If you don't believe "Everyone Can" share their faith — even teenagers — just read this remarkable story shared by Sharon Stanley, a youth Sunday School department director and wife of Greg Stanley, pastor of First Baptist Church, Warren, Arkansas.
Matthew, a seventh grader from Warren, Arkansas and member of First Baptist Church, Warren, was concerned about his classmate, Adam. Adam didn't go to church, and Matthew knew he probably was not a Christian. He witnessed to him, and later that week, at home in his bedroom, Adam asked Jesus into his heart. He came to Sunday School and worship the next Sunday, walked down the aisle, and told the pastor about his decision. He now wanted to be baptized. So on visitation night, Pastor Greg Stanley and I went to Adam's home to talk to his parents about his decision. His mother told us they had never attended church, but if this was what Adam wanted to do, it was fine with her.
The next week, Adam was baptized, and several family members came to watch. His mother filled out an interest card and indicated she wanted to know about everything going on at the church and how she could be saved. The following week they again went to the home and led his mom to the Lord. Khristina was baptized a few Sundays later and began to come to all the activities of the church.
Adam and his parents live with his maternal grandparents. His grandmother, Barbara, was very sick and did not want to have anything to do with "that old church" or the people of that church. She was put on the church's prayer list, and people began to pray for her health and salvation. She began to feel better and gave God and the people of "that old church" the credit. She attended worship services and prayed to receive Christ and was baptized! Then she, too, began to work on her family. There was a whole mission field just in this one family! Now they had three generations working on the rest of the family!
Not long afterward, grandma's teenage granddaughter, Brittney, was saved and baptized. Then the older granddaughter, Sherry, was saved and baptized. Later, during a revival, Adam's paternal grandmother, Peggy, joined the church by transfer of letter. She had just moved to the area and hadn't been to church in years. Brittney's little brother, Alvin, was also saved during the revival. Alvin was baptized on Easter Sunday.
This family had lived in this small town of Warren all of their lives, never attended church, nor even considered being part of a church. Then God was able to use Matthew, a seventh grader who was available, trained, and with a heart for souls, to share his faith. As a result, six members of the same family made life-changing commitments and now have eternal life!
Jake Kausler is also a thirteen-year-old seventh grader from Arkansas and a member of the First Baptist Church of Marion, Arkansas. He is in his third semester of evangelism training with both his father, David, and mother, Anna. This testimony, shared by Dr. Clay Hallmark, pastor of First Baptist Church in Marion, Arkansas, was recently given by Jake at a church evangelism banquet.
My name is Jake. God has given me the chance to share my faith with a lot of people at my school. A year ago I found out that I had Turrets Syndrome. Because of Turrets I never thought God would be able to use me the way He has in the past few weeks to share with others. Although I am in my third semester of training, I still get really scared to go up to someone and share my faith with them.
Even though I was scared to death, God has given me the strength and courage to ask thirty-two people the key question in the past few weeks. Of those thirty-two people, I have received six faith answers, ten works answers, one unclear answer, and fifteen people had no response or did not have an opinion. I have shared with people twenty-five times and I have seen twelve people pray to receive Jesus. I had twelve others tell me that was a decision they had already made and only one guy who did not accept Jesus.
I want to tell you about a few special encounters I had. The first person I talked to about Jesus at school was Justin. I was praying that God would give me the courage and strength to talk to him. When I asked him, "In your personal opinion, what do you understand it takes for a person to go to heaven," he gave me a works answer. I then shared the Gospel with him. Once I started, I just could not stop, and Justin prayed to receive Jesus.
The next week, during a break time in PE class, I asked a group of students if they wanted to hear about Jesus. I shared with a group of four people. After I shared, one person said they were already saved, but the other three prayed to receive Christ.
I also talked to one girl whose dad had told her that hell was not real. I told her there was a hell, and it was a real place. Then she asked me what heaven was like. I was able to give her some of the answers I had learned in my studies during my evangelism training class.
It is so good to know how to share with friends, and at any time, I can tell anyone how they can know for sure they are going to heaven. I am going to keep on telling people about Jesus.
If these two young people can share with this many people with great results ... "Everyone Can!"
My prayer and deepest desire is that each church, each pastor, and each member would seek to be trained to share their faith with our lost and dying world. They are out there living beside you, in your family, going to your school, serving you...just waiting for someone to come along to encourage their family, change their life, and keep them out of hell. If not us ... who? The lost world cannot do it — only those sitting in the church pews Sunday after Sunday singing, People Need the Lord. I plead with you to help us witness, win, and baptize more!
Bobby H. Welch is president of the Southern Baptist Convention, pastor of First Baptist Church, Daytona Beach, Florida, and originator of the FAITH evangelism strategy.