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90 Year Old Confesses! “I Went To Church For Many Years But Had No Idea What Is Was All About!”

21 May 2012 2 Comments

Every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, between 1.30pm-3.30pm, I go out evangelising, sometimes it is door-to-door, other times it is more the direct approach.

Last Tuesday I decided I would take my survey and go door-to-door around my neighbourhood. This has proved very successful.

Since I’ve just started as one of the new ministers in my church, I found this to be a great conversational starter, as well as talking a little bit about the major rebuild our church is undertaking and the new opp shop that will be going up.

These conversations often relaxes the person which can lead to an invitation inside where I go through my survey questions.

One of the questions I ask is if they have had any connection with the church?

I am surprised as to how many have been to Sunday school during the early 50s and 60s, but have never continued church later on in life.

Let me share to you about one conversation I had with a 90 year old lady that I met last week.

She shared how her parents took her to church as a little girl, and remembers how she had to memorise the Lords Prayers, Psalm 23 and many of the creeds.

She then went on to quote these to me – I was impressed, and silently thinking that here was a devote Christian, until what she said next brought me back to reality.

She said, “I decided to quit going after a while, because of the repetition.

It felt like a ritual we went through every Sunday, and if that was what church is about I could better use my time involved in something else.”

I said to her; “Many churches have the best intentions, but are not great in telling to us what the gospel is all about.

I happen to have the whole bible summarised on the smart phone, and it will only take 11 minutes to watch.

Would you be interested?” She nodded. After watching through the biblein11 video clip, and with tears welling up in her eyes, she said to me…

“I had no idea that that is what the church is all about”.

I explained to her again that we are all sinners before a holy God, and in need of forgiveness.

I asked if she was willing to make Jesus as her Lord and Saviour from sin.

She agreed, and I led her through the sinners prayer.

The presence of God was amazing.

I felt to say to her that she needn’t fear death, for when it happens, she will leave this world and be received with love into the arms of Jesus.

I then left her with a little booklet, “How to be sure you are going to heaven when you die”, and told her I will send a pastoral carer around sometime next week.

She gave me the biggest smile, and I left knowing that what else I did that day, that encouragement would surpass them all. God is so good.

Iain Dickson
St Andrews Presbyterian Church
Mount Maunganui
Wk: 07 575-5474
Hm: 07 542 4681
Cell: 0274 575 849
P: PO Box 4255, Mt Maunganui 3149


1) If Iain didn’t go, let’s face it, she wouldn’t have been reached.

2) Iain was trained. He had the tools i.e. a survey, a phone with the gospel video on it, and follow up booklets.

3) He was intentional. He made a date to reach the lost, and kept to it.

4) He worked out what to say to introduce himself which would sound natural and cause people to relax.

5) He was gentle and gracious.

6) He was operating in his Jerusalem (Acts 1:8). Jesus told us to focus on reaching the people immediately around our church first with the gospel.

7) This is the standout lesson for me. I would think there is a HUGE percentage of church goers around who have never heard the gospel and have no idea what church is about.  I am talking about all churches, not just some denominations. This is why we produced the little booklet “HOW TO BE SURE OF GOING TO  HEAVEN WHEN WE DIE”.  It explains Christianity conceptually. By this I mean it explains what Christianity is all about, like a jig saw puzzle – one piece at a time.  It starts at Creation and the Fall and goes from there, all the way up to Jesus.

Please, get some of these booklets, and start handing them out, as the Spirit leads. If you are a pastor, get one for each person in your church.  It will do at least two things for them. First, when people understand something complex they get excited.  When I was at school and I “got” something that was hard, I got excited and wanted to know more. And the more I “got” in that subject the more I loved the subject and the teacher.  You get the idea….

Second, it may change the eternal destiny of people in your church. Yep, for some, they think they are saved but they are not. The only way to find out who is who and which is which  is spread or proclaim the gospel in your church.

Now there’s a good thought…


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  • Kobus Storm says:

    Wow, this is so encouraging, Iain. I have visited of my own congregation, 14 families this last month and half with the intention to re-evangelize all. It is amazing when I sit down with them and we share the simple bridge diagram. Initially I though they would react to it feeling I mistrust their believes but all where very quiet and kind of surprised, taken aback by the truth. Most of them, nearly all said; no one, no pastor or elder has every presented them the gospel of Jesus Christ in this way. I have realized with a shock how desperately our own (Regular church members) people need the gospel presented in the most basic and simplest way. It makes it so much easier for them to really understand it and make a genuine decision. Many come through our doors hoping to find life but only end up with a good routine that keeps them busy and out of trouble, especially our teens. We invite them to a “better life” not a new life in Jesus Christ where they are obliged to trade in the old and leave it behind for the new. This message gets lost in our many “feel good messages.”
    Now I know that they have heard the truth about our rebellion and with God despise sin choosing life in and through Jesus alone. It is awesome standing before a congregation and knowing, they know and have all chosen the truth about Jesus. It is a wonderful platform to teach and have conversations from. I want to encourage every pastor to take up the challenge to also reach out to their own members because this is your base of discipleship where new members and converts will settle in a new family. Thank you

  • Julian Batchelor says:

    Hi Kobus,
    Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to share your comments. I am sure many of leaders will be encouraged through what you have written here.

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