Archive for the ‘Pentecost Evangelistic Resurgence’ Category

For another year in a row, we have seen fewer baptisms in our churches across North America. When there are so many new people coming to America. God is sending the world to our front and back door. The foreign mission field is so close that we interact many of our new neighbors on a daily basis.

We must begin to ask some hard questions if we are going to see an exponential change in the practices how we engage in evangelism or the lack thereof. (1) Why are we seeing fewer baptisms in some denominations? (2) Are some of our churches and denominations living in blatant disobedience to the Jesus Christ command to go and witness? (3) What changes in strategy, or strategies need to be added to see increased evangelism efforts? (4) What changes in leadership need to be made so a denomination and its churches will once again, begin and intentional evangelism emphasis.

(1) Why are we seeing fewer baptisms in some denominations?

According to the Immigration Institute in Washington D.C., on their website, http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigrants-and-immigration-united-states, facts show that the mission field in here and churches have the opportunity to minister and evangelize if we will just go and make disciples. As stated in a report,

“In 2014, 1.3 million foreign-born individuals moved to the United States, an 11 percent increase from 1.2 million in 2013. India was the leading country of origin for new immigrants, with 147,500 arriving in 2014, followed by China with 131,800, Mexico with 130,000, Canada with 41,200, and the Philippines with 40,500.”

Note: The Census Bureau defines recent immigrants here as foreign-born individuals who resided abroad one year prior, including lawful permanent residents, temporary nonimmigrants, and unauthorized immigrants.

We see that just from immigrants, there is an influx of newly arrived souls, most likely many of them are not followers of Jesus Christ! Just like in most major cities, there is a section of town that the government has located and is using as the Refugee and immigrant, a community for placing newly arrived souls. And hopefully, in some cases, there is a church or ministry that is reaching out to the people in their mission field. Truly The fields are white for harvest.

Having partnered with one such Church, and community in Metro Atlanta, GA where there are over 50 language groups in a square mile, there have been many attempts to reach these souls with the gospel. The church currently has about nine different congregations under its umbrella that are making Jesus known.

I recently heard Franklin Graham share a story how Samaritan’s Purse teams are some of the first Christians many of the refugee Muslims meet after, surviving the long trip on rafts, to the Greek Islands. He shared that many of the refugees are saying that that Islam has failed and does not work. They are asking for someone to tell about Jesus Christ.

(2) Are some of our churches and denominations living in blatant disobedience to the Jesus Christ command to go and witness?

If we were investigating a crime scene, what evidence or proof would we need to come to the conclusion, without reasonable doubt that a church is living in blatant disobedience to Christ command to go and evangelize lost people and make disciples?

I can think of one key factor, intentional evangelism. The church and denomination would have

  • a staff person/leader who gives leadership and is personally involved in evangelism, evangelism training
  • continually engaging lost people to share the gospel
  • making leaders from people groups and language groups, and to develop leaders in their specific group to expand the ministry through evangelism and disciple making
  • Offer session in developing an evangelistic strategy and its components to churches, pastors, and church leadership to have an effective outreach and evangelism ministry
  • Producing new strategies and emphasis for evangelism and prayer, and disciple making
  • Producing new gospel tracts and approaches bases on the biblical principles and prayer materials

(3) What changes in strategy, or what strategies need to be made or added to see increased evangelism efforts?

Through my doctoral project, I learned about surveying, evaluating, and study of strategy development and implementation for churches to determine if they were evangelistic. I learned about the value of evaluating the ministry, a pastor, and a church. Evaluation is good a place to begin. We must ask some hard questions about a strategy, methods, approaches, and its principles. We must make sure that strategy is biblical and at its core is an evangelistic DNA that will reproduce and spread.

The Bible such be our primary source for evangelism strategies, methods and approaches, and principles. We methods and approaches made not identical but in them, you should be able to identify key basis components for evangelism.

If the ministries of a church are not encouraging and equipping believers to go out and make Jesus known on a daily and weekly basis, then should we reevaluate our strategy? Evangelism is the lifeline of the church. We do not reproduce biologically to grow a church, but through spiritual new births. Though, at some point, hopefully, you will share with your offspring about the trusts of Jesus Christ. They will need to believe in and trust Him for salvation.

A good evangelism strategy should include components such as having a person who fans the flame of evangelism in the church, by promoting, conducting and leading out in evangelism.

