When is the right time to become equipped to share the Gospel? The time is now, as you will see in the testimony of Michael Adams, a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Dothan, Alabama, where Van Gauthe is pastor.
Our church, Calvary Baptist Church, was ushering in a new evangelism tool, and it was to begin with a revival, the likes of which we had never seen before. We had four solid nights of praise music and powerful messages. It was the last night of the revival, and the preacher was presenting a message on unconfessed sin and how it separated us from God — even small sin. I wasn't an axe murderer or anything like that, but I knew I had sin in my heart.
Recently, my son had a confrontation with our next-door neighbor, and I was harboring very strong feelings against him. I felt compelled to go to the altar and confess my sin to the Lord. As I began my prayer of confession, I began to weep, crying out to the Lord that I didn't want anything to separate Him from me. As I said this, I began to feel a sensation I had never felt before. The sensation began at the tips of my toes and traveled to the very top of my head.
The following morning I went to the gym as I normally did. When I had completed my workout, I saw my pastor and, without prior planning, told him I had to be involved in the new evangelism thing. He responded by telling me that was good, but I would have to wait until the following semester. I responded by saying, no, I have to do it now! Van then recalled there was a last-minute team that was forming, and they might still need a third member. It turned out the team was made up of some dear friends, Dave and Judi. I called Dave after I left the gym and asked him if I could be their third team member. He said yes, and I joined their team.
The three of us were so excited we decided to go on a camping trip so we could have fellowship and practice the presentation. My first experience presenting the Gospel was on that trip. I had met a man in the campground, and we had developed a very causal relationship. The last time we met, I asked him the key question. His response was a faith answer. I had been scared to death and was very much relieved by his response.
The next time I asked the key question was in the middle of a tropical storm. My car had broken down, and I had asked a co-worker for a ride back to my car. In the parking lot I asked him if he knew what it took for a person to go to heaven. He gave me a works answer. But I had been studying the outline and was able to lead my co-worker to the Lord. How exciting! I had witnessed first-hand the miracle of salvation in someone other than myself. Others followed, and a fire was beginning to build. Little did I know what was about to happen next.
We were nearing the end of the first semester of evangelism training, and up until then I had never felt very confident in my ability to share my faith, but that was changing. I was really encouraged by what I was learning and wanted to share it with my parents. One Saturday I went to visit them. We were sitting at the kitchen table talking about various things when I asked them if I could share with them what I was learning in my evangelism class at church. Both agreed to let me share. As I started the presentation of the Gospel, I realized that my mom was not saved. I proceeded through the presentation and when I got to the end I asked her if she would like to pray to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Mom quickly agreed, and then from the other end of the table I heard my dad ask, "Can I pray, too?"
Through the power of the Holy Spirit and the equipping through training, I was able to lead both of my parents to the Lord Jesus Christ. What an opportunity! You see, as a rebellious teenager, it was I who took my parents, as well as my sister and brother, out of church. Now I was given another opportunity to bring them to the Lord.
I am happy to say both of my parents, along with my brother and sister, are very active in the church today. Discussions about our faith are now common whenever we are together as a family.
The salvation of our family! Is there a better reason for you to be trained in how to share your faith? We do not want to stand over a loved one at their funeral and wonder where they are with the Lord, or worse, to know they are not going to be in heaven.
You have time. If not — make time. I keep saying this, but "Just do it!" You will never regret it, and it only takes a few weeks out of your life.
To each of you that have signed up to be trained, God bless you! May our great Lord redeem your time and give you souls.
To each of you pastors who are taking the time out of your busy schedules to see that your people are trained to go and to win souls for the sake of all eternity, God bless you! You are doing Great Commission work in equipping your people to share their faith and to do ministry.
Bobby H. Welch is pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church, Daytona Beach, Florida, Strategist for Global Evangelical Relations with the SBC Executive Committee, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and originator of the FAITH evangelism strategy.