Newsletter and Coming Events – November 2017

  • C-FLO JOHNSON AT UN PLAZA C-FLO JOHNSON AT UN PLAZA
  • SHILOH CHURCH OAKLAND CHOIR SINGS AT UNION SQUARE SHILOH CHURCH OAKLAND CHOIR SINGS AT UNION SQUARE
  • SHILOH CHURCH OAKLAND CHOIR SINGS AT UNION SQUARE SHILOH CHURCH OAKLAND CHOIR SINGS AT UNION SQUARE
  • MIKE MINISTERS TO HOSEA AT 4TH AND MISSION MIKE MINISTERS TO HOSEA AT 4TH AND MISSION
  • PAUL COCA PRAYS WITH MAN AT UN PLAZA PAUL COCA PRAYS WITH MAN AT UN PLAZA
  • PRAYING FOR PEOPLE AT UN PLAZA PRAYING FOR PEOPLE AT UN PLAZA
  • THE BAND "BUENO" PLAYS AT UN PLAZA THE BAND "BUENO" PLAYS AT UN PLAZA
  • PASTOR BILL PRAYS FOR MAN AT UN PLAZA PASTOR BILL PRAYS FOR MAN AT UN PLAZA
     

Coming Events

Friday December 1, 8, 15  5 – 8 PM Witnessing in San Francisco neighborhoods.

Sat. December 2, 16 5th St. and Market  12 – 4 PM

Sat December 9  Berkeley Outreach Shattuck & Center St 12:30-4:30 PM

Mobilizing the Church

The band "Bueno" plays at UN Plaza.

The band “Bueno” plays at UN Plaza.

Dear Christian friends, 

One of the main purposes of SOS Ministries is to recruit and train Christians to witness for Jesus Christ. We believe that every Christian should be involved in some way in witnessing for Jesus. But is this a realistic goal? What do other Christian leaders say?

At the International Congress on World Evangelization, Dr. George Peters stated that “as a church is mobilized to do evangelism, we can expect only 10 to 15 percent to be involved in what he called `active, confrontational’ evangelism. He went on to conclude that 20 to 30 percent of a congregation could be expected to be trained in a friendship or relational approach to evangelism. The rest would be encouraged to pray for the work of evangelism.” Dr. Joe Aldrich stated, “I doubt that 10 percent of Christians will ever be effective in [confrontational] evangelism….As a general rule, the confrontational approach should be a methodology reserved for the abnormal rather than the normal witness experience” Lifestyle Evangelism, pp. 79, 81.

In contrast to this, Mark McCloskey, in his book Tell it Often, Tell it Well, asserts that it is both possible and realistic to expect every Christian to be involved in evangelism. These “experts,” he notes, are simply describing the church as it is, not as it ought to be. Jesus expects all of us to witness for Him. “You shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and you shall be witnesses unto me…unto the uttermost parts of the earth” Acts 1:8. If the power of the Holy Ghost is available to all Christians, then the responsibility to witness is also for all Christians. As John Stott said, “Evangelism is a responsibility laid by Christ upon His whole church and every member of it. So the people of God must be both mobilized and trained.”

I have no problem with those who prefer “friendship” evangelism to “confrontational” evangelism. But many choose it because they want to avoid persecution. You can only escape persecution by compromising the message. Many Christians expect the “silent witness” of their lives to result in salvation. Your friend may not see the difference Christ has made in your life. Or he may attribute that change to your self﷓-will or innate goodness or the psychological value of believing in something. You need to tell your friend that it is Jesus who has changed you. Eventually you must also confront your friend with his sinful condition and need of a savior. This will offend some people and lead to rejection. And being rejected by friends is more painful than being rejected by strangers. “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” John 15:20. “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” 2 Tim. 3:12.

How can we get more Christians involved in evangelism? Here are three things we can do:

  1. Commit yourself to get involved in some kind of outreach on a weekly or monthly basis.
  2. Encourage others in your church to join you.
  3. Challenge your pastor and church leaders to give evangelism a greater priority in your church.

