Ripe for the Harvest
Evergreen’s Mission To Our City is rapidly approaching. Enjoy this interview with an outreach team who attended MTOC training, and their subsequent trip to the Farmers’ Market, to learn what God did IN and THROUGH them.
Tell us about the MTOC training. Did you feel adequately equipped?
Kathy Shafer: I felt it was the easiest and best training on how to engage in deep and meaningful conversation, wherever the opportunity arises. I have been a Christian for many years and I have never felt comfortable sharing the gospel, especially with a complete stranger. Having the color-coded bracelet and Bible with highlighted verses was not only very helpful to us, but also to the young man we shared with.
Bill Goodman: We got into three conversations and it all went well.
Lisa Goodman: It was easier than I imagined. Anyone can just start talking to someone. God opens the doors after that.
What were your thoughts when you heard you’d be going out to share your faith?
Kathy: I’m an introvert and very uncomfortable approaching strangers. But I know from my own salvation experience that God can be preparing someone’s heart long before they are approached with the gospel.
Bill: I was thinking about excuses I could use to get out of sharing the gospel. I was so convinced that this wouldn’t work around here, that I really wasn’t very excited.
Lisa: I thought, “Can we skip this? Will we be bothering people? No one will want to talk to us anyway. What if we see people we know? What will they think?
How did you decide where to find people to share with?
Kathy: Lisa suggested going to the Farmers Market.
Lisa: We go there often and it seems like a place where people aren’t in a hurry and hang out talking. I thought if things went bad, which I was convinced they would, I could still shop and get lunch at a food truck.
Bill: l was convinced that no one would want to talk or pray with us. I was thinking to myself, “Let’s get this over with, so I can go home and mow the lawn.” God certainly had different plans.
Tell us about your gospel-sharing experiences.
Kathy: Pastor Rob said, “Just ask people, “How can we pray for you?” So we did.
We met Kevin sitting by a tree, and we asked him how we could pray for him, and he said, “Pray for me that I’d find purpose for my life.” He had been going to church and learning about Jesus and what the Bible says, but he still wasn’t sure what was required to be saved. Talk about an open door!
Bill: It was nothing short of amazing! After we went through the gospel with Kevin, I asked if it made sense and if he wanted to ask Jesus into his life. He answered, “Yes.” I challenged him a little more because I didn’t believe someone would actually get saved. But Kevin was unwavering and wanted to pray for salvation.
Lisa. It was unbelievable. People actually wanted us to pray for them. I was cynical, because as a non-believer, I never would have talked to the likes of us. But God showed us who to talk to, and we walked up, and they were all ready.
How will you feel about MTOC after your experience?
Bill: I am actually looking forward to sharing again because this method was so easy.
Lisa: I feel equipped and confident sharing my faith.
Kathy: It confirmed for me that God has been preparing someone’s heart for salvation long before we approach them with the gospel.
Should people go through the Revive training in the future?
Bill: DO IT! It’s such an easy way of sharing the gospel, whether you’re a new believer or have been a believer your whole life.
Lisa: I’ve been a Christian since 1990. After all these years, I finally feel confident sharing my faith with others. Don’t wait as long as I did.
How do you feel your life has been impacted by this experience.
Lisa: I went into this thinking, “How can I get out of this? No one will want to talk to us.” And then our experience was that everyone wanted prayer, and that someone actually got saved was a shocker! God had hearts so ready. He knew we were going to be there. And He was going there before us and walking with us the whole time.
Funny thing is, that I walk through that Farmer’s Market all the time. I’ve been walking by these same people for many years. They were there waiting, lost and hurting, but I never took the time. I will not walk through there again without thinking of them and all the others that need to hear the Good News of Jesus.
Any verses come to mind about your training experience?
Bill: I like what John 4:38 NIV says: “I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”