(4) What changes in leadership need to be made so a denomination and its churches will once again, begin and intentional evangelism emphasis.

Through my doctoral project and through my personal ministry experience I learned about leadership and having the person in place to lead a specific ministry. I know of one church situation where an individual was hired for a staff position on the basis that he was an excellent manager in the business world.

But when the individual was put in charge of the evangelism ministry he grew the ministry from over 250 people down to 15 people in a matter of months. When the evangelism teams went out to make visits, he did not go with a team. He stayed back at the church. Obviously, evangelism was not his passion, but a tool for success.

As I mentioned earlier, I learned a great deal about evaluation that it is good a place to begin. One of my mentors and professors in seminary and Bible College, Dr. Don Aderhold share how every year, he would meet with his staff and directors to evaluate how effective their ministry had been in the past year. Three key questions he asked were, “Is your ministry team evangelistic?” “How many baptisms did your ministry see last year?” and “By what percentage did your ministry grow?”

One of my mentors and professors in seminary and Bible College, Dr. Don Aderhold share how every year, he would meet with his staff and directors to evaluate how effective their ministry had been in the past year. Three key questions he asked were, “Is your ministry team evangelistic?” “How many baptisms did your ministry see last year?” and “By what percentage did your ministry grow?”

Dr. A, as we all called him, said that if there were not any baptisms, nor added growth, then he would ask what changes need to be made to become more evangelistic and see potential growth. Then he added, “either they made changes to make sure that ministry was evangelistic, or the person was replaced with a more evangelistic personality.”

I have learned that effective organizations conduct an evaluation for the purpose of improvement. But you cannot force people to do something that they are not passionate about and are living out.

What changes need to be made:

  • Hire leadership that has an evangelistic heart and lives it
  • Hire other staff members or develop a team of volunteers, to help develop, promote, in the equipping of evangelism strategies and methods and principles that work
  • Leadership and team are continually seeking to develop a team of leaders to help carry out the evangelism emphasis, and with logistics for evangelism impact in the community
  • Other staff members are hired to help develop, promote, in the equipping of evangelism strategies and methods and principles that work
  • Develop various strategies and materials for churches to have an intentional and reproducing evangelism ministry and new church growth

On a regular basis, I pray for pastors’, churches, and believers to become more evangelistic. That they would make Jesus known to their community around them and to the world. The world will not know about the saving grace of Jesus unless we go and make disciples. Jesus plan is to for to “Go and makes disciples of all nations,” Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8. We the nations are here at our front and back door. The Distance is not far, but our commitment to Jesus must be deep. Go Make Jesus Known!

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Recently, Dr. Billy Graham’s Daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, the Evangelist, was quoted on the state of American landscape and purposed the question, “Is God Turning Away From America And Leaving Us To Our Sins,” reported by Michael W. Chapman | April 26, 2016 on CNSNews.com- http://cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/billy-grahams-daughter-god-turning-away-america-and-leaving-us-our-sins-0#.VyBDuJn8UVU.facebook

If you read the Old Testament, the first part of the Christian Bible, you will read time and time again, God punished His chosen people for their gross rebellions. In the Old Testament, God’s people, the Israelite’s, murdered/sacrificed their babies at the altars of Molech, aka, the Devil. see Jewish encyclopedia site for more information on Molech.

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10937-moloch-molech.

Today, in America, we murder our babies, by the hundreds of thousands, every year, at the altars of Planned Parenthood’s, (the abortion clinics). These innocent unborn babies are murdered, while still in was intended to be a “SAFE PLACE” for protection, nurture, and growth. Instead the “SAFE PLACE”, has become a chamber of death, of violent, horrific mutilation of precious unborn babies.

They are basically nothing more than sacrifices offered to the same devil, the god Molech. America and even some churches have gone after false teachings, after corrupted teachings, and have denied the One True God and rebelled and become just like the world.

So do we expect the Creator of the universe, of all living and nonliving matter, to respond differently? Can we sin so much that God would say, “ENOUGH WITH THE SINNING!” In the Old and New Testament, we see recorded accounts, giving evidence that God had to allow His people to wallow in their sin and suffer the consequences.

Genesis, 7 gives evidence that God had enough of humans rebelling and sinning. So He saved the few righteous people, Noah and his family, who followed and obeyed God. Then God flooded the earth, killing all human life and animals, and gave humanity and earth a second chance.

