How did you find your fit?
Teen finds her fit in person
Sarah Knopp, 14, Calgary, Alberta, Canada,
Country Hills Community Church,
(North American Baptist Conference)
I went through a class on how to share my faith two years ago with my
church. At the time, I felt lonely because there weren't any youth my age at
church. I had many non-Christian friends at school and I felt that, if I could
get someone to come to church with me, I wouldn't feel so alone.
I was surprised to find that so many of my classmates were open to the
message. I learned how to approach them and how to relate to others what Christ
has done in my life.
I learned that everyone has his or her own personal style of evangelism.
Going through the Becoming a Contagious Christian class at church helped me
realize that I am an interpersonal and invitational person. I think that it is
important to develop a relationship with people before you share Christ with
them. There has to be trust in the relationship.
I remember asking a girl in one of my classes to go on a retreat with me. We
barely knew each other, but God told me to ask her. To my surprise, she said
yes. We developed a close friendship that weekend. When we got home, she wrote
me a letter saying that she had accepted Christ as her Savior. To be used by
God is definitely a neat thing.
Commitment leads to confidence in D.C.
Mack Edwards, Washington, D.C.,
Fellowship Church, (Brethren)
I was compelled to go through our church's evangelism training out of my
genuine care and concern for people. There is a lot of work for us to do. Not
everyone possesses the skills to witness, but we are commanded to share Christ
with the world. It is important that we learn how to do it effectively.
I learned how to express my testimony and to present it. The first thing I
do is listen to the person and see if there is a common thread between that
person's situation and experiences in my own life. Then I can share how I found
hope in that situation.
Since I've focused on my responsibility to share Christ, I have experienced
a conviction for the lost people I see everyday on the streets of Washington,
D.C. I am more in tune with the people around me. And I am a lot more confident
about approaching someone and sharing my testimony with them.
One thing that amazed me during the study was to find that there are so many
styles of evangelism. It is exciting to see a fellow Christian embrace his or
her evangelism style and grasp how God can use us. God is definitely awesome in
the way He uses people.
GROW-ing anon missioncongregation
First Baptist Church (SBC), of Gardendale, Alabama, is equipping its members
to take the gospel of Christ into the mission field--the one in their own
First Baptist uses two major programs to help its members find their fit for
sharing Christ. They are in their fourth year of using Evangelism Explosion
(EE) and their second year of God Rewards Our Work (GROW).
According to Mark Harrison, minister of education, the two programs have met
with encouraging success. But it's the church's recognition that not everyone
is best suited to the same style of evangelism that helps members find their
way of sharing about Christ.
"For years we had the hit and miss approach to evangellism, but it didn't
work. We decided we needed a more structured program for helping our members
find the best way," Harrison says.
More than 30 members go through EE every year and each Sunday school class
is involved in GROW.
The wide variety of ways to plug into GROW gives people with varying witness
styles ways to share, Harrison says. Members are offered the options of making
personal visits, making telephone calls, writing cards and notes or praying
specifically for people who don't have a personal relationship with Christ as
But Gardendale has gone beyond structure to help members who do not fit
those programs become involved.
Almost two years ago, the church started a class called Missions 401. This
class trains Christians how to be a verbal personal witness. Each individual
learns how to give a testimony and share the plan of salvation. Missions 401
also includes a course on how to pray for lost people. Since they started
Missions 401, more than 400 people have taken the class and scores of people
have been led to faith in Christ.
For three years, First Baptist has been a leader in the state convention in
numbers of baptisms. This year they have already baptized more than 300 people.
"I attribute that to our evangelism program and our worship services," Harrison
According to its mission statement, the purpose of First Baptist is "to love
God, love the people, win the lost and mature the saved." Mission impossible?
Not for Gardendale's First Baptist Church.
Teaching Sunday school is a
natural for Nancy
Nancy Shelton, Fayetteville, Georgia,
New Hope Baptist Church, (SBC)
I have to be honest. I wasn't totally comfortable sharing my faith. I wanted
to be able to share my faith in any setting. I wanted to be as effective as
possible whether I was sharing at work, with close friends or a complete
stranger. For me it took the commitment to be involved in evangelism training
With the confidence from the formal preparation, I was able to put my
training into practical use, even while teaching Sunday school. One example
I'll always remember is a Korean woman who started coming to our church.
Chung Ai had been presented with the gospel in both English and Korean. When
asked if she understood the gospel her answer was always, "Yes, I'm okay." When
someone says that, you know they don't fully understand.
Chung Ai was in a class I taught two years ago. One Sunday I passed around a
piece of paper with an illustration of a bridge separating God and the sinner.
I asked everyone to put a mark where they were on the bridge. When the paper
got to Chung Ai she said, "We need to talk." I assumed that she didn't
understand this particular exercise. She said she understood, but the problem
was that she was on the wrong side of the bridge.
We were able to explain to Chung Ai how to truly accept Christ as Savior.
That day she crossed over to the right side of the bridge.
That simple illustration was the key to reaching a woman whose language
barriers had kept her from experiencing the saving grace of God.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC