For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Luke 19:10


Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas Baskets for the Neighbourhood - St. John's, NL

It's so encouraging to visit other places and to see what Christians are doing, both individually and collectively, to show kindness to others. Sometimes we do 'good works' as merely a strategy to ultimately see people respond to the Gospel. And if, after several attempts of showing kindness, they don't respond, we get discouraged and move on - because our strategy failed. The reality is, Christians should show kindness and do good works - not as a strategy but as the outflow of one's redeemed and regenerated heart. We are to do good for the sake of doing good. Period. 

Matthew 5:16, Luke 6:35, Acts 9:36, Galatians 6:10, Ephesians 2:10, Titus 3:1, Hebrews 13:16, 1Peter 2:12

Often the only time our neighbours ever hear from us is when we drop an invitation in their mailbox to attend a special Gospel service. What do we do to show them we are just 'nice' people? NICE regardless.

Recently in St. John's, Newfoundland, I noticed special Christmas bags and a few other things around the lobby and auditorium of the local church. And then I heard an announcement about Christmas Baskets for the Neighbourhood. I asked one of the Christian sisters, Cathy Tarrant, if she would prepare a report for lostsheepfinders.com and share enough details about the activity that others will be able to try the idea in their area. She kindly submitted this report: 



Christmas Baskets for the Neighbourhood

We started this work about 5 years ago.  It started as an exercise of Ruby Williams.  She discussed it with me and we decided to go ahead and do a dozen baskets for the houses in the immediate vicinity of the hall. [Gospel Hall / local church]  The next year we expanded and with others helping, we did 25.  For the last 3 years (including this one), we have been distributing 50 baskets.



The area residents now expect the baskets and are always very appreciative.  We always put a calendar with scripture verses, usually a Christmas tract and a small booklet such as 'The Case for Christmas', 'The Cradle, the Cross and the Crown' or similar.  Then we fill it with various items such as a mug, candles, candy chocolate.   




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Heaven4sure Tip and Prayer Card

I have been thinking about a small, inexpensive, easy-to-carry, business-card-size card to pass to servers, cashiers and others as a way of personal evangelizing. I envisioned using this card with a standard, to-be-expected tip or as a surprise tip - where and when you wouldn't ordinarily give a tip.

In many ways, the surprise tip is more memorable. Your purchase of a chocolate bar may cost less than the surprise-gift-tip you attach to the little evangelism business card. So here is the two-sided card I came up with and have been using for a couple of months.


On the reverse side is a simple message about being a Christian. No big preach. The idea is to link a surprise act of generous kindness (perhaps unmerited) to someone who is simply a Christian. The second purpose is to let the person know you pray and you would be happy to pray for something in their life. By the way, very few people know someone who is actively praying for them.

You can print your name and email address in the box provided. Now they know how to contact you.


You may never hear from the person. That's okay. If you gave them an unexpected tip and it registered in their minds that the person who gave it to them loved Christ - then, your $5.00 surprise was definitely worth it.

But occasionally you will get an email. I have.

I picked up a box of small little envelopes. Each day I have been trying to remember to put one of the
cards in the envelope, along with a $5 bill and then have it in my shirt pocket to give to someone.  I write on the outside of the little envelope - "A little tip for you. $"   I put the $ sign on the envelope - so they will be sure to open it.

If you would like a free supply of these cards to promote heaven4sure, but also, to identify yourself as a Christian and give out your contact information - let me know. Click here to email me.




Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Christmas - Prime Time to Share Christ

Have you planned and ordered your Christmas evangelizing tools for 2017? Christmas and Easter are two important dates on calendars used by 7,575,018,210 people (as of a few minutes ago) in the world. Other belief systems, know very little about the Christian faith.

Friday, December 01, 2017 is not too early to start your activity as a local church or as an individual to share the eternally-significant meaning of Christmas. Seize every opportunity. If you are to be ready by December 01st - you need to start planning a minimum of 6 weeks in advance.

Do some brainstorming with your friends as to how many different ways you could get the 'message of Christ' out during the month of December. See how long your list can grow. What a great way to spend a couple of hours with your friends! Not really a game - but it could be fun, as well as spiritually motivating. It would be exciting to see the list of possibilities growing and growing.

As in any brain-storming session - don't debate the merits of each idea as they are put forward by the participants. No discussion. Just record every idea contributed. Once you have a long list - then start the discussion as to which ideas have merit and potential and what is doable and which ideas would be the most God-honouring and Christ-centric.

Think outside the box but inside the Book.

Prayerfully develop your action plan and assign responsibilities and get to work. You want to have everything ordered and received and ready to go by the first week of December. November will whiz by like a blur. Get at it now.

Have you thought of electronic Christmas cards with a link to a good Christmas message on a website?

If you are just one Christian and, by yourself, you would like to enclose a Christmas tract with your cards - here is a new one available: The World's Most Expensive Tree  It is based on an original post on heaven4sure.  For the price of three burger & fries combos, you can have 500 tracts!

