Well, we have only been going out a couple of weeks now, but we're growing. David (pictured here) from the Vine, Joey from Cornerstone, and Vangy from a home church here in the Valley and myself from Shepherd, made four of us tonight for witnessing. When I go out by myself I have to really get my courage up to start speaking to a group of people. With two of us, we had some better momentum going, encouraging each other to talk to the next group. We would talk for a second and then say, "Hey, how about those two?". Tonight, with four of us, we kept pairing off, talking to people, switching pairs, and doing it again. In three hours, we lost count, but figured that we must have personally witnessed to well over fifty people.
When I first started learning to do this, I mostly walked by people, then when I got the courage, I handed them a tract and quickly hurried off before they figured out what it was. Then I started handing them out to more people and making sure to let them know that it was a Gospel tract, and that they should read it. Every once in a while, I would get the nerve to spend ten minutes and witness to someone.
Now, as I am filled with the Holy Spirit, who equips me for service, I find myself witnessing to more people and rarely just handing out a tract and walking away. I find that once I get over the scary part of approaching a stranger, most people are really willing to talk about spiritual things and when I transition to the Law and start to ask about people's personal sin, I find myself just getting into the zone. If I use a tract lately, it is usually just to give them something after we talk to recap our conversation, and point them to a website for futher information.
It was such a blur tonight, but I had a few great encounters. One group of kids included a Baptist and a Catholic. The Baptist had it almost right without any prompting. We just went through the Law and then to the Gospel, including the need to repent, and put your trust in the Savior. What I didn't notice at first was how the Catholic girl was listening to our talk. She blurted out that she was really scared now. The realization that her sin was sitting there waiting to condemn her if she died tonight was too much for her to sit on. That changed the mood immediately. She was really scared. I spent the next few minutes telling her that it was NOT God's will that any should perish and told her exactly how to get in a right standing with God. My big concern was why the Baptist girl had not told her friend in all their years of friendship how to access salvation.
I talked to a group of people who had huge diamond and gold crosses on their necks(bling bling) and they could only name about 5 commandments. I talked to a kid from a public school who named nine commandments; so many I thought for sure I would lose my $20. I talked to a few Catholics who skipped the second commandment, but named number eleven. I even talked to a girl who confused the Commandments with the Ammendments, as she thought for sure that, "The Right to Bear Arms" was in the list. Before long, anyone who comes to the Northridge Mall will be able to name them all, and will have heard the Gospel presented at least once. Tonight especially I noticed that sometimes the people who were listening the most were the ones who were silent to the side of the person I was addressing. I got very little resistance and arguing tonight, and got several people who broke down right there and wanted to give their lives to Christ. Near the end of the night, Joey and I traded recorders and recorded a few of our last witness encounters. Please pray for all the people who heard the Gospel tonight. Pray that they will not be able to sleep because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit on their hearts. Every time we reject the Gospel, our hearts get a little harder. Pray that tonight will be the night of salvation for some young people.
Let's keep planting the seeds. Let someone else come and water them. And, always, let God get the glory!