Connect with the Commission: Gospel Conversations

Originally Posted on March 1, 2021
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Webinar Transcript

– And so again, I wanna welcome you. I’m Ken Allen, Director of the Office of Leader Care in Church Health. So grateful for Mike Jackson and his years of leadership in this position, we continue to pray for Mike as he transitions in that Associate Executive Director position. Or as sometimes is called the Associate Athletic Director. So he could be that sometimes with us guys around here. George Yates is with us in our office, Church Health’s Specialist. I’m grateful for George and his ministry in the area of Church Health. So grateful for him being here with us today and leading today is in the Office of Evangelism, of course our Director, Daniel Wilson. Associate Terry Long, we’re grateful to have both these men. They’re gonna be presenting today and Terry is gonna start. We’re gonna ask George, if you would please George lead us in a word of prayer, and then following that prayer we’re gonna hand this over to Daniel. And again, I wanna remind you use the chat to talk among yourselves and any resources there and then use the Q&A for toward the end as we have the Q&A time there as well. So use that section as well. George, please lead us.

– Sure, let’s pray. Father God, we thank you so much for the opportunity and the technology to come together at a time where it’s not able to get everybody together personally and individually. Lord, we just pray that you would use this time in our lives to help us to gain a stronger conviction and a stronger mindset of how we can communicate with the culture around us. By having gospel conversations and learning to turn regular conversations into the gospel conversations. And to be open to your Holy Spirit’s moving and to have our eyes wide open, to observe how you’re working around us, where you’re working around us so that we know Lord, when you’re calling on us to join you in that work. And we know that you could do all this without us but I’m just so grateful that you choose to bless us this way, to use us in obedience to following you and just walk beside you and that you would use us in such a manner as this. Father, you’re such a great blessing in each one of our lives. I pray for Daniel and Terry today as there’ll be leading this and pray that you would bless us through them Lord. And bless them, encourage them Lord by your Holy Spirit. Use each of them as your voice today to speak into our hearts, into our minds, to help encourage us, to help to give us guidance, and to give us insight and the boldness to move forward with our own ministries and churches. Father, we just thank you Lord for the time that we have together here. For all those that are joining us, I pray a special blessing on their life for the time that they’ve committed to be here today as well on this Zoom conference. Lord I pray for those who could not be there, Matt Burford, one of out of the evangelism office who was to join us today as well, but who has COVID in his house. And so Lord, we just pray that you would comfort each one of them, give them the strength to recover, everyone that we know. And there’s quite a few in Alabama and other states as well. Lord, we just pray that you would comfort, give the strength in those matters. Lord we pray for our nation and pray that you’ll continue to be with the leaders of our nation, our states, and our local governments as they battle, not only COVID but the political and civil unrest as well. And Lord, we pray that what’s shared today may be used to help in our communities throughout Alabama to help people to open their eyes, to see the truth, and to know that it is not dependent on political leaders, or vaccines or anything like that, it’s dependent on our relationship with you And following you in obedience so that you can expand your kingdom and bring more into the kingdom as you lead us to share. We pray all this in Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

– Amen, thank you, George. Thank you for praying for Matt as well. He is improving and doing better and thankful for that. Thank you, Ken, for allowing us to be a part of the Zoom today. I want to set this up what we’re gonna talk about by directing your attention to Romans chapter 10 for just a moment. And again, thank you for joining us on the webinar today. I’m so thankful that each of you wanna grow in your evangelism and hopefully we’ll give you some tools and resources that will help you to grow in that area. But Romans chapter 10, I wanna point out a few things about this great chapter. You know, the chapter in the first verse, Paul starts off by saying, “Brothers, my heart’s desire “and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved.” Of course the Israel, that is Paul’s kinfolk, that’s his countrymen. And so he has a passion and he’s prayerful that God would save his family members his kinfolk as what he’s concerned about. But later in this chapter, here’s what I want you to see, Paul gives us a process for salvation. And it’s in verse number 14 and it goes down through I’m gonna read through verse number 15. Verse 15 is where Paul reaches back into the Old Testament and he quotes that beautiful verse, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace.” But here’s what he says to set that up and think of these verses in terms of the process of salvation okay? Verse number 14 of Romans chapter 10, “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? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace.” Notice the process. If someone is going to be saved, first of all verse 14 says they must call upon the Lord. But in order for someone to call upon the Lord that same verse goes on and says, they must believe in him. But then the verse goes on and says, but in order for them to believe in him, they must have heard of him. Paul is working backwards here, he’s saying, if you’re gonna be saved you’ve got to call on the Lord. But you can’t call up on the Lord, unless you believe in the Lord. And you can’t believe in the Lord unless you have heard of the Lord. And then he says here in verse number 14, And you cannot hear about the Lord unless somebody is sent to tell you about the Lord. And no one’s gonna tell you about the Lord, unless they’ve been sent. And so he’s working backwards, so it all begins with someone being sent to tell others about the Lord. And the truth is, that’s why we’re here this morning because every single one of us have been sent. That is the great commission which is binding on each of us. I haven’t done this research, but it was given to me as someone who studied the gospels whose catched this said that Jesus had 132 different personal encounters with individuals in the four gospels. And of those 132 personal encounters that Jesus had with different people. Six of those encounters happened in the synagogue, four of those encounters happened in the temple, and the other 122 encounters happened out there in the real world where people work and play and live. In other words, by far the vast majority of people that Jesus ministered to and shared the gospel with were outside the walls of the church. And so we’ve been sent outside the walls of the church to meet people on their tough and to share with them the beautiful gospel of peace, as Paul calls it here in Romans 10. And so Terry’s gonna come along and he’s gonna link relationship and evangelism for us. One of the greatest tools that we have in our office that we train people in all across the state is called three circles. It is an effective way of sharing the gospel. And Terry’s gonna link that for us how relationship and gospel conversation go hand in hand. Thank you, Terry.

