Team effort results in two salvations
Just as the disciples were sent out two by two in order to preach repentance and the coming of the Kingdom of God, so Southwestern students Christian Stringer and Analisa Gonzales went forth as a two-person evangelism team in a local neighborhood in order to proclaim the Good News of Christ. Their labors resulted in two men, Stephan and Miguel, accepting God’s free gift of eternal life.
The pair’s Sept. 8 door-to-door evangelism efforts were part of the seminary’s ongoing “Everyday Evangelism” program. The team knocked on several doors and engaged in a few short conversations, but initially, none involved Gospel presentations. As they made their way back to meet up with another team of evangelists, they noticed a man on a lawn mower in the back of a trailer.
“It looked like he had just finished his yard work and was about to roll out with his fellow landscaping guys,” says Stringer, a Master of Divinity student. Based on “excellent experiences with roadside (spiritual) assistance” at Crossover last June, Stringer considered speaking to the man, but he ultimately decided against it, and the pair continued walking.
But then Gonzales, a new master’s in biblical counseling student, spoke up. “Should we go talk to that guy?” she asked.
Convicted, Stringer turned around, and the pair approached the man, who had been joined by another landscaper in “tying things down and preparing to hit the road.” Stringer introduced himself and Gonzales to the men and asked if they needed prayer for anything.
“That’s one of my favorite ways to start a Gospel conversation,” Stringer says, “because it shows them that we care.” Both men requested that the evangelists pray for their families. Stringer then asked if the men knew where they were going to spend eternity when they died.
“Both said heaven, but one couldn’t give a reason why he should get in, and the other said he had a good heart and did good things for others,” Stringer says. The evangelists utilized this opportunity to share the Gospel with the men, telling them of man’s need for salvation and the hope and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ.
They concluded with a call to repentance, and both men chose to respond. Stringer led them in prayer, and at that moment, the evangelism team gained two new brothers in Christ.
In collecting their contact information, the evangelism team learned that the man they initially saw on the lawn mower is named Stephan, and the other is named Miguel. In order to equip these new believers with as much as they could in their immediate circumstances, the evangelists wanted to give them each a Bible, but alas, they only had one. Stringer asked who wanted to have a Bible first, and Stephan excitedly said, “I do!”
Stringer encouraged him to begin his Bible study in the book of John, reading a chapter a day and praying that God would speak to him through the text, “because He will speak to us and grow us through His Word.” Fortunately, Gonzales had a copy of The Gospel of John, which she gave to Miguel, and so he was encouraged to begin the same study plan. (The evangelists also assured him they would later get him a Bible.)
“It was a team effort,” Stringer says of the experience. “I was able to lead the conversation, but the conversation would have never happened if Analisa hadn’t mentioned for us to talk to them, because I clearly was ignoring the Spirit and wasn’t going to mention it. I’m thankful that my Father uses even the most broken of people, like myself.”