Exodus 32 gives another clear example of God’s people rebelling and sinning, after He set them free from 400 years of bondage and gross slavery under Egyptian rule. While God is giving Mosses the Ten Commandments on two tablets, the people made a false god, a golden calf. God killed all those who participated in the worship of the calf and did not repent, “And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.” Exodus 32:35

In Romans 1, the apostle Paul, who had been a Jesus hater, and he hated everyone who followed or professed Jesus as God’s Holy One, later becomes a Christ follower. He wrote to the church in Rome, that if we keeping on sinning and rebelling and reject God, He will turn us over to sinful ways.

Romans 1:18 states, For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all the evils and the wickedness of the children of men, those who are holding the truth in evil.” (Aramaic Bible in Plain English).

People have chosen to worship the creation today over the Creator as mentioned by the apostle Paul in Romans 1: 22-23. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.”

So what will happen if we have gone to the extreme of sinning so what we can cause God to say “Enough with your sinning and rebelling!”

Romans 1 say, 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.

If you have never asked Jesus Christ to forgive your sin and asked Him to become your Lord and Savior, do it today. Say, Dear Jesus, I believe you died for my sin, on the cross, and where buried. You rose from the grave to conquer sin, death, and the devil. You have the keys to death and life. Right now, I ask you forgive all my sins. Come into my life and heart. I give my life to You Jesus. Thank You for giving me a new life and for saving my soul. In Jesus Name.

If you prayed and asked Jesus to forgive your sins and asked Him to become your Lord and Savior, Congratulations! Welcome to the family of God.

To get started on your new life with Christ, go to www.billygraham.org and click on the Grow Your Faith tab. You will find Bible studies and a bookstore with a wealth of resources. You can also go to www.myhopewithbillygraham.org and order a free Living in Christ study book. There are also free videos about people who also chose to follow Jesus.

 

One of the churches I attended before surrendering by faith to Jesus Christ played a song almost every Sunday. “Nothing is impossible if you believe in the Lord.” What a divine truth. Scripture is clear Jesus said to the young rich ruler, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26.

This is also true for evangelism. Why? Because evangelism is a work of God about His Son Jesus, with the power of the  Holy Spirit through believers who have trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. A true witness who is prepared in the power of the Holy Spirit is a “prepared witness”.

Below is a part of the Day Two from the “The Prepared: A 30 Day Evangelistic Devotion”

Day Two

Evangelism is Impossible without God’s Spirit

 

Acts 1:8 Jesus said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (NASB)

 

Focus:  Evangelism is not of man, but of God’s empowering Spirit. If you try to witness in the flesh you may fail or have a bad experience in the witnessing encounter. We need God’s empowering spirit to witness.

Evangelism is not a difficult thing to practice. It is an impossible thing to live, on the human side. The good news is when we receive God’s spirit at salvation. He gives us all we need to do evangelism, which is His Holy Spirit power. It is God working through us to be His witnesses according to 2 Corinthians 5:20. We are “Ambassadors for Christ as though God is making the appeal through us.”

To read more of day two order a copy of “The Prepared Witness” by Dr. Victor Benavides.  Available soon on amazon.com and Christian book stores.  “The Prepared Witness is an accompaniment to “Breaking The Evangelism Code.”

I remember when I was summon to testify in court about a crime that I witnessed. I replayed the event in my mind over and over again before getting up in the witness-box to give my story of the account. I was ready when my time came to recount the facts.

As we think about evangelism, or if you prefer witnessing, we must also have the facts right. We should do all we can to give Imported Photos 00000an accurate account of the gospel. As a follower of Jesus Christ I want to be ready to share the gospel, using God’s Word and my personal salvation experience to communicate a clear presentation how Jesus impacted and changed my life.

I have written a 30 day evangelistic devotional entitled “The Prepared Witness” to help equip the believer. The intent of the 30 day evangelistic devotional is to prepare you, the reader to understand what is New Testament Evangelism, The church’s role in evangelism, Jesus as our role model, and many other topics found in the Bible.

I have included a portion of the devotion for day one. I pray that you will be challenged and grow into the witness God desires you to be.