– Thank you, Daniel. I’m happy to be with you today, and I wanna begin with a question that stopped me in my tracks some years ago and helped me to come to grips with understanding the lossness in the world today. And it was a strange question, so I’m gonna throw it out at you. What is 750,000 miles long, would wrap around the earth 31 times and grows 20 miles longer each day? The answer to that is the line of unsaved people in the world today. Well, that’s a staggering thought because we can’t really think in terms of that big a number but we know there are 7 billion people on planet earth and out of that 7 billion only about 1/3 make any profession of faith in Jesus Christ. And so if 1/3 of that 7 billion people make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and claim him as their Savior and we know that even many of them probably are not saved. ‘Cause they believe in they’re a Christian either socially or politically or are through family or whatever. But if just 1/3 of the people make a claim of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior that still leaves 4.5 billion people lost on planet earth. That’s a huge number. And I think one thing we’ve got to recover today is our sense of the lossness in the world today. People outside of Jesus are not just unchurched and uninvolved and uninvited, they are lost in one heartbeat from hell, We’ve got to recover that in our mindset today. I can remember a definite day in my life when that happened, it was in January of 2007. I was pastoring a small church on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and our church had been Katrina church. We got some damage from Katrina, one of our buildings completely destroyed in 2005 when hurricane Katrina came through. So by January of 2007 the leadership of our state convention in Mississippi and Alabama and Louisiana realized that the pastors were beginning to crumble from the pressures and the stresses of hurricane Katrina. Having dealt with it for two years it was taking its toll on our pastors. So they put together a conference just for Katrina pastors and I got an invite to that conference. And one of the things I was most excited about in that conference, going to that conference is not only the fact that I knew I was gonna get a lot of encouragement but Henry Blackaby was one of the keynote speakers and I wanted to hear Henry Blackaby. I can remember today exactly where I was sitting in the first Ministry Church of Biloxi, Mississippi. When Henry Blackaby got up to speak I was sitting center aisle third row back right up under him, I could the whites of his eyeballs, I wanted to be that close. When Henry Blackaby came to the podium there was just a hush that came over, the hundreds of pastors and church leaders that were there. He was a godly man, wrote “Experiencing God” with Claude King, you remember. And Henry Blackaby came to the podium and said turn in your Bibles to John 3:16. And of course in my shallowness, I said, boy, you know Henry Blackaby, couldn’t you have picked another verse of scripture to teach us from. You know we all know John 3:16, we’ve heard sermons on it all our life, we’ve preached on it. And honestly, and transparently I was a little disappointed, he was coming from John 3:16, I shouldn’t have been. But he began to read it and what did he said was, “For God, so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish.” And then he stopped, it was a long pause. And I looked up from my Bible to see why he was pausing and Henry Blackaby looked up from his Bible tears in his eyes, this is what he said, and I’ll never forget it. It’s one of those moments that impact your life. He said, “I have been asking all this year the Holy Spirit to teach me everything that’s in the heart of God concerning the word perish.” I look back down at my Bible and looked at that word perish and realized how many times I’ve read that book, that verse, and just went right over the word perish, but it stopped me in my tracks that day. And it was that day that God began to put the lossness of the world on my heart. And eventually as God opened doors and blessed me, I’ve been so blessed to come to be a part of the evangelism team at the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions and to work with guys like Daniel Wilson and Matt Burford and Sammy Gilbreath and others. And so I have the opportunity to talk about lossness and I really believe that God has called us all to be soul winners. He’s called us all to be disciple makers. And from the very beginning of my Christian life I understood that this was important in my pastor as a when I was 17 years old, brand new Christian, my pastor took me under her wing and taught me the importance of soul-winning, by sharing the gospel. And so I learned the Roman road and was able to win people to Christ using the Roman road through the years. And I’ve had the training in faith and CWT and EE and all these other methods but I’m gonna tell you something until I came across the three circles. A presentation of the gospel I had never found anything that compared to the Roman road in its simplicity and its ability to be shared quickly in any setting, the three circles, gospel conversations training is something we do all across the state. It’s something I’m privileged to be able to go in churches and associations, and help train them to do because it genuinely works. I have seen it work and you’ve seen the little booklet, this is it, the gospel conversation booklet, there’s a whole kit that comes with this. And in this booklet, it walks you through the three circles that you share with somebody. The first circle is God’s design, how everything in the beginning was perfect, the way God designed it. And then we tend to get away from that, we do our own thing, go our own way. And so when we get away from God’s perfect will the Bible has a word for that is called sin, doing our will instead of God’s will. And when we sin and go our own way and inevitably leads us to a place of brokenness, and that’s the second circle that you use. And some of you have seen this and you can by the way download the free app on your phone gospel conversations, the three circles. And it’ll walk you through how to share this with somebody. But the second circle is brokenness and what I’ve seen as I’ve shared is that this is a word that people relate to and resonate with today, they get brokenness. We live in such a broken, messed up world that when they hear the word brokenness, they really clue in. The first guy led to Christ in a Hardee’s restaurant on a napkin drawing the three circles. He was just listening until I said the word brokenness and he got it. That’s, all his life was, was brokenness. And I was able to lead him to Christ that day using the