In addition to Bible Truth Publishers, who offer the new tract above, you can also browse GospelFolioPress website for their Christmas material. There is no need for anyone to say - "If there was some good Christmas material available - I would use it."

Moments With The Book also offer a wide variety of Christmas tracts.

For the tech-savvy - many of the tracts that are available in hard-copy, can also be copied and pasted into your Christmas email.

Let's pray there will be more Gospel and personal evangelism efforts this December than at any other time in history. That's not too big a prayer to pray nor beyond the power of the Holy Spirit to achieve. We have more outreach tools available to us than at any other time in the history of the Church!

Think of just the opportunities on social media. Look at this social media graph updated this month:
top most popular social networking sites
Also, we have more people to reach with the Gospel than at any other time in the history of the planet. In fact, since I started typing this post, 5,877 new people have been born. As I sign off, the available audience for our Christmas message stands at 7,575,024,087.

If you would like to share your ideas about what we could be doing to share Christ during December, leave your comments below. Spread the message. Share this post. Also, if you are new to this site, search here for other Christmas-related ideas!

Image result for john 3:16 christmas



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

At 89, Will I be Dreaming-Up Ways to Spread the Gospel?




Today, I received a hand-written letter from a Christian who is hoping to move to a Care Home in the near future. Clarence wrote: "You can only fight old age so long; it always wins. We are 89 this year." 

And then he wrote:  
I have been thinking of how to reach more people with the Gospel, as they mostly will not come to our Gospel meetings. The enclosed message is to phone people and ask for their permission to read a message to them. That might work! And other saints should be able to do this also - with their own name.
Show this to some others and see what they say. Put your own name where mine is and pray for the Lord's help.
The enclosed message that 89 year old Clarence referred to was typed. I imagined his enthusiasm and excitement as his fingers touched each letter on the keyboard. I don't know whether he has achy arthritic joints or supple ones that enabled his fingers to excitedly fly across the keyboard. One thing I do know is - he still has a love, a passion and a pulse for the good news of Jesus Christ. It wouldn't surprise me if he sincerely, in his heart-of-hearts, truly believes the Gospel is the only message that can transform a sinner's life on earth and prepare them for Heaven!!


I sensed his optimism. Where there's a will, there's a way. The passion - the pulse led to a plan. Was this for others to try out - or would he actually do it himself? This is the man that, decades earlier, came up with another telephone Gospel-sharing-scheme. Each week, he would record a 2 or 3 minute Gospel message based on a human-interest story. He would advertise the telephone number and hundreds of people would call and listen to his little story. In 2017, people may not find that technology very exciting.

Here's how his typed enclosure read -- (By the way, shhh!!! I never asked for his permission to post this so publicly online. But between you and me, I think he was hoping the idea would be shared and that you will try the same thing. I hope this breach-of-confidentiality doesn't scare you off from writing me a similar letter or email!) Here is how he envisions the phone calls might go:

Dear Sir or Madam
My name is Clarence Budd. I live in Riverview, N.B. Could I have about four minutes of your time to talk to you about something that is very important? OK!
I don't want you to buy or sell or do anything for me. I just want to talk to you about the most important thing in life. And that is getting ready for the NEXT life.
The life we now live is very short. We know that - if we look back. It has gone by very quickly.
The next life lasts forever. It will never end. There is one of two places to go when we leave this life. One place is HEAVEN - that is where God wants us to be. The price has already been paid for us to go there. When Christ was on the cross, He was punished for us, so that we could go to Heaven freely forgiven from all our sins. In the Bible, it is called - being saved. That lasts forever! How wonderful!
The other place is called HELL and is the place where people go who have rejected or neglected to 'get ready' while on earth. Most people do that. I did myself for many years. I am truly glad for the day I was saved - September 17, 1947.  Wonderful day! Saved people just want to tell others about it. It is so great to have the peace and joy of knowing where we will be forever and having sure hope - now and forever.
Please give careful consideration to this most important matter. "Now is the day of salvation," the Bible says. 2Corinthians 6:2
You can read the Bible and see these things written there. John's Gospel is the best place to start. If you are not familiar with the Bible, that is the 4th book in the New Testament.
May God bless you. Thanks for letting me talk with you today. All the best.
Clarence Budd  
PS If you have any questions, I would be pleased to hear from you. You can phone me at 506-------

Where there's a will, there's a way! People with a passionate vision are not blocked by barriers or deterred by obstacles. 

Do I have a Gospel vision? When have I crafted my own little scheme, with excitement, for getting the Gospel to people? It wasn't just a fanciful and fleeting idea. At 89, he took the time to hand-write a letter, type up an enclosure, lick a foul-tasting stamp and mail the envelope. (Maybe not - it could have been a self-adhesive stamp....so, Peter, don't get carried away with words.)


You can tell by what he writes, he envisions this approach working - for churched people and unchurched. New people to his city from other places in the world who may know nothing about the Bible or Jesus Christ. All of them are potential telephone candidates.
I have heard the same brother pray and break-down (weep) at the thought of souls perishing.

What's urgent in my life? Do I care if people perish forever? Is it enough for me that I have been delivered - I have found the wonderful cure for the malignancy of sin but I have too many other things in life to occupy my mind. They will have to find-out about the cure some other way.

