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SOS Monthly Newsletter - October 2006
Dear Christian friends,
Most people who receive Christ do so before they are eighteen. Many young people today grow up with little or no knowledge of the gospel. Most schools will not allow you to go on the campus, but you can witness as the students come to school in the morning, during lunch time (if they leave campus), or when the students go home from school. You can find out their schedule by calling the school.
You may run into opposition from school officials or the police to witnessing near a school. They can prohibit you from witnessing on the grounds of a high school, but not from the sidewalk or "public easement" in front of the school. You can find out where the public easement is in front of any building by calling city hall.
Some Christians have been able to speak in high school assemblies and classes about topics such as drug abuse or teen pregnancy. While they can't directly preach the gospel, they can bring in their personal testimony and share indirectly about Christ. Some will rent the school auditorium after school for a Christian meeting, and will arrange to speak in the assembly during the day about a topic such as drug abuse or dating. Meanwhile, campus Christians will invite other students to the meeting after school at which the gospel is openly presented.
The best way to reach high school students is through Christians who attend that school. They are free to witness to their friends all they want. Unfortunately, most teenage Christians are too weak in their commitment to Christ and too greatly influenced by peer pressure to witness effectively to their unsaved friends. However, Christians in high schools who are dedicated to Christ and not ashamed of Him will be used mightily to reach others in their school. Teenagers are looking for direction for their lives and usually are receptive to the gospel, especially if they know Christians who are walking close to the Lord.
College campuses are also good places for evangelism. At most colleges, people will be advancing a variety of religious and political causes on campus. A school may attempt to keep "outside groups" off campus but their position would probably not hold up in court. Also, if they allow any outside group on campus, they must allow you as well. Normally, you can clear up any problem by talking to the proper school official and explaining what you are doing, and asserting your First Amendment rights. You may avoid problems by getting a campus Christian group to sponsor you, or get some Christian students to organize a campus group that will sponsor you.
In witnessing to college students, it is good to have some knowledge of apologetics. "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason for the hope that is in you" (l Peter 3:15). In my opinion, the best book on the subject is Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell, which is available at most Christian bookstores. Another excellent book is The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. We need to know that there are intelligent answers to people's questions and we should discuss these things with those who are honestly seeking truth. However, we should avoid arguing with those who are unreceptive and remember that whenever the gospel is preached in simplicity and power, the Holy Spirit will convict the hearers of their sin and their need for Christ. Also, the testimony of a changed life is a powerful witness to the unbeliever, whether or not he will admit it. If you witness on a college campus, you should try to develop relationships with the local Christian groups on campus, and encourage them to get involved in witnessing on campus, and following up on interested contacts.
Witnessing to Children
Children are generally very receptive to God’s Word. Many have never heard the gospel before. Children are trusting, sensitive, and teachable. Also, children are hungry for love. Generally, they will first come to love their Bible teacher. Next, they will love their teacher's Bible. Finally, they will get to know and love their teacher's Lord. I recommend that anyone seriously interested in witnessing to children contact Child Evangelism Fellowship or some similar ministry. They can give you valuable training and ideas for reaching children.
Visual aids are very useful in reaching children. Explain God’s Word simply and clearly. It helps to stress family relationships. When we are born of God, we become His child and He is our father. If the child does not have a good father, we need to explain that God loves him very much and wants to be a good father to him. He will never leave him or mistreat him. Never force a child to receive Christ. Make sure the child understands what he is doing before he prays for salvation. If he does pray, encourage him to tell someone else what he did as soon as possible. Also, give him some verses about how he can have assurance of his salvation.
Some things we need to explain to children (and adults as well):
God is both holy and loving.
All of us have sinned (Isa. 53:6; Romans 3:23).
The wages of sin is death. Sin must be punished. We can't get rid of our own sin (Romans 6:23).
We must by our choice believe this and receive Him as our Savior. We can say yes or no to Him.
We must by our choice believe this and receive Him as our Savior. We can say yes or no to Him.
When we receive Him, He gives us the gift of eternal life. God becomes our heavenly Father. We receive this life in our spirit. You can't see your spirit, but it is like a little pocket inside you.
We can know from God's Word that we have been born again, that our sins have been forgiven (l John 5:12).
He wants us to grow to be like Him--kind, loving, helpful, ready to tell others about Him.
We grow by reading God's Word, praying, going to Bible classes, and telling others about Jesus.
If you pray with a group of children, have them close their eyes so they aren't looking at one another. Stress that they are making an individual choice. You can have them raise their hand to let you know what they have done. Afterwards, talk to them individually to make sure they understand what they are doing. Explain to them how they can know they are God's children.
If a child has truly received Christ, you should see a change in his life. He should show a desire to turn from sin and be right with God, a love for the Bible, a desire to witness to others, and an interest in church and Bible class. If he doesn't show these changes, pray that the Holy Spirit will do this work in his life, and talk with him about how Jesus expects him to grow and become more like Him. It he still does not show change, explain the plan of salvation to him again, and urge him to make a new commitment to Christ.
ON THE STREETS
On Friday August 11, we witnessed at the Sony Metreon, an entertainment complex in downtown San Francisco. I spoke with a high school boy “Pooder,” who was very receptive to the gospel. On Friday August 18, we joined the prayer meeting at Treasure Island and then witnessed at the Giants baseball game. We preached the gospel to several thousand people that night.
On Sat. August 19, we held two outreaches. Paul Coca ministered with us at Fisherman’s Wharf. A team from Calvary Chapel in Southern California held their own outreach at the Wharf, and later joined us. Also that day, Last Days Harvest Church from Sacramento ministered with us at Union Square. Roger McGough and I witnessed to several pre-teen boys who are part of a band that plays at adult nightclubs. I also spoke with a teenage girl from England who had heard their band play in her country. Later, about 500 members of a “zombie mob” heard the gospel as they passed through the park. This is an event organized over the internet and held in several cities around the world. Everyone met at Market and Sansome St., sprayed fake blood on each other, tore their shirts, and acted like zombies as they walked to Union Square. They carried only one sign, which read “God hates zombies.” Several police officers stood on stage to protect us, but the “mob” wasn’t violent.
On Sat. August 26, Paul and Noreen Coca ministered with us at Fisherman’s Wharf. At one point, several Christians from a Korean church in Los Angeles joined us in worship. Later, a group of Christians joined us from Fiji. Their leader, Tui, preached twice with us.
Kate Mooney, founder of the Prodigal Project ministry, brought Scott, a new Jewish believer, to our house. He stayed with us a few nights, and asked us lots of questions about the Bible. Please pray for him.
Also in August, I attended a pastor’s luncheon with Brother Yun. He is author of The Heavenly Man, and he shared his testimony of how God supernaturally delivered him from Chinese prison. Few Christians have endured as much suffering for Christ as this man, and it was an honor to hear him speak.
Note: Outreaches are subject to change. Call (510) 531-5325 or 541-9903 (cell phone) to confirm outreaches or for more information.
Friday October 6, 13, 20 7:30 - 10 PM Witnessing in San Francisco neighborhoods. (Call for location).
Sat. October 7, 14, 21 11:30 AM - 5 PM San Francisco or Berkeley Outreach. (Call for location).
Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support for this ministry. We have printed 60,000 new tracts and hope to print another 60,000 by the end of the year. We still need a musician to lead worship on the streets on Friday nights.
Our Tape of the Month is Witnessing to Children by Sharon Flack from
Yours in His love,
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