three circles, and brokenness was a major key. The third circle at the bottom, you have one at the top left, one at the right left, arrow connecting the two and the third circle at the bottom is the gospel. Because once you realize you’re broken you try to do everything in your power to mitigate the pain of that brokenness and nothing works. People try all kinds of things alcohol, drugs, more education, illicit relationships, some even plunge headlong into religion and to try to get rid of the pain, none of that works. But God has provided something that works and that’s where we share the gospel and I’ll put a little cross in that circle. And then tell them how they can get what Jesus did for them at the cross, dying on the cross for their sins, buried for three days, rising on the third day, that they can get that in their life, the power of the gospel in their life by repentance and faith. And that’s the arrow that comes from the brokenness circle to the gospel circle. And that’s where I usually ask them to if it makes sense and would they like to pray and be saved and many times they do. I know there’s at least a half dozen people that I’ve been privileged to lead to Jesus Christ in settings, all kinds of settings, just using the three circles. And it’s just so simple, it’s so easy. You can use it anywhere. And when we train people to do that we train them with videos and testimonies. But the last thing they do is draw the three circles on a napkin. And so when they walk out of that training they’re ready to share the gospel. So just to show you how this works I actually had an experience this past weekend, I was privileged to preach at a church in Jemison, Alabama, just North of Clanton. I was coming back through Selma, back to Choctaw County where I serve as Director of Missions. And stopped in Selma, a little restaurant to eat and eat lunch. And I was sitting there and I looked up and there was a car that backed up right to the window, right next to the table where I was sitting by myself eating. And this was the most unusual car, and I think Doug, there’s the car. So you see the picture, the one on the left, this is got my attention, this is right outside the window. Look at all the stuff he’s got attached to his car and written on his car. And so this was a black gentleman that got out of the car had a hoodie on and he had a hat. And then he came in and sat I didn’t even see where he was sitting but I was taking these pictures and I heard somebody say, thank you. And I turned and it was the gentleman that had gotten out of the car. And I said, excuse me, and he said, thank you, I wanna thank you for taking pictures of my car. I said, well, it’s the most unique thing I’ve ever seen. and it’s just hilarious. And I said, I appreciate, it’s brightened my day just looking at this car. And he said, well, I love, and he talked a little bit about the car. And we, from two tables over we engaged in a little conversation. And then the Holy Spirit said, see if you can get him into a gospel conversation. And see, this is it, we have an average of 27 conversations a day as a person. We speak 16,000 words a day me and you women by the way, speak 16,000 words a day. Most of us men think it’s twice that much but they speak about the same number of words a day. But we engage in about 27 conversations a day. Surely we can turn some of those conversations into gospel conversations. And this was one of those times when the Holy Spirit said now. So I finished my meal, walked over to him, thanked him again for letting me see that car and asking if I could take some more pictures. And I said, by the way, I’ve learned how to do something on a napkin, draw a little something, and I wonder if I could practice with you. He said, sure, sit down. So I sat down and I drew the three circles presentation and he stopped eating. He was eating a hamburger, the whole time I was talking he held a piece of that hamburger in his left hand and he never took a bite. He just listened and watched me draw. And I’m not a very good drawer, I have shaky hands, so my circles were pretty bad. And that’s what I’m saying, this is so easy, you can’t mess it up, you just can’t. And so I went through the three circles and I asked him, did it make sense? And he said, yeah, it makes a lot of sense. I said, well, is this something that you’ve ever done? Have you ever repented of your sins and asked Jesus to come into your heart? He thought a minute, and he said, no, I can’t say that I have. And he said, I might’ve done something like that when I was a little child. But he said, that’s been so long ago and he just shook his head. And I said, well, if you were to die today are you 100% sure you’d go to be with Jesus in heaven? He said, no. And I said, well, can I share with you how you can know that? And so I kinda reiterated what I had told him and asked him if he’d like to pray and ask Christ into his life, and he said, yes, I would. And I said, you mean, you would pray right here in this restaurant, out in front of God and everybody? And this was like a waffle house type restaurant, there were people all around us. And there were people watching us. And he said, yes, I will. So I lead him in the sinners prayer and when we got through I asked him if he felt like he meant it and if he felt like the Lord had done anything in his heart and he said, yeah, I believe he saved me. We talked about that a little bit, and he made as he professed Christ. And we talked about following Christ and following up on that. And, then I got this picture of him, this is Raymond. Can’t tell you his last name right off the bat but Kraft or something like that. This is Raymond that owns the car. And I took the picture just as I was leaving. So after that, I called a pastor friend of mine who pastors in Selma gave him the information, the phone number that I got from this guy and he’s following up on him this week. That’s how easy it is. I mean I walked away from there rejoicing, so happy that I’ve gotten to see this guy pray to receive Christ. And this is how it happens again and again. So if you wanna learn how to share Christ on just in any situation, no matter where you are you can learn how to draw the three circles on a napkin or a piece of paper and share that with somebody that’s lost. And that’s what we’ve got to do. Listen, there are more people out there wanting to hear the gospel than there are people in the church willing to tell them. So my question is, would you be one to tell them? And the three circles is a tool that you can use and we would be happy. I believe Daniel would agree we would be more than happy to come to your church or your association and share the gospel and share three circles in training. Your folks can learn how to do that.

