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.