Dr. Victor H. Benavides

Day One
Evangelism is about Obedience

Matthew 28:19-20:
Jesus Christ said, “19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” (NASB)

Focus: In this devotion we want to learn that evangelism is all about obedience. God has commanded Christians to reach lost people with the gospel. He has given us a Divine Mandate to witness. We must obey God’s Word and ask Him to give us the desire and passion to go and tell others about Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the One who we owe our very lives to, commanded His followers to tell the world about Him.

The world is in desperate need of a spiritual awakening. The Church is in desperate need to wake up and become the evangelistic organism that God intended the church to be, evangelizing the lost world. God has empowered the church to be able to carry the gospel out into the communities of America. The church has all it needs to see God turn this world upside down, if only God’s people would repent, be obedient and begin witnessing.

For a complete reading of the devotion for Day One from the “The Prepared Witness” go to amazon.com to get a copy of 30 day evangelistic devotional.

I was raised and heavily steeped in the teachings of another major religious denomination. I was taught to pray to the saints and made much of Mother Mary. My spiritual journey spans over several years beginning ealry in life. My sophomore year in high school I began to read the Rex Hubbard New Testament Key Study Bible. I wanted to know God in a deeper sense, this was the year 1974.

On January 1st 1984, I trusted, believed, and prayed to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at the church where I had been attending for eight months. God saved me, a sinner. To this day I still remember the details leading up to my salvation moment, what I call “my defining moment.” I clearly remember desiring to get right with God. I wanted to be sure God was going to let me into His heaven.

There was one thing missing,(;) I never had the assurance that I was going to get there. You see man’s promises always fall short. Only God’s promises are trustworthy. The religion I had been brought in, as I found out later, had many man-made additions and subtracts of God’s truth. So the teachings how we would get into heaven were faulty and with no guarantee. <st1:bcv_smarttag>Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” In other words, there are many people following all kinds of religious teaching and thought, who think their path will get them heaven only to discover it ended up in an eternal hell and it is too late to do anything about it.

 Thank God our church offered an invitation at the end of the service. When the pastor gave the invitation, I stepped out of the pew and walked down the aisle. I had seen many people who were making decisions do this every time we attended the service. I went down and told the minister that I wanted to join the church. So they paired my wife and I with a post-worship encourager.

 In the friendship room the encourager asked me if I believed that Jesus was God’s Son; did I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins; and did I believe that Jesus rose from the dead making a way for me to get into heaven. I had always believed these facts; but for the first time, I was acknowledging them and making a cognitive decision publically about who and what Jesus is and what He was and did for me. I learned the value of leading a lost person who desires to be right with God in a sinner’s prayer and the importance of giving an evangelistic appeal.

 Later God called me to pursue professional ministerial training. Learning about God’s Word from scholarly men and how to interpret and apply God’s Word was better than going to Starbuck’s and getting your favorite beverage! From the Associate Divinity program at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS), I attended a university for two years. Then God led me to further my studies by completing a Masters Degree in the study of biblical languages and pastoral studies and still later then a Doctor of Ministry Degree at NOBTS. I learned how to read and interpret the biblical languages for which I am grateful to God. To this day I continue to study the languages.

 For over the last ten years, September 2001 to December 2011 I led and trained men and women how to share their faith. I worked with churches in the inner cities and urban centers sharing the gospel and distributing over 1.5 million gospel tracts. On some occasions we did street preaching on a corner in a high risk, high crime communities. I taught my teams of missionary evangelists how to explain the gospel and then how to encourage and guide a person toward trusting in Jesus as Lord and Savior. There are hundreds of stories that these urban missionaries could share of how people’s lives were changed. We saw many people who were sincere and others where we left the conversation, saying “I am not sure if that person really meant what they prayed.”

 I have to say there were some people we were not sure if they were truly saved until we saw them the next day or later in the week and they were helping us to translate or connect with friends and neighbors.  And then there were a few that we felt sure about and every once in while we heard that they their lives had not changed.” I have to say that we our hearts were heavy and sad for those in whose lives the gospel seed did not take hold for whatever reason.

 I have seen and met men who were into heavy use of cocaine, drugs and alcohol who got Jesus. There was a tremendous life changing moment that occurred in some people’s lives. Others have come to me telling me how they got saved “last night.” They said they were sick of the life they were living and called someone from the church and they prayed and gave their life to Jesus. Then a year later due to bad decisions, they were back on drugs and alcohol. All I say is that we do all we can to try to disciple people how to live for Christ, they have to make the right decisions. We know of pastors and pastoral staff who have not made the right decision and totally messed up their lives, their family, and marriage because of bad decisions.