– Yeah, we certainly would, Terry, thank you for that personal illustration of how the Lord used you Sunday afternoon to share Christ and thank you for being a faithful and a willing witness. We do, we offer three circles trainings. We can get you the tracks, the resources you need. We also provide other of trainings, the best news evangelism strategy is another training that we offer. But we have resources and tools and free resources and tracks we can put in your hand. Something else we want to present to you today, and again, thank you for joining us and being attentive and desiring to learn more about evangelism. But nothing we wanna talk about is perhaps an outreach that you could use in your church and in your community leading up to Easter. And Terry has just written a book, a wonderful book, it really is a wonderful book called “100 Days at the Cross.” And you can get that by contacting Terry yourself. But I wanna, this is so important, 1 Corinthians 1, Paul says you know Jews, he’s speaking of Jews and Gentiles. He says, Jews seek a miraculous sign and Gentiles seek some display of wisdom and sophistication. But then Paul says in verse 23, of 1 Corinthians 1, “But we preach Christ crucified.” And then Paul comes down in 1 Corinthians 2 and he talks about how he first went to the City of Corinth. And here’s what he says. He says, “And when I came to you I determined I would not come with excellency of speech or of wisdom.” So he’s not gonna use eloquence and he’s not gonna use philosophical wisdom. He says, “I determined I wouldn’t use excellency of speech and I wouldn’t rely on human wisdom for I determined not to know anything among you except Christ and him crucified.” So twice in a couple of verses, Paul emphatically states, it’s not our eloquence, it’s not our intelligence. It’s not some miraculous confirming sign out there, it is the power of the cross and of the Christ who was crucified on that cross and the empty tomb, that’s where the power resides. And so Terry is gonna speak about an outreach that you can utilize in your community that ties in to the centrality of the cross.

