A team of two headed out on New Year’s Eve evening to share the gospel of Jesus. Jermaine joined me. Like last year, there was an event happening in North Hagley Park, with bands and fireworks. So we made our way there for outreach.
We parked in the city, and had a fair distance to walk - but there were plenty of people about and much gospel opportunity on the way: handing out tracts, and we got into our first conversation which ended up being a long one.
It was with a young man who had an encounter with Jesus but was struggling with sin. To our surprise, he broke into tears when expressing his amazement that Jesus died on the cross to take away his sin - how amazing is the grace of God! This young man liked to talk, so we did a lot of patient listening. Now, everyone is at a different place with their sanctification - no doubt, so I didn’t want to pre judge this guy. But I talked about my own sin, and that as I have walked with Jesus, I have been growing in holiness. At various points, I challenged this young man on this. If we have faith, there will be repentance that will lead to obedience and a growing in holiness. Eventually, some subtle anger broke out of this young man in regard to this challenging. But we parted on good terms. He left with a few gospel tracts.
We continued on towards the park - there were a lot of people about and many opportunities to start conversations. But the Holy Spirit led us to a young man for what really felt like a divine appointment. On a whim, I decided to ask him what he thought happened after life - and he was quickly engaged. This led to a simple, but clear gospel presentation, which included a round or two of checking questions where he seemed to be quickly grasping the concepts of the gospel. He seemed genuinely appreciative. When challenged on what was stopping him from trusting in Christ tonight, he thought for a bit, and said he needed to work it through - which I appreciate, but I challenged him not to think too long, as we have no idea when we will die. He is from Sweden, and was flying home the next day (thankfully I heard no reports of plane crashes!). We talked about reading the Bible, and church. And he accepted three types of gospel tract. I hope to see this guy in heaven one day - may he become a part of the kingdom of God, by faith!
We finally made it to the event, we ended up only having time for one more conversation, before making the return walk back to the car. It was with two Catholic teens. Checking questions really came to the rescue here, because these guys just weren’t grasping that salvation was by faith and not by works (not surprising for Catholics)!
This was a real eye opener for Jermaine, who now has a fresh appreciation for thorough checking to make sure people are understanding the gospel. On the way back, we ended up working through the detailed mini flip chart together and discussing ways we can make the gospel really clear: like checking questions, trying not to monologue - by using questions to get people processing the concepts, and focusing on the concept of faith alone before moving to repentance.
I’m really grateful for the few hours we spent getting out to share Jesus. We leave the results in His hands, all glory to Him! :)
Christchurch (NZ) Team
Heads out on to the streets of Christchurch usually 6 days a week to various locations.
Including Fridays in Cathedral Square from 12:30pm and in Cashel Mall after that till 3:30pm. Also Sundays in Cashel Mall 1:30pm till 3:30pm.