Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Work of an Evangelist

In two weeks we leave for a Soul Winning Festival in the city of Agere Maryam in the nation of Ethiopia. Would you help us lead the people of Ethiopia to Jesus by giving a significant financial gift this month?

I am excited about ministering to the people of Ethiopia because we are following the example of the first evangelist ever mentioned in the Bible. Here are some of the truths we can learn from Philip the evangelist. 

 1. The work of an evangelist is to preach Jesus! "Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them" (Acts 8:5).  We also preach about Jesus everywhere we go. Can you imagine never hearing the name of Jesus before in your life? We preach about the miracles of Jesus, about how He died on the cross for our sins, and how He rose from the dead. We tell people they can meet Jesus for themselves. Our message is JESUS!

2. The preaching of God's word is followed by multitudes and miracles! "And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed" (Acts 8:6-7). We have seen amazing miracles in our services. The blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, and demons are cast out. When YOU help us make miracles happen for others, God will make miracles happen for YOU!

3. Great joy follows the evangelist. "And there was great joy in that city" (Acts 8:8). If you could join us for one of our festivals, you would see people dancing and smiling, and jumping up and down. There truly is great joy when Jesus is revealed. Check out videos of our festivals on to see the joy.

4. Evangelists must go where God sends them."Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, 'Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.' This is desert" (Acts 8:26). God often sends evangelists to spiritual deserts. This is why we focus on hard-to-reach places of the world. God sends us to preach where no one else will go.

5. When evangelists obey, doors are opened to share the Gospel.  "So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go near and overtake this chariot." (Acts 8:27-29). Philip the evangelist shared Jesus with this influential Ethiopian, and now we are called to minister to the people of Ethiopia. We leave for Ethiopia for another Soul Winning Festival in just a few days. Any financial gift you give this month will help us GO.                                                                                                                        

6. Evangelists are desperately needed. "So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And he said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" (Acts 8:30-31). The need is URGENT. If we do not go, then WHO will tell them about Jesus? How can they understand unless someone explains? How can we go unless YOU help us?

7. When Jesus is preached, people get saved! "Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (Acts 8:35-37). Our delight is to see people get saved! Our goal is lead 1,000,000 people to Jesus every year. YOU are such an important part of helping us make this dream come true.   

YOU can help us reach people who have never heard. YOU can be responsible for helping us lead the lost to Christ. YOU can make a difference in Ethiopia, just like Philip the evangelist.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

How to have a "Cell"vation Service

I ate lunch with Dr. Buddy Bell today. He is an expert in forming Helps Ministries for churches. I was telling him about how we challenged believers in the middle of a service to use their cell phones to lead people to Jesus. He asked me to type up a description of how to do a "Cell"vation service so he could show it to pastors. I thought other people may be interested in the idea too so I am posting it here on my blog. 




            At Dr. Philip Goudeaux's church in Sacramento, California, God gave us a tremendous idea for leading people to Jesus. At our 2nd Annual Soul Winning Conference, we were taking people from the church out into the neighborhood, knocking on doors and witnessing. 

            One pastor knocked on a door and the man who answered the door explained that he was already a Christian but his son was not saved.  So the pastor asked, "Can I talk to your son?"  The man replied, "He's not here. He's in San Francisco." The pastor said, "Let's call him on your cell phone and talk to him about God right now." A few minutes later, over the cell phone, the pastor led the son to Jesus.

            As we were rejoicing over this story, we had the idea of using our cell phones in the middle of a church service to lead people to Jesus. That night, we invited everyone in the audience to pull out their cell phones.  They lifted their cell phones in the air and we dedicated their cell phones as "gospel tools." We asked the Holy Spirit to give each person the name of someone to call who was ready to receive Jesus.

             In order to remove the fear of not knowing what to say, we wrote a sample script and put it on the screens so everyone could see it. This is what the script said, "Hello, This is INSERT NAME and you've been on my heart. I want to let you know that I'm praying for you and I want to make real sure that you're going to heaven with me.  Would you pray this prayer with me?  Dear God in heaven I make Jesus the lord of my life.  I believe Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for my sins.  I believe Jesus rose from the dead and right now I give my life to Jesus Christ.  Amen." People flipped open their phones can began calling their friends and family. As soon as someone answered, they began reading the script.

            We invited every person who led someone to the Lord on his or her cell phone to stand up and to come to the platform.  After about three or four minutes people began popping up and running to the platform, many of them were very emotional. They were crying, they were laughing, some of them were dancing, and we began to hear testimonies. 

            One woman ran up screaming, "My mother who I have been praying for for 20 years just gave her life to Jesus." Another man called his brother and his brother was in the middle of a fistfight with his wife and right there in the middle of the fist fight the brother gave his life to Jesus Christ.  One thirteen year old boy called five of his school friends and led all five of his friends to Jesus.  The man sitting next to us led two of his employees to Jesus. Aunts and uncles, brothers and sister, fathers and mothers, grandmas and grandpas, friends, and co-workers were saved. It was a divine move of the Holy Spirit. 

            At the first "cell"vation service in history, on Tuesday night, 195 people gave their lives to Jesus.  On Thursday night, we held another "cell" vation service at Dr. Goudeaux's south campus and 232 people gave their lives to Jesus.  I tried it again the next Sunday at a small church in mid-California and that night 14 people gave their lives to Jesus from an audience of about 20 people. 

            Over and over again we've seen this idea work and I think this is a tremendous tool for churches to empower their congregation to be soul winners.  The problem with soul-winning is that most Christians don't actively lead others to Jesus.  They know they should look for opportunities to witness but it's very difficult for them to find those opportunities or really to feel comfortable leading people to Jesus. 

            In a corporate atmosphere it is much easier to step out of a comfort zone and witness. God gives a corporate anointing in the service for leading the lost to Christ.

            Everyone has at least one or two people in their phone book who do not know Jesus.  It's worth giving them a call.  Many of the believers at our service led family members to Jesus. They had been praying for their family members for 20 years but had never given them the opportunity to really pray for salvation. They were praying for them but had never witnessed to them. In one night we turned an entire church into a church of soul winners. Many of the people who were present that night had never prayed a prayer of salvation with anyone before and for the first time they had the joy of introducing someone to God.

            I think this is something that can be done in every single church, at least once a year. Churches should regularly have a "cell"vation service. The whole church can bring their rolodex, their business contacts, their phones and call everyone who needs salvation. 

            I think we will be amazed at the fruit that will come into the kingdom of God because of this idea.  We called this a "cell" vation service then when we finished we had a "cell"abration, and then we really were joking about how we birthed a cell-ministry in the church.  It was off the hook.


Ethiopia Needs Jesus!

In April we go to the city of Agere Maryam in Ethiopia for a Soul Winning Festival.

Would you help SEND US to preach about Jesus?

The Bible says "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are SENT?" (Romans 10:13-15).

This verse shows the importance of both the preacher and the people who help send the preacher. I believe God's REWARD for those who SEND will be EQUAL to the reward for those who PREACH.

Jessica and I are dedicated to preaching to people who have never heard the Gospel before. But, we can not preach unless we are sent.

Would you be the one to SEND US to preach the Gospel?

Each of our plane tickets to Ethiopia cost $1738.20. Anything you can give to help send us would be much appreciated, here on earth and throughout eternity.