– That’s a great point there, Daniel. I think it’s good for us to note that when Paul said that in 1 Corinthians 2, he had just come in to the City of Corinth having left Athens Greece where he had been laughed out of town by the intellectuals. And there was about a 50 mile walk from Athens to Corinth, and I think Paul had maybe given some thought to change in his message you know, and maybe since the intellectuals rejected it and it says they literally mocked him, they ridiculed him. I think maybe in that 50 mile walk, Paul contemplated maybe changing the message a little bit and making it more palatable to the intellectuals. But when he got to Corinth he was like it reinforced, something reinforced his conviction that the only thing that can save is the power of the cross, the message of the cross, the death of Christ, his resurrection. And that’s what he says in 1 Corinthians 2 when he says, “For I determined, I purposely fall about it and I determined, made a decision not to preach anything among you save Jesus and him crucified.” So I had an experience in January in 2012, back in 2012, January 23rd, actually where God called me to a prayer vigil, I put a cross up at a busy intersection about 2200 people a day in South Mississippi, past that intersection. And I put a cross up in the Northwest quadrant and for 100 days went out to that cross and did nothing but pray. I was pastoring a church, I turned my salary back into my church. I had a construction business, I didn’t work my construction business. But in that 100 days, and by the way, I was scared to death. I wasn’t a great man of faith, it was just a calling. I knew God was calling me to do it. And it’s the craziest thing I’d ever done, but in that 100 days of 1500 people that I know of, that I have the names of visited that cross for prayer and ministry. They just came, the cars pulled off the road, people walked down to where I was praying and they asked for help. And 23 of them during that 100 days asked to be saved and I was able to lead them to Christ at the foot of that cross. And within a week after that number went to 30 and now nine years later that cross in South Mississippi is still there and it is maintained by the county and has been designated by the Sheriff’s office as a Holy worship site, go figure. But people are still gonna that cross nine years later and nailing things on that cross. And so, as a result of that I shared that story and that some of the dramatic salvation experiences that happened, I saw things that happened at that cross that I never saw in any of the churches I pastored. It was just something about the power of the cross. And that’s what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:18 he says “For the preaching of the cross is to them that are perishing foolishness but unto us are saved it is the power of God.” And the word preaching there it doesn’t really refer to preaching like we do in a pulpit, it’s the word, logos. And it means word or message or speech or the speech of the cross. The message of the cross is what saves us, it’s the power of God. So what he’s saying there, and it finally dawned on me he’s not talking about necessarily me getting that preaching on the cross which is a wonderful thing to do. Billy Graham made a dent in the world, I think that’s an understatement, but he preached the cross the simple message of the cross. It’s wonderful to do that but that verse specifically says the cross preaches. It’s like Spurgeon said, “You don’t have to defend a lion, “just turn him loose.” And so the cross you don’t have to defend the cross, just turn it loose. And I think our problem in our churches today is we’ve gotten too sophisticated for the cross of Christ. And this is where the power of the gospel is, the heart of the gospel is the cross, without the cross there is no saving gospel. And so we have to go, come back to magnifying the cross and the Christ who died on the cross. So for eight years, people asked me had I written it down, had I written it down? I said, no, haven’t written it down because I’m not a writer. And, but finally in March of 2020 with the COVID I had more time on my hands. I sat down and typed out Jessie’s story who was the first person that was converted, a hardcore alcoholic, who was converted at the foot of the cross there in the first week that I was there those 100 days. And from then it just went and the book was actually finished on Good Friday. And so I’ve had it out about three months and I’ve been blessed by the response to it. But in the appendix in the back of the book, there’s a program, that I call cross evangelism, invitation to the cross, C-R-O-S-S. And there’s a gospel presentation using those letters, C-R-O-S-S consider, repent, shut the door, shut the door to the devil and share. So in the back of the book, I have this appendix as to how you can use the cross, put a cross up at your church, train your people to go out to that cross and pray and minister to people who would come to that cross and let them nail their prayer request on the cross, that’s what I did. And on the cover of my book is a picture of the actual cross, where there are thousands of prayer requests that were nailed to the cross. And this is something that a number of churches have taken up and it’s kind of a great time of the year to do it because you’ve got Easter coming. And just before Easter Sunday you could lead your church in an outreach of 40 days. And I show you in this appendix, how you can do it for 40 days or even a 100 days. With like 40 days of prayer and 10 days of intensive prayer and then 40 days with the cross up. And I’ve got all of this outlined in the back of the book but I just wanna share with you in the last moment here some of the benefits to your church, if you use invitation to the cross. Here’s some things that I have written here, what can this evangelism and prayer tool do for my church? Number one, it combines a necessary balance of personal evangelism and prayer. And here’s what I’ve learned guys, we need to talk to God about men before we talk to men about God. The prayer is the power, the battlefield for souls is not one on the field, or the battle for souls is not one on the battlefield of evangelism but it’s one in the prayer closet. And then when we go out sharing Christ, witnessing and doing all the things we do as a church, that’s the trucks that we drive onto the field of battle to gather up the spoil from the victory that has been won in the prayer closet. So there’s a balance of personal evangelism and prayer when you use the cross evangelism. Number two, it challenges the church to believe God for something supernatural. Manley Beasley used to say “We play it too safe.” Jim Elliot used to say, “Lord forgive me for playing it safe, make me a dangerous man for Christ. So we need to believe God for something supernatural. Number three, it’s local church centered. Four, its cross centered, it magnifies the cross of Christ and therein is the power. Five, it provides a practical way for the church to get back to the cross. Six, it can be done again and again, every spring it can be done leading up to Easter, you can put a cross up. My cross that I put up was 14 feet tall with a seven foot cross beam and it’s still there nine years later. You can put a cross up, there’ve been other churches that have put them up made of different materials. One church here in Choctaw County put one out up in front of Piggly Wiggly and they used a telephone pole and cut it in half and it’s still up. People are still going to it and praying. Number nine, it gives the local church visibility and a community with the added blessing of being seen as a praying and compassionate church. Number 10, it provides the church with names for a prospect list to be followed up on people are gonna come to that cross, some will come out of curiosity. And I still have the names of the 1500 people that visited that cross in Mississippi. And many of them didn’t attend anybody’s church. Most of them wouldn’t darken the door of a church but they’ve fallen out of love with the church but they had not fallen out of love with the cross or with God and so some of them were reachable. Number 11, it’s very cost-effective, I’ve calculated you can do this for less than $100, the whole thing, doesn’t cost much to do this. Number 12, it can provide for an ongoing intercessory prayer ministry. As the prayer requests are taken down year after year, placed in a sealed box and prayed over by the church for the following year. And that’s just another way you can connect with your community, make an impact in your community through invitation to the cross. And it’s in the appendix of the book. So thank you, Daniel, for letting me share a word about that. And I hope that some of the folks will take our suggestions and utilize them to reach their community for Christ.

