This past week at the church I’ve been working with, we had a visiting evangelist named Joe Jackson. That had me thinking of famous people with that name such as Michael Jackson’s father, a baseball player with the nickname “Shoeless,” and a British singer whose biggest U. S. hit was the Grammy-nominated “Steppin’ Out.” As I watched the music video of that song for the first time in years, I suddenly realized how Joe Jackson’s tune could be turned into an exhortation to obey the Great Commission.
The hardest part about evangelism is simply getting started. Even after doing street ministry for over twenty years, there are times I don’t feel like talking to people. But once I get over myself and start sharing the gospel, the Holy Spirit flows through me and I feel much better afterwards.
Back in the early 1990s when I was involved with network marketing, I heard a sales trainer point out if we only do things that are comfortable, we are “screwing up big time.” One way we mature in life is by getting outside our comfort zone. While the Lord has used me to lead numerous people to Him through my survey technique, He has also led me to witness in ways I hadn’t done before.
One afternoon as I was walking by Walgreens, the pay phone on the outside wall started ringing. The Lord instructed me to answer the phone and witness to the person on the other end of the line. I began the conversation by asking, “Hello, have you heard the Good News?”
A woman on the other end answered, “No.”
I then said, “The Good News is that God loves you and has an awesome plan for your life. Has anyone told you that before?”
Angela said she was having a bad day and then asked where I was since her husband had made a call from the pay phone moments before. Angela’s husband was still in the area but I didn’t want to lose a possible salvation. So I resumed asking questions about her eternal destiny. Angela got born again over the phone.
Another time while walking through a park across from the White House, I saw a man sitting on a bench angrily yelling out Bible verses. Then I noticed some young people a few feet away listening to him. At that moment, I felt a stirring in my spirit to preach the truth about God's love. So I hollered out loud, “Yes, God is a god of judgment but He is also a god of love...He has made a way for your sins to be forgiven so you can know for sure you will be in heaven!” After I quoted Romans 10:9, the man on the bench started yelling insults at me but I didn’t care. By obeying the Lord’s prompting, it was the first time I did open air preaching.
Do you feel your Christian walk is lacking excitement? Start stepping out and be a witness for Him. Your life will never be the same!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9