Vehicle’s flat tires present opportunity for team evangelism
How many Baptists does it take to change a tire? When the driver is lost and in need of the Gospel, it apparently takes five—three to locate the proper tools and change the tire, and two to share the Gospel.
Ben Hager was running late to a Bible study, Aug. 31. On his way to the meeting’s location in Carroll Park, Hager noticed a broken-down vehicle just across the street. The car had two flat tires, and the car’s driver, Logan, needed assistance.
Hager, a Master of Divinity student at Southwestern Seminary, quickly called on the other members of his Bible study to help. While two people worked on changing the tires, Hager and fellow master’s student Neil Williams engaged Logan in conversation.
“He mentioned that, the previous night, he actually prayed to God for something, because his life is a wreck,” Hager says. “His aunt passed away just a few days before, and this happened. So it was like red flags; signs everywhere—I realized I needed to go get my Bible.”
While Hager was retrieving his Bible from inside, Williams inquired if Logan went to church. Logan admitted that despite attending church in his youth, he had fallen away in recent times. In fact, his prayer the previous night was his first in a long time.
Even so, Logan viewed the help they were providing as God’s answer to his prayer. Realizing that Logan had a foundation of faith—albeit a weak one—Williams continued to dig deeper in their conversation.
“Do you believe in Jesus Christ?” Williams asked. “Well, we didn’t really talk about that at my church growing up,” Logan replied. He continued, “It was more about just going to church and being a Christian to get soul food; to build up your soul.”
“It’s funny that you mention ‘soul food,’” Williams said. “That actually reminds me of a story in the Bible where Jesus goes to a city and runs into a woman at a well….”
At that moment, Hager returned with his Bible, having already opened it to a passage he thought would be relevant for Logan—the story of Jesus speaking to the woman at the well in John 4. The seeming coincidence “blew [Logan’s] mind,” Williams says.
As the two working on the vehicle elicited the help of a neighbor in order to obtain the proper tools for changing the tires, Hager and Williams walked Logan through John 4, wherein Jesus contrasts physical water with “living water.” They eventually transitioned to discussing Romans 6:23, emphasizing that salvation is a gift of God—something that cannot be earned.
“He was totally oblivious to what was going on with the tires,” Williams says. “He was so caught up in Ben sharing the Gospel with him.”
“First of all, he was amazed because of all the help,” Hager says. “Second of all, he realized this didn’t seem like an accident; he even said he felt like it was planned.”
Continuing to stress salvation as a gift, Hager presented the Bible to Logan, even writing his name inside the cover. “This is a gift, us fixing your tire,” Hager told him. “This is a gift, us just being here. This is a gift, this Word; read it if you can.” Putting his finger on the Bible and recalling Romans 6:23, Hager concluded, “And this is a gift—this gift of salvation that Jesus offers.”
Though Logan ultimately did not profess faith in Christ as a result of this encounter, Hager and Williams say the soil of his heart had clearly been tilled. “We’re praying that we’ll hear back from him; it would be really nice to see God work through that situation,” Hager says.
Regarding the Bible study’s team effort, with some evangelizing and others working on the vehicle, Hager says, “It was a great moment not just to speak the Word, but to share and do at the same time. It’s hard to do that when you’re just one person. I think that’s why it’s important to evangelize not just individually, but if you can, in groups or with another person so that you can share the love of Christ through your actions as well as the direct Gospel through your words. So that was an amazing chance to do both.”