The change must begin in our own lives. We need to stop being spectators and start doing the work God has called us to. We need to make evangelism a priority in our own lives and stop making excuses for ourselves. It is not so important where or how you witness, but that you be involved in telling unsaved people about Jesus in a consistent way. Once you get started, you can encourage others to join you.

On the Streets

On Friday July 28, we witnessed at Fisherman’s Wharf. Since we had not reserved a location, we prayed in the van for a good location. When we arrived, our usual spots were taken, but a much better location, by the crab sign, was open. The people who had reserved it did not show up. I thought we would have to move at 7 PM, but the person who had reserved it at that hour also did not show up.

Mike ministered to Sophia and Pebbles, who do spiritual readings at the Wharf. Both claim to be Christians, and know that what they are doing is wrong. They have been doing this for several years. Sophia has three children, and says she needs the money to support them, but said she would give it up in a few weeks. Mike urged her to give it up right away and trust God to provide for her. “Pray for me and my husband,” she said.

Dave witnessed to Roy and Carlo, both 15. Carlo made a very crude statement about Jesus and Dave was careful not to react. They soon opened up and started asking questions. Both took gospels of John. Dave also witnessed to Brandon, 19, who was playing guitar across the street. He is a devout Catholic and listened as Dave shared the gospel. “My eyes are being opened right now,” he said. Asked why he came to the Wharf, he said,I came to find God.” A leader in his church told him to “Go out and find God tonight” so he came to the Wharf for that purpose!

The next day, we witnessed at UN Plaza. In the van on the way over, we prayed that God would bring youth groups to witness with us. When we arrived, the youth leader from Christian Life Center in Merced was there with his youth group! We did not know they were coming. They did some music, drama, and Christian rap. Cal witnessed to Andre, a Catholic from Macau. He was angry at God because his son died when he was 19. Cal said, “You should be thankful that God gave you 19 years with your son.” Cal and Dave witnessed to Rami, a Muslim, who was very friendly. Dave quoted from the Quran that  “Allah is the best of deceivers.” He also spoke about Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, as a type of what God would do with Jesus. He took a gospel of John. Dave also witnessed to Zack and Lucy. Lucy’s grandmother is a Christian. She has Alzheimer’s but she still remembers Bible verses and quotes them. Both listened to the gospel and took gospels of John. Dave and Mike ministered to Suzie, who claims to be a Christian but was living with her boyfriend. They came here from Oregon and her boyfriend left her a few days ago. She is now homeless. They prayed with her and referred her to a Christian women’s shelter. Mike also ministered to Sharanda, a Christian with an abusive husband and 8 month old son. She was looking for a Christian program, and they referred her to the Bay Area Rescue Mission.

On Fri. August 11 we witnessed at 16th St. and Valencia. Cal witnessed to Joe, a Catholic. When he read Isaiah 53 to him, he was surprised to learn that there was evidence that Jesus is the Christ. Deanna witnessed to Bonnie, in her 80’s. She was open to the gospel and took a gospel tract, saying that she would read it. Mike witnessed to Chiquana, 37, who had been a prostitute for 20 years. She has 4 children, who live with their grandmother. Mike prayed for her and told her God has something better for her. He also witnessed to Matt, from Jordan, who claimed to be a Christian but hated Jews. Dave witnessed to Danny, 22, who grew up in a Christian family but was not religious. He became quite interested when Dave shared his testimony. He also witnessed to Ferris, from Israel, who works at a nearby falafel shop. Jacob witnessed to Wanda, who was homeless with a drug and alcohol problem. He shared about how she could be born again and delivered from these things.

Ministry News

Thank you again for your prayers and financial support for the ministry.  We have two new small amplifiers to use on the streets on Friday nights. They are made by Behringer, and replace the Maximouse amplifiers we had been using.  Our old amps were almost 30 years old, and the company has not made them for 25 years, so it was getting hard to keep them working.

We have taken our ministry van to a repair shop. They have had it a week, but still have not   diagnosed the problem. Please pray that we would  get it repaired.

Yours in His love,

Larry Rosenbaum

 

 

 

 

 

 

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