Josh Bloomfield attended our first EvangelismSHIFT seminar in America last September, as we started the two-year journey with the leadership of two churches in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was there because he and his wife Gina are raising support to join our EvangelismSHIFT team here in Sydney. He wanted to experience EvangelismSHIFT as a participant as soon as possible.
He sat at a round table with seven or eight other participants and talked with them about what God was doing in their hearts and lives. He enjoyed chatting with Ralph, who was challenged by the message on ‘Sentness’.
Many of you have been praying for and giving toward the impact EvangelismSHIFT is having on churches around the world. Read on to see the impact of EvangelismSHIFT on Ralph’s life. Ralph is a longtime elder in his church.
At the following seminar in November, Josh sat with Ralph again and they listened as many of the leaders shared how God was opening up their relationships with lost people in their lives. Toward the end of the weekend seminar, Josh asked Ralph, “How are you going with living a life of sentness?”
Ralph dejectedly replied, “Josh, I just don’t think I can do this.” Josh paused for a moment, then said, “Ralph, let’s pray right now that in the next week, within seven days from now, God will open up an obvious opportunity for you to have a spiritual conversation with someone who doesn’t know him yet.” Ralph hesitantly joined Josh in praying such a bold, specific prayer.
Last month John Fleming and I were back in Iowa leading the third seminar with these churches. As the seminar started, John Fleming invited anybody who wanted to share what was happening in their lives as they started to live out their sentness to stand and share. While he was still making the invitation a man on the far side of the room stood to share an amazing conversation God had given him with a group of colleagues at his workplace.
As soon as he finished, Ralph was on his feet to share. He told about his specific prayer at the past seminar that God would give him an opportunity within a week to share with someone. Most of the week passed by with no opportunity, but he was on a nervous high alert if God was going to answer that prayer. On the Thursday he went for an oil change and found two other men in the mechanic’s waiting room.
Within just a few spoken words, one of the men left the door wide open for Ralph to share with him about God’s love for us. Ralph felt a little awkward diving deep in the conversation with the third uninvolved man in the room, but just then the mechanic came in and called that man to settle his bill. Ralph immediately took the opportunity God had given him and shared Christ with his fellow waiting-room partner.
I talked with Ralph after church that Sunday and he began sharing with me one after another witnessing opportunity God had given him and how he was now initiating and making those opportunities. I said to him, “Ralph, you have become a witnessing machine!”
Ralph (name changed) is just one of about 80 leaders (almost all longtime Christians) in that group who are experiencing a change in their lives as they learn to live out their sentness in their everyday encounters.
Thank you so much for the part you have played through prayer and giving to make this a reality!
Please consider a gift this month to help us keep this movement moving forward!