Praise and Proclaim Ministries gave thanks to the Lord for the opportunity to come to east Texas and launch another outreach campaign. Rev. Daniel Schmidt extended an invitation for us to come and help start a brand new mission in Tyler, TX. It was a joy and privilege for our ministry to train and equip members on how to proclaim the gospel and introduce Jesus Christ through the power of his Word.
Located about a hundred miles east of downtown Dallas, Tyler is a surprisingly large city of about 100,000 people. And growing. Different than other parts of Texas, it is a heavily wooded area that reminds me of Minnesota.
The new worship center and sanctuary started out as a small baptist church. Located on the southern edge of Tyler, there are signs of abundant new growth in the area. When you exit off of Highway 69, the road taking you to the new church winds up a small hill in a heavily wooded area. About a quarter of a mile, the road ventures to the left and a beautiful white church emerges from the trees and prominently displays itself on top of the hill. A person will be pleased to find a wonderful worship inside the sanctuary.
A brand new theme was developed for this campaign to help Faith introduce the new church to the community. The concept was to invite people to three introductory worship services before officially launching in September. A postcard was mailed to selected neighborhoods that boldly displayed the word “Trapped” and contained a striking image. People were invited to come and hear a message to learn how God’s Word provides solutions to when people feel “trapped” with no way out.
Utilizing the Praise and Proclaim methodology and approach, people were trained to utilize the postcard to engage people at their door and transition to sharing a simple gospel message. Over twenty people came for the training session on Friday evening. The following morning, fourteen people arrived at Faith to go out and proclaim the gospel. After introducing themselves at the door, they would say, “Our church uses God’s Word to teach how we can find a way out of difficult circumstances when we feel trapped. The way is Jesus Christ. Because of what he already did for us on the cross, he is able to rescue us and deliver us from our all of our sins.”
The Lord opened doors for us and this group of “mighty warriors” shared a simple gospel message with 114 people! The “trapped” theme seemed to register with people and gave us the opportunity to share the gospel.
A few stories.
Kelly was a single mom with a four-year old daughter. She quickly told us that she already belonged to a new church in town, but was very intrigued with our message. This was a common response from the people we met in Tyler. Even though they told us that they already belonged to a church, that did not necessarily mean that they were regular attenders, nor understood a clear gospel message. Kelly was curious with our message and expressed a desire to learn more. At another door, Ronnie was just out of the military and looking for a church home. After initially expressing disinterest and closing the door, he opened the door again to call out to our missionaries. He was intrigued with our message. Michael and Kristin lived nearby in a new community a half-mile from church. With four small children — including 1-year old twin boys — they were interested in receiving a spiritual message and listened intently to the missionaries. They provided us with contact information to continue the discussion.
At 3:00 in the afternoon, on a hot and humid day, our bodies were telling us that it was time to call it a day. Upon walking back to our car, we came across a man and a women who were looking at us curiously. This is a great sign to come over and introduce ourselves. Though we were hot and tired, we stopped to say hello. Obviously intrigued that people were out going door-to-door on a hot, humid day, they were compelled to listen to our message. We gave thanks to the Lord for providing us with strength to share another gospel message to close out our day.
One of the joys of meeting people at their homes is the opportunity to provide a clear gospel message. By focusing on what Christ has already done for us, we proclaim a gospel of pure grace. “Jesus has forgiven you! Believe!”
On Sunday morning, Pastor Schmidt provided a wonderful message for the members and visitors whom the Lord provided. Using Moses as an example (Exodus 14:8-14), the pastor shared with us that Jesus is our deliverance. Even when it seems like there’s no way out — and we trapped between a rock and a hard place — God can still get in. “Stand firm!” “Be still!” Jesus has done everything for you.
We are grateful that a core group of members at Faith are now ready and excited to continue to connect and engage with the community — and especially with visitors and families who expressed an interest to learn more.
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