Recently, I received a video through one of those Christian emails linking you to a website with articles on issues of today. One particular article had an imbedded video with a Skype conversation/interview with an up and coming pastor and another individual.

The conversation was about pastors who are leading people in a sinner’s prayer and doing it incorrectly. The conversation centered on people who thought they had been saved, but were not, because they had prayed a sinner’s prayer and those who were not saved but should be saved. I listened to the conversation three or four times, each time the video got the this point in the interview, I would say, “that is why you give an evangelistic appeal!”

If we think that everyone who prays the sinner’s prayer is going to live a perfect life and understand what they are doing, let me say, well they don’t. I am blessed to have been in church ministries where we saw people respond to the message every time it was preached. I saw people respond to the Holy Spirit’s leading and hundreds saved. I also saw a hand full of people who made decisions and you would have thought they were gloriously saved, but they fell back into severe and gross sin. And yes some were staff members or committed volunteers. Were they born again you might be thinking? They said they had trusted in Jesus.

One thing we must remember. Not even Jesus Christ when He had His ministry on earth for three years had one hundred percent commitment from His disciples. One of His twelve betrayed Him. Then there were the thousands who followed Jesus. We can estimate that probably 10,000 people followed Him. We find in the Bible that Jesus fed two different groups of people one was four-thousand and the other five-thousand in size. Plus the hundreds of hundreds that heard Jesus teach by the shore lines and in the valleys.

In John 6:6-71, after Jesus taught “you must eat My flesh and drink My blood” the Scripture says that “many did not follow Him anymore.” In the New Testament Greek language the word “many” means a very large number “of His disciples followed Him no more” (John 6:60). Then in 1 Corinthians 15:6, only 500 disciples or His followers where present to see Him ascend into heaven. Not even Jesus had 100 percent retention rate. If you use the figure of 10,000 followers, which I believe is less than the actual number, 500 is not ten percent but five percent of all the people who followed Jesus and heard Him teach.

 So what are God’s called preachers, evangelists, pastors, teachers called to do? Continue to proclaim a clear, theological, doctrinal and expositional message that points to Jesus as the only way to God. Then offer the hearers an opportunity to respond to God’s Word as the Holy Spirit draws people. I will continue to offer a sinner’s prayer, during an evangelistic appeal and leave the rest up to God’s Holy Spirit to draw people as He uses the witness as His instrument.

 Maybe you have read this article and you realize that you are no sure that you are going to heaven, or you have never placed your faith and trust in Jesus. If you are truly seeking God, then in just a moment you can be absolutely sure that God will forgive your sin, all the bad things you have done and let you into His heaven and paradise. I call this the A, B, C’s leading to salvation.

 A- First you must admit that you have sinned against God, Romans 3:23 say, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That means we are not and can’t be as good as God is (His holiness or his glory). We have what is called a sin nature. All humans have this nature and the only way to change it is for believe in Jesus and receive Him by faith.

 B- Second you must believe that Jesus is God’s one and only Son. Jesus is the only way to God because God loves you and Jesus died for your sins on the cross.  John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Through Jesus resurrection He made the way for us to get into heaven. He opened the gates to heaven for those who believe and follow Him.  John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take to be with Me.” 

 C- Third, you must confess to God that you have sinned against Him and ask for His forgiveness. Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you shall confess with your mouth that Jesus as Lord, and believe with your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. 10 – For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”

 If you have read the A, B, C’s and it makes sense to you and you understand that you are sinner, and you believe that Jesus is the only way to have God’s forgiveness of sin and eternal. If you are ready to turn from your sin to turn to God completely, then you can say a simple prayer to God just like I did when I was 26 years old. Say it and mean it with all your heart.

 Say, Dear God, I believe that Jesus is Your Son, that He died on the Cross for my sins, that He was buried and rose again on the third day. God I have sinned against You, so please forgive me of my sin. Please come into my heart. I surrender my life totally to You. Help me to live for You and to tell others about Jesus. Thank You for saving me and giving me a new start in life. In Jesus Name, Amen.

