Follow Death is Gain (Ben) and SaulBecomesPaul (Virgil) as they share witnessing experiences, tips, devotions, encouragement and encounters with the unchurched.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Irvine Spectrum Street Witnessing
Recently, I have been very blessed to be named one of the team leaders for the Kindred Community Church evangelism outreach. What our time together will typically consist of is 40 minutes or so in class then we hit the streets to do some fishing. This will happen, God willing, on Friday nights. Last night was the second night of the program, but our first night out on the streets. Our first meeting got rained out and we only were able to do classroom time so everyone was excited to get out there. I know that even as nervous as I was, the excitement took over once I saw the neon lights of Edwards Cinema and all the people walking about. You obviously can't tell from the picture but Irvine Spectrum is a lively outdoor shopping center and on a Friday night, there are more than enough lost people to reach out to. This is where my team was assigned. So once Les, Marge, Joe, Karen and I finally met after the drive-it was on. We said a prayer, talked a bit about everyone's experience in witnessing, and then Joe & Karen came with me to find someone to talk to. One of the first people that I attempted to give a tract to stuck around so that we could talk with him. What a great encouragement to start! It was great that Joe and Karen got to see positive results right away. Les and Marge had went to buy a coffee so that we didn't attract attention with too large a group. We were able to talk to the young man and share the Gospel with him. Off to find someone else to bring the Good News to. My next strategy was to use RationalResponder's approach in one of his YouTube videos. (watch it here) I wanted to do this with a group of 2-4 people so that I could use real money and give it out for correct answers to Bible trivia. It worked. These two young men, Daniel and Jack, stuck around as we used the Law to show them their need for salvation and what God did through Jesus so that could happen. In the end, they tried to pull the "athiest card". I was thankful that my team members were able to see several rebuttals to that and that these two young men seemed like they may have been starting to understand. About the time we finished talking to Daniel and Jack, Les and Marge returned. It was there turn. I hoped that we could find some more conversations as easy as we did the first two. No such luck. Les and Marge's lesson for the night was one of rejection and patience. We walked around quite a bit trying to find people who weren't preoccupied and who were in areas without a live band. Finally, it happened. Jacob was sitting all alone on a bench so we started talking with him. A few minutes in and you could really see the Law working on him. About that time, his friend, James came over. James was interesting in that he mostly, even if vulgarly, agreed with what I was telling Jacob. He wasn't arguing or anything like that. Nevertheless, he was a huge distraction for Jacob who I really felt wanted to hear what we had to say. In the end, the Gospel was shared with Jacob as well as James and their four girl friends who came over right towards the end. All of them were given Trillion Dollar Bill tracts. I pray for their all of their salvation. In my limited experience, I generally leave the fishing grounds with someone I can't get off my mind. Last night that person was Jacob. I could see the lost look on his face. All he did was listen. I keep thinking that his "friend" was a distraction brought on by the enemy. Pray that he will come to repentance and faith in Jesus in spite of the devil's schemes. At this point, Joe and Karen had left and Les and Marge were happy with what they had seen so far. They weren't quite ready to jump in on their own so we headed back towards the parking structure. My stomach was in knots, typical for me after witnessing so I was content to leave it at that since all my team members were content. Problem. Mark Spence talked in week 1 about setting goals like, give out 20 tracts, or get 3 rejections, or even get in 1 one to one conversation. Unbeknown to my team, my goal was to witness to someone bigger than me. I'm 6'4" so height would make that an easy goal to dodge so when we came across Hutan, I knew he was the one I had to talk to. He was built like a body builder. We walked over to him and just as I was going to show him the Curved Illusion tracts, Marge stepped in and handed him a Trillion Dollar tract! It was great! She started out talking a bit but when there was a lull I stepped in, as promised earlier, and took over. Hutan was great to talk with. We went over why the good in your life doesn't outweigh the bad and the Gospel was shared. I was able to convey the fragility of life and he was very grateful. I was glad that all of my team got to see a few real encounters. I remember when I first started and I would watch Ray or Kirk Cameron witness thinking, "that's awesome, I could never do that". Now I know, with the help of the Holy Spirit, that if they can do it so can I. And if I can do it, so can anyone. Hopefully Les, Joe, Marge and Karen will realize that too. I hope that within a few weeks all of them will be witnessing to strangers, not with eloquent words but with much fear and trembling! Remember, there's nothing you can say that will save or unsave these people. Our job is just to faithfully share the Gospel. You can do it too. Equip yourself with God's Word. Find a good fishing hole and a partner and head out! May God bless you for being obedient to His great commission!
1 Peter 3:13 (English Standard Version)
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?