FROM THE PROFS: Walk in the park sets couple’s lives on course
A walk in the park set a Fort Worth couple on a new path in life thanks to the outreach of missions professor Mike Morris and two Southwestern Seminary students. Their conversation with the couple made for a memorable experience—for Morris, for the couple, and for the students involved.
Throughout Morris’ life, God has placed him in situations that have helped him to hone his skills, inspiring him as a minister and missionary. An active evangelist who has enthusiastically shared the Gospel for decades, Morris serves as associate professor of missions at Southwestern, teaching courses on missiology, ministry and church growth. He also administers the evangelism and missions practicums into which many Southwestern Seminary students enroll.
Because of its proximity to campus, Rosemont Park has often been a fruitful field for many evangelism teams from Southwestern led by Morris and other professors. Earlier this fall, Morris and two students had gone witnessing in the park at their usual time when Morris happily put his evangelism and mentoring skills to work. He and the students approached a young couple, who seemed receptive and comfortable being addressed and hearing the Word of God. The experience also helped the students sharpen their ministry skills.
“The man had spent time in prison,” Morris recalls. “He had been involved in gang activities.” Before the three presented a plan of salvation, the man said he believed he had a relationship with God. But as the three shared the Gospel with them, the couple listened and were clearly touched, and the man realized that he needed to surrender his life to Christ in repentance.
“I first asked them a diagnostic question,” says Morris. “‘If you were to die in an accident and stand at the gate of heaven, and if God asked you why He should let you in, what would you say?’ They did not have a good answer for that question, and I proceeded to talk about how sin separates us from a perfect God (Romans 3:23) and how we need a perfect Savior to pay for our sins.” He explained that salvation is a gift, but people must surrender their lives to Christ in repentance and faith in order to receive that gift.
“I explained what repentance and faith mean,” Morris says. “I asked them if they were willing to surrender their lives and receive the gift of eternal life. They were willing to do so, and I led them in the sinner’s prayer. Then, both of them made professions of faith and prayed to receive Jesus as their Savior.”
Morris says the couple plans on getting married, and they already have two small children. Furthermore, they also plan to move to a different neighborhood to start a new life in a new home, as well as a “new life” in Christ, having been spiritually reborn. They had only gone for a walk in the park, but now they walk in the Spirit of God.