FROM THE PROFS: Woman’s salvation highlights importance of perseverance in evangelism
Assistant Professor of Evangelism Brandon Kiesling leads numerous student teams to do evangelism throughout Fort Worth neighborhoods. Some days yield multiple salvations, but some days are also discouraging. But even in those difficult days, he reminds himself and his students that behind the next door they visit could be the person God has prepared to hear and respond to the Gospel.
This was true several years ago when Kiesling himself was a student in his first semester at Southwestern Seminary. He had gone out for door-to-door evangelism with evangelism professor Matt Queen. Few people were home, and of those who were, few were interested in having a conversation.
Defeated by the unsuccessful and frustrating day, Kiesling was ready to quit and head back to campus. “To be honest, my heart wasn’t in it at the time,” Kiesling says.
With only a few houses left on their list to visit, Queen suggested they visit a few more before returning to the seminary campus. When they finally reached the last house and knocked on the door, they heard a distinct voice shout, “Who is it?” Already discouraged, Kiesling glanced at Queen and said, “I told you we should have stopped.”
When the door opened, Katherine greeted them both. She was on the phone, had a child in one arm, and had another small child tugging on her leg. She was clearly busy and likely did not want to be bothered. To Kiesling, attempting a Gospel conversation seemed pointless.
But after Queen gave introductions and explained their purpose, Katherine interrupted to speak into the phone. She said, “Mom, I need to go. Some people are here to tell me about Jesus.”
She hung up the phone and closed the door for what felt like several minutes. When she returned, Kiesling was surprised to see that she held an open Bible in her hand. She said, “I have been waiting for somebody to come and tell me.”
Katherine knew something was missing from her life and that the answers she sought were in the book she held in her hands, but she did not know what to do or how to make a change. As Kiesling realized the situation was not what he first perceived, he turned to Queen and said, “I’ve got this.”
Kiesling shared the Gospel using the Romans Road, explaining how Katherine can find salvation through Christ and be forgiven of her sins. The evidence of Katherine’s convicted heart soon became clear.
As Kiesling finished his Gospel presentation, tears flowed from Katherine’s eyes. She immediately knelt at her doorstep to pray, asking God to forgive her of her sins and expressing her desire to become a follower of Christ.
Reflecting on that first semester at Southwestern in fall 2013, Kiesling says the story of Katherine’s salvation is evidence of the importance of persevering through the difficult times. Now a professor at Southwestern, he encourages his students to remember that even when they are ready to give up, there is always another door and another person who might be waiting for the very message every Christian is called to share.
“It was really an incredible experience,” Kiesling says. “Oftentimes in evangelism, we get discouraged because people are not home or just not receptive. If we are not careful, Satan will use those things to get us to stop and not do what God has called us to do.”