An old joke notes that going to church does not make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. But for Bruce Gale, some creative use of automobile terminology helped him steer a Phoenix woman to a profession of faith in Christ. Gale was one of 75 Southwestern students and faculty evangelizing in Phoenix, Ariz., neighborhoods during Crossover 2017 in June.

“We were in a middle-class neighborhood, and I was partnered up with [master’s student] Lisa Carron,” recalls Gale, a Master of Divinity student. “We were going door to door, and having already seen a lady give her heart to Christ, I was feeling emboldened.”

As he saw a woman getting out of her car in front of her home, he immediately approached her, telling her that his goal in Phoenix was to share with people about the Gospel of Christ. “I asked her if she was a spiritual person,” Gale says. “I asked her about her tattoos, because they were a dove and an angel, and she explained that they were to remember her grandmother. As she talked to me, I could sense a deep despair in her.”

Gale shared more with her about the power of the Gospel and the beauty of inviting Christ into her life. He then asked her if she understood, and she said, “Not really.”

“I then took a different tactic,” Gale says. “I explained to her that if I were to offer her my car, it would not do her any good if it was in Albuquerque, where I am from. I first would have to drive it to her.”

He explained that that is what God did in sending His son to us. He then told her that having the car in her driveway would be meaningless unless she put the key in the ignition and drove it around.

“I explained that this is the same with Christ,” Gale says. “It is not enough just to know the truth of what Christ did. I told her that we must engage it through repentance and faith and surrendering our lives to Him.”

At that point, Gale asked her if she wanted to make Christ the Lord of her life. “She said ‘yes’ so quickly that it threw me off a little,” he recalls.  

Gale hopes that his evangelism will have a ripple effect and that this woman will share the Gospel with her daughter. “I prayed with her to make Christ her Lord,” Gale explains, “and I counseled her that she could be the spiritual rock in her daughter’s life through praying for her daily.”