Mom taught school and by year's end you could be sure that every child in
her class knew the plan of salvation. God often used her efforts to bring
children to Him. My pastor shared Christ with about 15 people a day-and usually
three or four would pray to receive Christ! In high school, my growing love for
God and the influence of my mother and pastor motivated me to share Him with
others too. I shared Christ with my best friend and he became a Christian
shortly after that.
In Royal Ambassadors (RAs) I helped at more than 30 summer camps and led
several attendees to Christ. In RAs I learned that we will usually be more
successful with evangelism if we plan it. We need to live godly lives, but we
also need to arrange events and circumstances that will give us opportunities
to share Christ with others.
When I graduated from Howard Payne University (in Brownwood, Texas), I
entered commercial real estate in Houston, brokering office leases. I had met
my wife-to-be in college, and we married after my career was under way. Karen
is the daughter and granddaughter of Baptist preachers.
As newlyweds we became the RA and GA directors at First Baptist of Houston
and helped to lead an apartment church ministry. I was even invited to preach.
I wasn't trained for that, but most of these people had never heard a sermon,
so I guess they figured my first preaching was as good as it gets! We were
trying to reach adults, but all we got were kids. At one point I really became
discouraged. That's when I learned an important lesson: to focus on the people
who are coming, not on the ones who aren't. Thanks to that lesson, many of the
kids came to Christ and some grew up to become ordained and even
I also learned how one person who knows Christ can reach another and then
another. For example, we led a Korean boy to the Lord. He witnessed to his
sister, who in turn brought a girl from India to Christ. The Indian girl then
met a Japanese college student whom she led to the Lord. All of these people
wound up going to seminary! This convinced me of the importance of always
looking for opportunities to share my faith.
I later became a chemistry and physics teacher. Though my job provided
opportunities for sharing Christ, I longed to give more of my time to formal
missions work. I prayed, "Lord, if a door doesn't open up soon for me to do
full-time missions, then that will be my answer. I will sign another year's
contract and stay in secular work." In my heart, I knew that would lead to
another year. That was 1996.
Then, out of the blue I received a call from Rick Lewis of Sterling,
Colorado, about directing his church's missions strategy. After a series of
telephone calls and finally an interview, we concluded that I was the right fit
for the job. Clearly, it was God's work and the answer to my prayer.
We've grown from 32 in attendance in the early 1990s to 340 today. Since
1996 we have planted four mission churches, one Spanish-speaking and three
English-speaking. Our goal is to plant 10 churches in 10 years. We have an
active jail ministry, a literacy program, a college fellowship and a substance
abuse counseling center.
And so that's how it goes. One effort leads to another. One person's
experience inspires another. Every idea is explored. Some ideas work, some
don't. But from all this I've learned that it's up to us, the people in the
pew. Pastors can't do it all.
What's your special mission and how do you find ways of sharing Christ with
others? Send your story to On Mission magazine, 4200 North Point Parkway,
Alpharetta, GA 30022-4176 or fax 770-410-6006 or e-mail email@example.com
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC