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How A Plumber Had A Breakthrough In Evangelism

11 June 2011 No Comment

The following testimony is by written by a guy called Greg. The photo is of Greg and his wife. Greg Greg and Biancais a member of the Manukau Salvation Army Church. Greg got hold of our DVD series on evangelism, taught himself from scratch, then set out to actually do evangelism. One day, he says, he had a breakthrough! This is what he wrote:

“I was called to fix a burst pipe under a house in Otara (South Auckland,NZ) on a Saturday morning at 8.30. I knocked on the front door and two big pitbull dogs jumped up at the frosted glass front door.
The guy who answered the door was a Maori (Maoris are the indigenous people of NZ) about 45 years old, covered in tatoos all over his face and neck and every place I could see skin.

He was a gang member and looked like he had a hard night.

While I was under the house I thought about giving this man the gospel.

‘I’ll do it when I come up from under his house after I have finished the job’ I said to myself.

When I came out from under the house he was standing there and surprised me.

He said “all done?”

I said “yep,see you later.”

As soon as I hopped in the van to leave I felt like I blew it and missed my opportunity.

After completing the Evangelism Strategies International course at my home, I set myself a goal of reaching one person a week with the gospel. It was already late in the week, and I hadn’t shared with anyone!

Still in my van and sitting in his driving I thought to myself “this man may never hear the gospel if i don’t do it now.”

So I asked God to help me. I got out of my van, walked up the steps to his front door, and knocked.

I said “How would you like to watch a movie that’s only 11 minutes long?.”

He said “aw yeah, what is it?”

“A friend of mine is a pastor and he’s summarised the whole bible on video in under 11 minutes.” I said.

With that we went inside and sat at the dining room table.

I started the portable video player and we both sat there and watched it.

About half way through ,with the dog sitting menacingly at my feet,he said”some people people are good and some are bad aye”.

“No,we are all bad,” I said, and we watched the rest in silence.

At the end I asked him where he would go if he died tonight,and he said he wasn’t sure.

So I summarised the video as best as I could in my own words, emphasising we have all broken Gods laws.

We talked for about 5 minutes and mentioned that the bible says “whoever believes”, not “whoever behaves.”
I stood up to leave and asked him if there was anything i could pray for him for.

He said “everything bro.”

So I put my hand on his shoulder and we stood in his front doorway, heads bowed in prayer.

We shook hands like best friends and I left.

I was very scared at the start,but am so glad i went through with it.

I felt the Holy Spirit so strongly while I was with him and God gave me such a love for this man.

I was absolutely buzzing on the way home and I had possibly the best worhip ever while driving.

This has been a breakthrough experience for me and it feels like God has given me a new boldness and authority that comes from him.

In the following week I shared the gospel with 18 people.

It took 6 months of persevering to get to this breakthrough.

Also I Had the privilage of leading two 17 year old guys to Christ about 3 weeks ago at the Botany Town Centre.

This is after sharing the Gospel to about 100 people.

So if you are someone who is terrified of evangelism, and don’t think you have the personality or gift, or talent, or whatever, you are just like me. If I can learn and breakthrough, you certainly can. Get the DVDs and make a start. You’ll never regret it.

Email me at bianca.warren@xtra.co.nz or text me 027 6377 299

What are the lessons to be learned here? What would say?

1) Greg took responsibility to train himself. Greg didn’t blame his pastor or his church for not training him.

2) He set himself goals. God worked through his goal to push him into God’s will. Goals work.

3) Greg’s mind was on God’s purposes. The plumbing job was a means to an end, not the end in itself. Most people don’t view themselves as missionaries in the work place.  We ought to.

4) Greg prayed for God to help him.  Prayer is essential. Evangelism is an co-operative arrangement between God and man.

5) Greg didn’t hide behind prayer. It’s not enough to simply pray for the lost.  The Christian response to the lost world is to pray AND go. Greg answered his own prayer by going to the lost man. He stepped out and took a risk. No evangelism happens without risk and prayer.

6) God rewarded Greg with a strong sense of His presence.  Not only that, He rewarded him with a desire to do more evangelism! Surely this is one of the great but hidden truths of evangelism. The more one does, the more one wants to do! The less one does, the less one wants to do.  Meditate on Psalm 125:5-6.

7) Greg didn’t let his emotions rule him. He was fearful, but he went anyway.

8) He showed compassion.  By putting his hand on the mans shoulder, being tender and compassionate, relating, God worked through Greg to soften the mans heart. Surely this too is a great lesson.  We don’t just want to deliver the words of Jesus. We want to go with his tenderness and mercy.

9) Greg was ready. He had his mini DVD player with him. It was charged and ready to go.  So, when you go out into the world from your home, are you ready to give the gospel to non-Christians you meet? Readiness is a key a success.

10) Greg invested money in the Kingdom of God. It cost Greg $100 or so to purchase the mini DVD player. It costs him money to purchase follow up booklets.  But every dollar Greg invests in God’s work is never wasted. In actual fact, I believe his Kingdom investments are storing for him ‘riches in heaven’ (Matthew 6:19).   The safest and greatest investment anyone can possibly make is this life is into the Kingdom of God.  Jesus called the man in the Bible who invested in earthly things but not in God’s Kingdom ‘a fool’ (Luke 12:13-21).   Let’s be wise and follow Greg’s example.

11) Greg has a winning attitude. He took 6 months of trial and error and having a go before he received his breakthrough.  Sadly, most people have had a dabble with evangelism, strike something disappointing or difficult, and thrown it in. Imagine if Jesus had reacted in a like manner when difficulty or disappointment came?  We would have been denied salvation.   Jesus’ passion and vision for what He were doing was much bigger than His disappointments and suffering, so He had power to overcome.  God imparted vision and passion for the lost to Greg as he watched the DVD series on evangelism.  This vision and passion is sustaining him.

12) Greg recognised that skill with evangelism is learned. Jesus said to the disciples ‘I will make you fishers of men’ (Matthew 4:19), not ‘I will lay hands on you and you will instantly be fishers of men.’ There is a difference. One is instant, the other takes time. What Jesus said to those men implies a process. It took Jesus three years to get his men ready to evangelise.  Can we expect to become experts after a short dabble? You know the answer.

13) Greg had learned the basic outline of the content of the gospel, so was able to summarise it for the man when he needed to.  All of us need to be able to articulate the gospel so that if we have no tools like mini DVD players, ipods etc, we can still effectively deliver the gospel.

God bless you Greg. You are one of God’s heroes! Thanks for demonstrating so many powerful lessons about evangelism for us.

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