– Hey, Terry thank you. And I’m gonna make it very easy for them to take our suggestion. Any, you don’t know I was gonna do this but I read this book before it was ever published. Terry, let me read this book when it was just a PDF file on his computer. And I believe in the message of the book I believe in how God is using this still and he wants to continue to use this. Listen you will send your name and address to Terry Long. We will make sure that you get a paid for copy of this book, no cost to you. We’ll make sure that in our office we’ll cover that, okay, Terry. So if you want that book, anybody, we’re all friends on this webinar this morning and so if you want that book send Terry Long an email, tlong@alsbom.org and just give him your address and we’ll make sure that we get a copy of this book to you. So you can benefit from the message that God has for us through it. It will help you in your spiritual life, it will help your church. Terry, thank you for what you have shared today, both three circles and “100 Days of the Cross.” And this just being a living, breathing example of what it means to be a witness for Jesus Christ. As you go, as we know, the great commission says, as you go make disciples. Are there any question and I don’t know if I think George and Ken are still here in the background? Are there any questions?

– Yeah, let me share this first one and I’ll make a brief comment, then anyone else like to make a brief comment to. Question is since you gentlemen are in different churches, this is a COVID related question. And some of us are in different churches. I interim, I know that Daniel’s just started an interim, Terry’s in different churches, same way with George. What are you observing about COVID anxiety and are maybe getting beyond so much fear among our people or churches masking having choral music? So let me say this certainly there’s anxiety probably one of the greatest sins that you and I and folks in general carry is too much worry and anxiety and not enough peace and trust. Now, the extent of that, that’s hard to measure. I think some of it is a rightfully placed caution. This is real, I mean my wife and I were looking almost every day at somebody that’s our age, that’s healthy and doing well and they’re in the hospital on a ventilator or they’ve passed away. So there is no doubt, this is it’s absolutely real for anyone to say otherwise they’re denying the truth. And so it’s real. So I know there are lots of opinions and that’s horrible in our church, quite frankly that someone would carry on their opinion to the point of causing division. ‘Cause when an opinion goes to a point to where it overwhelms someone else’s opinion, it’s misplaced. And, I think Philippians 2 shares with us, those first couple of verses that we should be mutually, we should give up our rights for others, so for our soul. Some churches are masking, some churches aren’t just, again, it depends on their view of this, I would encourage masking where I’m interim. We mask the only time that we wouldn’t and we are very much socially distance in the large building that we have. But I encourage being careful there, don’t know very many that are doing choral music at all. There are a few that are able to socially distance that are doing that, but outside of that. Any other word that you guys would wanna share? And by the way, I think maybe as we get on into this and the vaccines more available that hopefully our folks by mid year, this is gonna really turn around.

– Ken, I’ll just share to I agree with you, on everything that you just said and I’m doing an interim too right now so I’m not in as many churches, different churches, but it is just, it varies from church to church. And I mean where, I’m doing an interim, they know me there. And when I first walked in one of the ladies just walking and said, can I hug you? I don’t have a problem with it, it’s okay. We were both wearing our mask, but you know, and it just but you do have to respect what you just said respect the opinion of others. Everybody’s at different places on this. And you’ve got all kinds of people with different levels of different places with it, and it is real. And so we do need to respect each other, respect their wishes and desires. And I’ve shared on some of these before about those that are not coming back to church yet is it’s not ours to hammer on them and beat on them and beat them up. I even heard one pastor say, you’re not saved if you’re not coming back to church yet, I’m going, what are you doing, you’re not gonna get them back in church, if you’re talking to your people like that. So we need to respect them. We need to love them, love them back into and going with what Terry and Daniel shared with us today is one of the things that I shared early on in these webinars is that the more we can get them to serve, find ways to get people to be able to serve no matter where they’re at. If they’re not coming back to church or what if we get them to serve together, that’s where they’re gonna grow and where they’re gonna be more comfortable with learning to do what Terry shared with us and talked about today is to share that. So I think we can and we need to, God, didn’t say, hey, okay, what in 2020, first part of 2021, what you just don’t worry about the great commission. Don’t be the church that I told you to be, let’s just take a break. He never did that and so we need to continue to be the church and to move forward.

