Dianna was asked by her pastor in Illinois to attend the first Originator FAITH Clinic back in 1998, being held at First Baptist Church, Daytona. She had no idea what it was about but it sounded interesting, so she went. The following accounts demonstrate how the training changed her life - and is still working today!
FAITH changed my life. At the first clinic I was teamed with a man, the leader, and another woman who was a trainee. After observing all week, on the final night it was the trainees' time to share. I was very nervous about being able to remember everything. We visited with a man at his workplace, and the other woman presented the gospel to him — and he received Christ! I was amazed, excited, and so happy. He called his wife and arranged for us to go visit her. It would be my turn to present the gospel. To my delight she, too, received Christ! I was ready now to go home and share all that I had experienced and learned.
At home the first person my team visited received Christ. I was getting bolder and the FAITH evangelism outline had taken hold of my life. I work as a peer counselor at a crisis pregnancy center where I always present the gospel. The Lord has blessed and one lady came in, found out she was pregnant, and called her husband to come in. He had been waiting outside in the car. I was able to share the gospel with him, and he prayed the salvation prayer with tears in his eyes. He told me that he had been thinking about suicide. This had to be a divine appointment. I was thrilled the Lord used me to help this family.
My mom and I went to my ninety-year-old cousin's home to visit. Before, when we had tried to speak with her about salvation, she had always said she believed and was a Christian. But that day as we spoke I asked her the key question, "What do you think it takes for a person to go to heaven?" She responded that she was not totally sure. I explained the gospel to her, and she responded that she had never understood it like that before. She prayed to receive Christ that day. We later found out she forgave another relative because of her understanding of Christ's forgiveness. I reminded her that when I was born she had been there with my mother, and now I was at her rebirth!
While we were visiting a couple, a woman delivered pizza to them. We were about to leave and the "pizza lady" called to us and asked what church we were from. As we talked and presented Christ to her, she prayed to receive Him!
A technician came to our home to switch us from cable to satellite dish. We talked while he worked, and as I followed him to different rooms talking about various issues I finally asked him the key question. He did not know for sure and stopped what he was doing to listen. Richard came to know Christ that day with tears in his eyes. In fact, he called me back, several months later, to wish me a happy Mother's Day.
Our team made a hospital visit to a man who had requested a visit. At first he was not open to hearing about the gospel, but as we continued to talk I pointed out that someone had given him the blood that was going into his arm to save his life. Then I emphasized that this was what Jesus did on the cross for him — He gave His blood that he might have eternal life. That seemed to get his attention. He allowed us to present the gospel, and he prayed to receive that eternal life. He was scheduled to go home the next day and said he would be at church on Sunday. But something happened, and he went into unconsciousness and went to be with the Lord within two days. A divine appointment — yes!
The Lord still blesses our evangelistic efforts — we just need to go! People are out there just waiting for us to come and tell them the good news about Jesus! Try it, you'll be blessed!
There is not much that I can add to these accounts. People are out there and waiting for us to get out of the church and go to where they are. I found that people are the same all over the country. No matter what area you are in, they are open if you will just go. God has called us to be His voice, His hands, and His feet and to compel them to come. Whether you use FAITH or another evangelism strategy, God has given us our mandate — it must be our cry from the pulpits. GO! GO! GO!
Bobby Welch is president of the Southern Baptist Convention, pastor of First Baptist Church, Daytona Beach, Florida, and originator of the FAITH evangelism strategy.