Robocalls and call centers are used for politics, by big banks and for many other reasons. I wonder what the impact would be of a tastefully and faithfully worded brief Gospel robocall? Does some Christian want to financially invest in such an enterprise? But back to you - maybe this is something you may wish to try - using your own words. One phone call a day!





Thursday, May 11, 2017

Canada 150th Gospel Pamphlet for Distribution


Canadians love their country. 2017 is the 150th anniversary of our young nation. Celebrations, throughout the year, are happening across the country to mark this milestone year. July 01st - Canada Day is a big event every year, but this year there are plans for even bigger and better celebrations.

The International Bible House (IBH) sees a great opportunity for Christians and local assemblies across the country to get involved in not only recognizing the anniversary of the nation of Canada - but also using it as an opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

A five page booklet featuring stories from across Canada is being finalized for publication. You can see it below.

Perhaps you haven't thought about it - but wouldn't it be great if, in local areas, Christians seized this opportunity to distribute these Gospel Messengers! There's a place on the brochure for you to localize it by stamping or affixing a label supplying local contact information.

If you are reading this just now and thinking: 'I hope someone in our area sees this and does something about it...' Why don't you start the ball rolling?

The cost of each booklet will probably be between 15 cents and 20 cents each - depending on quantities printed. 

If you think your area could use some, please email ordersibh@gmail.com or ibhpublications@gmail.com as soon as possible. 

Even if you are not ready to make a commitment to a certain quantity - IBH would even appreciate your expression of interest.

Click here to view the entire publication.






Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Carol Service 2016 Halifax

While it is fresh in my memory, I'd like to give you a little report on the Annual Christmas Carol Service at the North Street Gospel Hall in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was held on Saturday evening, December 10, 2016.

Matthew Cain said 2500 invitations were distributed around the neighbourhood and many contacts were invited to the 45 minute long service. It was followed by a lunch in the basement - yes, scrumptious Christmas Baking, coffee and apple cider.


It was also announced on Facebook and Twitter. A local Member of Parliament retweeted the notice to all his followers.

150 people showed up, filling the main level with some choosing to sit in the balcony. The singing was acapella. Several visitors commented on the quality of the lyrics projected on the screen and how much they enjoyed the singing. Singing positions alternated between sitting and standing.


A brief message (approximately 10 minutes) pertaining to Christmas and the Gospel was given - aided by 9 PowerPoint slides.



After a closing prayer and a concluding carol, most of the guests stayed for the lunch and seemed in no hurry to leave. Their feedback was very positive.



What a great experience it was to see so many guests in for the first time and to have them leaving with positive impressions.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Caroling Door-to-Door


by Steve Baumann

As the door opens, you can hear the group sing that well-known verse, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Glory to the newborn king!

Every year, we gather a group of people to join us around our community to go Christmas Caroling. This will be our eighth year. It has become a staple to our Christmas tradition.

What makes it special for our family is friends who join us every year. Others try it once or twice but generally most find the time very worthwhile. It is amazing how precious and profound the lyrics to our traditional Christmas hymns are, as we sing “Jesus” to our neighborhood.

Let me share why I believe Christmas Caroling may be the last open door-to-door outreach left in America people openly receive:

It is relevant. Statistics show the Christmas season is the most open time of the year for people to hear the meaning of the gospel. It is demonstrated by increased church attendance, publicly played music and faith-based television specials with Christmas themes. There is something about baby Jesus that attracts people. We regularly hear our neighbors say with a smile, “No one has ever carolled for us before!” We even get offers of food for singing and pictures taken of us.

It is biblical. Jesus commands us to share his message. Going door-to-door with a Bible may be taboo any other time of the year, but during Christmas Season, singing the gospel is still captivating. There is something special about singing the old carols. Biblical truth speaks loud and clear in our music, as we sing the recognizable songs.

It is relational. We often get to talk to our neighbors once done singing. In our busy lives, rarely do we get to know many neighbors. Yet, through caroling we have one moment where conversing and relating to one another takes place. One year, a family who in the previous year was so ministered to by our singing joined us the following year. And since they spoke Spanish, they were able to share Christ with the non-English speakers that we could not.

When we first started caroling in our neighborhood, I honestly didn’t think of it in terms of evangelism and outreach. It was just something fun to do that brought people together. But as we continue in the tradition, the opportunities have grown for sharing Jesus to a lost world. After we sing, we hand out Story of Jesus for Children and Magdalena DVDs. With so many languages available, we usually have one for all the languages spoken in our neighborhood.


For more ideas of Gospel outreach ideas at Christmas time on this blog type in 'christmas' in the search box. There are four or five additional articles. Also click here

Our wonderful experiences doing door-to-door singing have shown me people are hungry for a Savior! We have that person in Jesus, but how we approach people with the gospel matters. Christmas Caroling still works in our secular world.

Source:
https://www.cru.org/train-and-grow/life-and-relationships/holidays/christmas/a-welcome-form-of-evangelism.html