Christian Stringer and Analisa Gonzales, as part of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's "Everyday Evangelism" initiative, knocked on several doors in one Fort Worth, Texas, neighborhood and engaged in a few short conversations Sept. 8. But initially, none involved Gospel presentations.
As Stringer and Gonzales made their way back to meet up with another team of student evangelists, they noticed a man on a riding lawn mower in the back of a trailer.
"It looked like he had just finished his yardwork and was about to roll out with his fellow landscaping guys," said Stringer, a master of divinity student.
Gonzales, a new biblical counseling master's degree student, spoke up. "Should we go talk to that guy?" she asked.
The pair then approached the man, who had been joined by another landscaper in "tying things down and preparing to hit the road." Stringer introduced himself and Gonzales to the two men and asked if they needed prayer for anything.
"That's one of my favorite ways to start a Gospel conversation," Stringer said, "because it shows them that we care." Both men requested that the student evangelists pray for their families. Stringer then asked if the men knew where they would spend eternity when they died.
"Both said heaven, but one couldn't give a reason why he should get in, and the other said he had a good heart and did good things for others," Stringer recounted. The students utilized the opportunity to share the Gospel, telling of man's need for salvation and the hope and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ.
Stringer and Gonzales concluded with a call to repentance, and both men responded. Stringer led them in prayer, gaining two new brothers in Christ.
In collecting contact information, the Southwestern evangelists learned that the man they initially saw on the lawn mower is named Stephan and the other is named Miguel. In order to equip the new believers with as much as they could in their immediate circumstances, the students wanted to give each a Bible, but alas, they only had one. Stringer asked who wanted to have a Bible first, and Stephan excitedly said, "I do!"
Stringer encouraged him to begin his Bible study in the book of John, reading a chapter a day and praying that God would speak to him through the biblical text, "because He will speak to us and grow us through His Word." Fortunately, Gonzales had a copy of the Gospel of John, which she gave to Miguel, and so he was encouraged to begin the same study plan. (The evangelists also assured him they would later get him a Bible.)
"It was a team effort," Stringer said of the experience. "I was able to lead the conversation, but the conversation would have never happened if Analisa hadn't mentioned for us to talk to them."
Another Southwestern team led a father and son to Christ on Sept. 1.
M.Div. student Jenny Kim led the son to Christ in their door-to-door outreach while M.Div. student Bryant McRae led the father to Christ.
"[There is] nothing quite as special as a father and son being born again on the same day," McRae said, while Kim rejoiced, "Praise God, who can do what men cannot do yet by grace chooses to use us to share the Gospel with others and allows us to have the joy of witnessing the power of the Holy Spirit, who is mighty to save."
To learn more about Southwestern's Everyday Evangelism opportunities, visit swbts.edu/everydayevangelism.