets. Some went to the hospital, some to Indian Mound Park, some to Dearborn, and some to the beach. Each team had three to four people, one Pastor or leader, and two or three lay people. I was on one of the teams. With two pastors and another lay person besides me, we drove to Englewood Beach. It was a hot day and due to an allotted time of 1 ½ hours, I didn’t really expect much success…often I forget it’s about the Holy Spirit and not about me. Before splitting the team into two pairs, our leader prayed for Holy Spirit’s guidance, a flow of the Father’s love, and divine appointments for all. In the middle of the prayer, I heard a quiet voice (in my spirit), “look for the man in the Red Hat.” I thought, oh my, here comes my flesh again, especially receiving it in the middle of his prayer. Nonetheless, I felt compelled to share it; telling the team it probably was just my head and not the Lord’s voice. Shaking my head as to dismiss what I heard, out of the corner of my eye I caught a Red flash. There was a man in a red hat walking briskly past us on the boardwalk! I looked at the team and said, “there he goes!”
 
He was now twenty or so yards ahead of us. With excitement, two of us pursued him. As the temperature was like 89 degrees, steamy hot and bright sunshine, we labored to catch up with him. When finally, we reached him in the parking lot, he had just come to his SUV together with another man, two women, and two teenage girls. So, we introduced ourselves and struck up a conversation with him as the others looked on. They had been visiting our area and were headed back to Ohio the next day. Not wanting to deter them for long, we asked if there was anything that we could pray for. He said they were Christians also, and would like prayer for safe travels and a happy return to their homes. I prayed, then my partner prayed an amazing anointed covering over their families. While she was praying, my eyes were open, watching for their expressions. Everyone seemed at ease, but what I noticed most was the interest and attention that the two teenage girls displayed. I can’t explain what they received in their minds and spirits, but I believe that those prayers touched both of those girls. Even though we were not talking with the lost, I believe this was a divine encounter.
 
What did the other Revive Teams experience? Their reports, although different, were still blessed encounters. You might be asking, “did anyone come to the Lord?”. Yes, one. “Did anyone express interest in being disciples?” Yes, one. “Only one person?” Well, didn’t Jesus say to go after the One?
 
I learned so much from this simple encounter. I need to step out of my comfort zone, just as the Lord has been showing me. All we have to do is show up, submit to the Holy Spirit, and then let our Father’s love flow. When the Holy Spirit takes over…that is the most amazing part of this experience. Moreover, I know that I won’t be running out the back door anymore.
To close, I hope that you will consider joining us at the next gathering for this Revive Englewood movement. The evening of July 10th will be a community worship service, where several church bodies and Christians alike, will gather to lift up the Name of Jesus as a banner over our city. Even if you feel that your job, health, family, or other commitments won’t permit your full involvement, please come. Even if you don’t go out as a team member, you can help in other ways. There is a job for each of us in the spreading of the kingdom, it is time for us to do our part!
 
Someone once said that, “Salvation is free, but it is not cheap. Jesus the Christ went to the cross to gain our salvation.” And now, will you & I feel the urgency, especially in these days, to be obedient to the call: “GO and make disciples.”
 
Until All Have Heard the Good News,
Gene Miller
 
For more information about this Movement, please click the link below, or speak with one of our Pastors! http://www.reviveflorida.org/ 

One Response to “Until All Have Heard”

  1. Daniella Bivona says:

    Wow!!! Bless God so powerful! Thank you for sharing your testimony and heart with us. I loved this part it’s my favorite “will gather to lift up the Name of Jesus as a banner over our city.” Hallelujah Jesus The Lord God our banner!!!!!!!!

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