 If you prayed this prayer and you meant it. Then the God who created all things, Jesus who died for you, and God’s Holy Spirit now live in you. If you truly meant what you just said, then go tell a Christian about your decision to follow Jesus. Get a Bible and begin reading in the Gospel of John, read one chapter everyday. Read all twenty-one chapters and when you finish then start in the Gospel of Matthew and read one chapter everyday for the rest of your life.

Find a church that preaches and teaches the Bible, that Jesus, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are co-equal (one in nature and being). Join the Church by baptism and get involved in a Bible Study group. If you can’t find a church go to www.sbc.net and you can search for a Church by zip code. Pray ask God to help you find a good Bible proclaiming and teaching church. Or go to my website www.m28evangelism.com and get my contact information.

Dr. Tom asked if I could write a brief about Breaking the Evangelism Code. I have to say that I was excited to accept his offer. You see my passion is sharing Christ with lost people. I pray often that God would allow me to see someone born into His kingdom as we share the gospel either through community evangelism or preaching His Word.

Dr. Tom is s disciplist, I consider myself to be a missionary evangelist as are many of my co-laborers friends. I was saved because someone cared enough about where I would spend eternity. I still believe that Jesus command to go win disciples, and the biblical examples and models found in the Bible are still relevant.

I am praying God would send another Pentecost Evangelistic Resurgence in our hearts and through the church. I have been praying for a revival and spiritual awakening for over 20 years. Below is the link to Simplediscipleship.com. Enjoy.

Dr. Victor H. Benavides

 

 

  http://www.simplediscipleship-wordpress.com/2012/06/24/breaking-the-evangelism-code-by-victor-h-       benavides/#comment-344

On June 11  a wave hit New Orleans, Louisiana. It was a wave of committed men and women who journeyed to work and mentor  local churches in the urban context and with major level students. The twenty-one missionary evangelists covered New Orleans through a wave of conversational evangelism and souls have been changed.

Eleven local churches participated in community evangelism June 11-15, 2012. The after math of the wave of evangelistic conversations and prayerwalking up and down streets was 371 lost souls trusted in Jesus as Lord and Savior. They were on  a road to hell and are now on a road to heaven.

Over the last ten years of leading almost 30 similar events in inner cities across America, I have learned that there are so many stories to share of how God worked to save a someone. Every story reveals the power of the saving grace of God. Not only are lost people changed but the witnesses who go out to share the gospel have life changing experiences as well. Pastors, staff and church leaders are impacted and some churches that were dying were revitalized, churches that were plateaued were energized. Congregations were set on fire and the Holy Spirit had freedom and liberty to work through the church to reach a community without Christ.

In New Orleans one of the churches that I had the privilege of working with was Carrollton Avenue Baptist Church. Pastor Brian Weber and his leadership worked hard to prepare their community by prayerwalking  up and down streets for several weeks. They had already connected with their neighbors through various ministries.

Since Katrina the face of New Orleans has changed. It is more multi-cultural, meaning more Hispanics and neighborhoods are mixed in race. Few areas were left as they were prior to Katrina. This is true for Carrollton Ave Church. June 10-15 was another opportunity to see a spiritual change in the climate of the community and in the people. Praise to God His will was done. Believers went out to make disciples.

Some believers have doubted whether this type of evangelism really works. We see examples in the New Testament that Jesus and His disciples lived this approach. After Jesus ascension the New Testament Church continued to practice this approach of evangelism.

Does it still work is the question many have proposed? I received a text from Pastor Brian Weber on July 2nd 2012, He wrote, “Victor, Crossover is having an effect on our services. I baptized one and have another four planned. The attendance in our services is up about 30. Each week people are coming forward to receive Christ!” Wow! God is still in the life changing business.

I have seen this same experience happen several times. Sometimes the evidence does not show up for a couple of weeks. It is vital for the church to continue to reach out to the community to let them know the church cares. They need to continue to pray that God’s Spirit would remind people to read the tracts they received and draw people to Himself. The Bible says that “God’s Word does not return void,” Isaiah 55:11.

What we need is more followers of Jesus Christ who are ashamed of communicating, sharing, and telling others the Good News about Jesus Christ. What we need is a Pentecost Evangelistic Resurgence to begin in our hearts and in our churches. I am praying that God would start in my heart and use me to proclaim Jesus to others in His power and boldness.