Dear Partner in the Gospel
Today is day fifteen of our 29 Days of Prayer and Giving for Grace Baptist Partnership. Each day we will focus our attention on a particular church planting, church replanting or church revitalisation project in which we have an interest. We trust you will remember these situations in prayer and that you will take advantage of the opportunity to support the spread of the gospel by means of a donation to Grace Baptist Partnership this month. It will also help us if you will share these requests with your friends by forwarding these emails to them.
15 February 2016
You have heard it said, “Door to door evangelism doesn’t work.” I wholeheartedly agree. It doesn’t work. It never has. It never will. I would also add that ‘Christianity Explored’ groups, guest services and open-air witness don’t work either. Not even staples of our evangelistic diet like mums and tots groups, youth club and seniors teas work. That’s right, none of these methods work.
The Holy Spirit, however, does work through a wide array of means to point people to Christ and His church. Thus any of the above means – including door to door evangelism – empowered by the Spirit can be a useful tool in a church’s evangelistic endeavours. Their confidence, though, should never be in a method. Their dependence should always be on the Spirit.
The second Saturday of this year a group of hearty souls met at the Baptist chapel in Ryarsh, Kent. After a morning of instruction and intercession, we enjoyed a delicious hot meal. NB: Door to door evangelists do not live by cucumber sandwiches alone. Food of sufficient warmth and quantity helps move things along considerably. Now as I was saying, after lunch more than 20 adults went out by twos to visit people door to door in Birling, Addington, Ryarsh and Trottiscliffe.
The aim on this occasion was not so much to engage people in lengthy conversation but to invite them to attend a ‘Ultimate Questions’-based study which I would begin leading in the chapel the next day. Everyone contacted received a complementary copy of the book and an invitation card prepared by one of our friends. Hundreds of houses were visited. Dozens of conversations took place. It was a good afternoon indeed.
Two of the larger group – Tim Gardner from Hayes Lane Baptist Church in Bromley and James Hill from Sanderstead Evangelical Church in South Croydon – went door to door in Trottiscliffe. Tim has been serving as an evangelist for a while so he was paired with James who was doing door to door work for the first time. As James drove me to my lodgings in West Malling later that evening, it was obvious he had enjoyed his afternoon. I thought how great it would be if he could see some fruit for his labour.
Eight days later David walked through the door of the chapel. It seems that two young men had visited his house in Trottiscliffe and had invited him to attend the meetings. So though he had lived in the area for over 25 years, he was darkening the door of the chapel for the first time. He came again the next two Sundays. Last Sunday he brought a friend with him. This Sunday he brought two friends with him – one of them living a stone’s throw away from the chapel in Ryarsh.
Would you pray for the ongoing efforts to replant a Baptist church in Ryarsh? Would you pray for further fruit from the initial day of witness in the area? Would you pray for Daniel Shwe and Kevin Felix Hollington as they continue to make follow-up visits in the villages each Friday afternoon?
What about your church? What are you doing to engage the people in your neighbourhood with the gospel? Have you lost confidence in the Holy Spirit to do His work. He still works – even through door to door evangelism.
Warm regards in Christ
Grace Baptist Partnership