– Thank you, George, I appreciate that. All right, let’s see, too, by the way, my wife and I and one of her daughters have all had COVID. So I speak as a customer, so to speak. Internet blipped when you explain how to get Terry’s book can you repeat this? Go ahead, Daniel.

– Hey, Michael, just send an email to Terry, tlong@alsbom.org, and we will mail a free complimentary copy to you. And I want everyone on this webinar to have this book and be able to benefit from it. So just send Terry, just give him your address, your mailing address at tlong@alsbom.org. And he’ll make sure you get one in the mail.

– And Doug did put the address in the chat box, you can get it from there.

– Yes, it’s there in a couple of places. So again, for all of this, by the way, it’s that simple, first initial, last name @alsbom.org for all of us, if you’d need any of us at any time. Daniel you’re about to share?

– Well, I was just gonna and go ahead and mention the other, there was a question asked, I think in the, and I’m working off my cell phone so I’m not catching everything, but I saw where a question was asked in the chat box about invitations. And so I’m still giving at my interim I’m still giving a come forward invitation. I have my mask, I will put my mask on, if someone approaches me, I’ll put my mask on. I don’t put my hands on them. I’ll keep a little distance between myself and them and I’ll wear my mask, but I still am giving a come forward invitation. I think also another good way to do it though is just to make sure that your cell number or your email address is available if you would like to make a decision but don’t feel comfortable making it publicly here in person here’s how you can communicate with me, we can follow up on that decision. So I think making your email and your cell phone available is also a good strategy tactic. That’s not very creative but.

– Yeah, some of our churches are used to gather around people at the alter and we just may need to share with them being careful of that. But at the same time, if you’ve got a big enough alter that you can allow people to come and pray then certainly have that open it. People are hurting now, that would be a great outlet to do with the caution of not having some people gather around.

– And of course the extend the right hand of fellowship, I would probably refrain from having the whole congregation come through and shake hands with the new members.

– Yeah, good.

– But I had members of several church park lots in the past few months too, so.

– I agree, Daniel, I’m also still giving an invitation, it’s altered it a little bit to keep it social distance and that kind of thing. And the church has a connect card for and it’s available online. And that kind of thing. I was with First Baptist Rogersville this past weekend some of you may have seen some of their stuff, they did a church growth conference. It was supposed to be alive three-day conference in person, and they moved it all to online. And I helped lead a couple of round tables and they preached a sermon, but they gave an invitation at the end of every sermon. And they had a email address where you can email the church, they had a connect card, showed you how to get to that two different ways both on their Facebook page or their website. And they had a text where you text a certain message to and they had like a four digit or five digit number. And so they offered them, plus a phone number so they offered about four or five different ways for anybody to respond online even. So that I’m not that techie but I try I’m dangerous with it. But the texting thing is another great way of instant communication or a lot of people are texting they don’t bother with email as much, but they’ll text ’cause they keep their phone right in front of them all the time.

– Yeah, there’s a comment over here to the side. Go ahead, Terry, if you.

– Well I was just gonna add to that, I agree with everything you guys were saying there. One of the things that I’ve done with invitations has been to go to having them indicate their decision by the uplifted hand. And then if they wanna be saved to just stand where they are rather than come down the aisle. And so I will have them, bow their head and pray and I’ll lead them in whatever decision I think maybe we’re asking them to make and they’ll do it. They’ll raise their hand, and then if you really wanna be saved, I’ll lead them in a prayer and then they can stand up and that’s really making a profession right there. Is nothing to say and to have to walk down that aisle. And then if they wanna talk a little more or have time with the pastor, you mask up and meet over to the side, maybe and just have a little bit of distance there and you talk with them then after the service. And that has seemed to work pretty well for me.

– Yeah, good you know where there’s a will there’s a way. And having people at the front, I noticed, you know comment down here by Nancy talking about our pastor going to counseling room and invites anyone led to make a decision or with questions to join him. Again that’s another way having staff at the front or having a female at the front, who’s some sort of leader in the church that you can count on to maybe counsel women over to the side, after the service is over or during the invitation to where they can go out and socially distance somewhere to where there’s a comfort level there with women too. So where there’s a will, there’s a way just keep working at it. Great comment to Terry on doing that.

