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A YWAM Adventure: Lessons about Effective Witnessing

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  • A YWAM Adventure: Lessons about Effective Witnessing

    I experienced a faith crisis in my late teens because I thought the Bible was full of contradictions and other errors and that preaching the Gospel lacked supernatural unction and power. So one summer I joined YWAM (Youth with a Mission), an organization devoted to street witnessing and house to house evangelism. I joined because I wanted to test whether there really was a Holy Spirit who convicts of sin and the truth of the Gospel. This thread will focus on what I learned through that experience and what I have learned since then about effective evangelism. Please feel free to react to my posted experiences and my other insights and to share your own experiences in attempting to witness and evangelize. Here is my first memorable experience.

    (1) On YWAM, we witnessed in pairs as Jesus authorized HIs disciples to do. We walked towards this house in Toronto to talk to a couple sitting on their front porch. As we did, we regretted it because we caught them in the midst of a screamfest! As we turned to leave, the man shouted, "What do you want?" Feeling trapped, I calmly told him that we were sharing our faith house to house and were promoting not a set of denominational dogmas but rather the possibllity of a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. I proceeded to explain what this meant and how to experience it firsthand. I then asked the man If he'd like me to pray with him to invite Jesus into his life to become his Savior and Lord. To my great dismay, he agreed that he wanted me to pray with him!

    Just then my prayer partner noticed that the man was dangling a cigarette and interrupted the conversation to ask: "Hey mister, did you ever ask the Lord to give you the victory over that cigarette?" This comment triggered a heated argument about the merits of smoking and we lost our opportunity to lead this man and his wife to Christ. I was furious and my prayer partner realized the reason why. We never paired up to witness again.

    More YWAM experiences to follow.
    Last edited by Berserk; 05-29-18, 12:37 AM.

  • bruisermiller
    replied
    Originally posted by Berserk View Post
    (2) Next I (age 19) found myself paired with Ken (age 35). I was immediately put off by his mechanical witnessing style--a wooden presentation of Campus Crusade's "4 Spiritual Laws. I wanted to demonstrate for him the need to be more spontaneous and conversational to connect with people. I still believe this policy is preferable, but Ken would prove to be one of the most influential people I ever met. I gradually realized that Ken was far more effective than my other prayer partners. He had a powerful impact on many we encountered and many agreed to pray the sinner's prayer with him. I too was more effective with Ken than with any other prayer partner.

    Here was the difference. At the end of a long hot July day on the streets, our group usually stayed and slept in church basements. We were exhausted and took advantage of whatever leisure activities were available (e. g. table tennis and other games). But not Ken! He was always on his knees, fervently praying that God would use him in evening door-to-door witnessing excursions. Where did he get his amazing energy? I offered to join him on his evening jaunts and he led people to Christ. In one case, he approached a man in a Safeway parking lot with 2 armloads of groceries, walking to his car. I urged Ken to at least let the man unload his groceries, but he ignored my pleas and launched into his witness. Instead of being offended, the man was mesmerized by Ken's witness.

    I asked Ken about his plans and he told me he was going to travel to Brazilian villages to do street evangelism, unsponsored. I urged him to use common sense and seek church sponsorship and he said he'd pray about it. The next day he approached me with a puzzled expression on his face: "I prayed about your advice, but then I just received an anonymous check for $500. What should I make of that?" I sighed, recognizing that for prayer warriors like Ken the laws of common sense that apply to the rest of us don't necessarily apply.
    Neat!

    I too am very formulaic in my approach, relying heavily on "The Way of the Master" Evangelism method...

    Leave a comment:


  • Berserk
    replied
    (2) Next I (age 19) found myself paired with Ken (age 35). I was immediately put off by his mechanical witnessing style--a wooden presentation of Campus Crusade's "4 Spiritual Laws. I wanted to demonstrate for him the need to be more spontaneous and conversational to connect with people. I still believe this policy is preferable, but Ken would prove to be one of the most influential people I ever met. I gradually realized that Ken was far more effective than my other prayer partners. He had a powerful impact on many we encountered and many agreed to pray the sinner's prayer with him. I too was more effective with Ken than with any other prayer partner.

    Here was the difference. At the end of a long hot July day on the streets, our group usually stayed and slept in church basements. We were exhausted and took advantage of whatever leisure activities were available (e. g. table tennis and other games). But not Ken! He was always on his knees, fervently praying that God would use him in evening door-to-door witnessing excursions. Where did he get his amazing energy? I offered to join him on his evening jaunts and he led people to Christ. In one case, he approached a man in a Safeway parking lot with 2 armloads of groceries, walking to his car. I urged Ken to at least let the man unload his groceries, but he ignored my pleas and launched into his witness. Instead of being offended, the man was mesmerized by Ken's witness.

    I asked Ken about his plans and he told me he was going to travel to Brazilian villages to do street evangelism, unsponsored. I urged him to use common sense and seek church sponsorship and he said he'd pray about it. The next day he approached me with a puzzled expression on his face: "I prayed about your advice, but then I just received an anonymous check for $500. What should I make of that?" I sighed, recognizing that for prayer warriors like Ken the laws of common sense that apply to the rest of us don't necessarily apply.

    Leave a comment:


  • bruisermiller
    replied
    Originally posted by Berserk View Post
    I experienced a faith crisis in my late teens because I thought the Bible was full of contradictions and other errors and that preaching the Gospel lacked supernatural unction and power. So one summer I joined YWAM (Youth with a Mission), an organization devoted to street witnessing and house to house evangelism. I joined because I wanted to test whether there really was a Holy Spirit who convicts of sin and the truth of the Gospel. This thread will focus on what I learned through that experience and what I have learned since then about effective evangelism. Please feel free to react to my posted experiences and my other insights and to share your own experiences in attempting to witness and evangelize. Here is my first memorable experience.

    (1) On YWAM, we witnessed in pairs as Jesus authorized HIs disciples to do. We walked towards this house in Toronto to talk to a couple sitting on their front porch. As we did, we regretted it because we caught them in the midst of a screamfest! As we turned to leave, the man shouted, "What do you want?" Feeling trapped, I calmly told him that we were sharing our faith house to house and were promoting not a set of denominational dogmas but rather the possibllity of a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. I proceeded to explain what this meant and how to experience it firsthand. I then asked the man If he'd like me to pray with him to invite Jesus into his life to become his Savior and Lord. To my great dismay, he agreed that he wanted me to pray with him!

    Just then my prayer partner noticed that the man was dangling a cigarette and interrupted the conversation to ask: "Hey mister, did you ever ask the Lord to give you the victory over that cigarette?" This comment triggered a heated argument about the merits of smoking and we lost our opportunity to lead this man and his wife to Christ. I was furious and my prayer partner realized the reason why. We never paired up to witness again.

    More YWAM experiences to follow.
    Sure; I'll be looking forward to your Thread. My comment would be that you offered Jesus to the man but your friend offered him a chance to 'Work' instead...

    Leave a comment:

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