– Hey, Ken I need to make one plug before we close out this webinar. I think we’ve got enough time. The State Evangelism Conference, the annual State Evangelism Conference it’s been renamed, Sharing Hope it was used last year, maybe even two years ago. But when you see Sharing Hope Conference, that is the same as what has historically been known as the State Evangelism Conference. This year because of COVID we had to make some modifications and really trim it up a little bit, just to make it work with COVID restrictions and speakers traveling and all that. So we are still having the Sharing Hope Conference but it’s much different than in previous years, is only going to be one Sunday night session. It’s Sunday night, February 21st we had to cancel the Monday component but we are still having Sunday night Sharing Hope Conference at Valleydale. And there it is, Valleydale in Birmingham, it’s gonna start at 5:30. And now when you factor in social distancing we can probably only get about 350 people in the room. And so we’re requiring registration, you’ve got to go and register if you want to attend in person. And I’d encourage you to go ahead and do that. And if you don’t know, if you’re gonna come or not, don’t eat up a seat because we want those who registered to actually be there. But I want you to have an opportunity to go ahead and register. And this is a great outreach event. And Mac Brunson who’s Pastor of Valleydale he’s preaching, and also Darryl Strawberry, I’m a baseball guy. Strawberry was one of my favorite players, growing up as a kid, I didn’t know his whole story of addiction and drug abuse. And just his life was a wreck off the baseball field, but he met Christ, his life was turned around. It’s a dramatic story of reconciliation and redemption and how God is using him now to preach the gospel all over America, probably the world. But this is a great outreach opportunity to bring somebody’s interested in sports. Hey, get him here, if they’re a baseball guy, get them here, hear Darryl Strawberry speak of how Christ turned his life around. And He’s the real deal. Now I know seating is limited, we’re also live streaming this. So I’m gonna just pitch this idea okay? Like if you’re a pastor of a church or whatever you are, wherever you’re at that night you could use this as your Sunday evening worship service in your church. Instead of having your normal service, just gather at 5:30 as a congregation, and you could live stream this into your church auditorium. Or like if you have connections to the school, maybe the baseball team, or some athletes, you could find a venue to invite the baseball team or some other group to attend and to be a part of this night. So, we’re trying to take the Sharing Hope Conference to you wherever you’re at. And then again, make sure it’s clearly communicated. This is a great opportunity for people to hear a real life changing testimony of what Christ can do in someone’s life. And so if you can’t come, seating is limited, you know take this wherever you’re at and invite people who need to hear the message to be a part of it that night. Any questions, email me dwilsonalsbom.org email our office, we wanna help.

– Great, thank you Daniel. I appreciate that so much if there’s no other final word hear from anyone. All right, again, I wanna thank you, Terry. A wonderful job of sharing today, thank you for your personal witness, your faithful witness to be active, sharing the gospel. God bless you. Thank you, Daniel, again for your leadership in office of evangelism. Appreciate you, George, thank you so much for your experience and dedication as well. And of course, in the background, Doug Rogers we couldn’t do it without him. And he is a busy man this morning, let me just say it that way. I wanna share with you February 9th, will be our next webinar and it is a standalone webinar. It’s not a part of the connect series although I will say if you listen and you are getting to know the connect series, you’ll notice that Terry mentioned in there, the prayer closet and that’s what connects the connect series all together. The very first one is connecting to the Creator. I mean if we want church health and church revival and reaching out to other people, it begins we gotta be connected to the Creator. And so that’s how all this flows together but there’ll be one February, “Not developing a strategy to reclaim church members.” To have somewhat of a return revival and we’re gonna be doing that February 9th. So there’ll be a couple of three of us that’ll be a part of that webinar then. And then February 23rd, “Better Sunday Begins on Monday.” It’s a book by David Manner and that author of that book, David will be with us 20 years of worship ministry. Keith Gibbs will be with us and David will be sharing what he’s gleaned these years of ministry and from his book “Better Sundays Begin on Monday.” So again, good to have you with us. Thank you for spending time with us today, we’re grateful for your time. We know that we should be stewards of that time. And I believe the Lord has been honored today. Surely he left us with the great commission, last words are powerful and it was all about being a witness. And so, again, thank you. Pray with me, Father again we’re grateful for your goodness, your kindness, we thank you that your mercies are renewed every day. And Lord, we live in grace. God, we pray that we would be a people who extend that grace being warmed in your presence, knowing you in a personal way. God, that we would sense those moments as Terry had, Lord to share the love that has been so lavished on us, God, with other people. And so thank you for this time. And again, thank you for your word. Thank you for your Spirit, Lord, who works and convicts and draws, Lord thank you again for this panel and for all who participate in Christ’s name, we pray, Amen.

– Amen.

– Amen.

– Amen.

– [Ken] God bless everyone and have a great day.

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