Praise and Proclaim Ministries launches campaign in Coon Rapids, MN
If there ever was a perfect day to go door-to-door proclaiming the gospel — this would be it.
72 degrees. Blue skies. Bright sun. A light wind. It was a perfect Saturday to be outside — and a perfect time to be ambassadors for Christ and share His message.
Praise and Proclaim Ministries received the joy and privilege to lead an outreach campaign at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. Our goal was to train members on how to share the gospel with friends, neighbors, and strangers — and provided a well-organized opportunity to put their training into action. Over forty people took part in the training and 24 people took the streets the following day — including six people from Christ Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, MN.
And the Lord blessed our efforts.
We met Mary the atheist, David the Sabatarian, Willard the Free Methodist, and Karl the lapsed Lutheran who doesn’t do religion anymore. But we also met over two dozen people who expressed interest in learning more on how we can find freedom in Christ. Every person was a divine appointment. Each soul was another opportunity to plant the seed. And we rejoice that the Lord allowed participants to proclaim the gospel two hundred and ninety-eight times on a beautiful, sunny day in Minnesota.
And the Lord provided some stories.
Praise and Proclaim Ministries has gone to several states to launch outreach campaigns. Minnesota is unique. According to the Pew Research Center, the state ties with California for being the 33rd least religious state in the union. When we knocked on their doors, we could tell that people in Minnesota are spiritual and will easily identify themselves with a particular church — even though it may have been five, ten, even twenty years since they have stepped through its doors. They just don’t have a firm understanding about what the Bible teaches about salvation and what Christ has already done for us on the cross.
During the Friday evening training, the participants felt that the people in Minnesota would not respond well at the door since a common belief is that people do not want to be bothered in their “castles”. Utilizing the Praise and Proclaim methodology and approach, the participants were surprised to see that the vast majority of the people we met were polite. By concentrating on being ambassadors for Christ and delivering His message of salvation, Christ’s love wins out. And the people responded well.
Here are a few stories:
Mike was very experienced in going door-to-door. For the past five summer, he spent one week proclaiming the gospel to Mormons in Utah with Truth in Love Ministry. On the second door he knocked on, the person told him, “We have not discovered a church to go to yet, because we just moved here from Provo, Utah.” Perfect timing! They had left the LDS Church giving Mike the opportunity to share the real gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that they could understand.
Two young ladies were paired together on Saturday morning. They admitted afterwards that they were more than a little nervous. They bravely knocked on the first door and were able to get through the first morning with only a few opportunities to proclaim the gospel. The afternoon started out rough, but they took full advantage of going out two by two. They were about to call it a day, but they mutually encouraged one another to keep going. And something amazing happened. View the rest of their story below.
Bill came across two neighbors. One of the neighbors was an African-American lady who came to Cross of Christ fourteen years ago, but didn’t feel welcome. After Bill shared more about the church and the message about how we can find freedom in Christ, the lady was intrigued. She replied, “Maybe I will go to my neighbor and see if she would like to go to your church with me tomorrow.” The following Sunday morning, the participants rejoiced when they say the ladies walk through the doors and into the sanctuary.
Then there was David, who professed to be a Sabatarian. We had disturbed him on his sabbath day and chided us from not being completely obedient to God’s commands. He firmly believed that a truly repentant Christian is one who never repeats that sin. What a joy it was to share with him that God’s standard for obedience was perfection. Anyone who falls short of that perfection earns the wages for their sins which is eternal death. Finding freedom means receiving the full benefits of what Christ has already done for us. By his substitution on the cross, we receive his perfection. We are perfect in God’s eyes right now and fully obedient because of Christ’s redemption. Faith in Christ receives an eternal status that is secure — and in that status we find freedom. David remained steadfast in beliefs, but his eyes truly revealed that he had never heard the gospel this way before.
Willard was an eighty-one year old man. He grew up a free Methodist, but had not gone to church in quite awhile. “Faith is too illogical for me,” he replied. This could be Willard’s last chance to hear the gospel so we stayed a little bit longer in the afternoon to carefully, patiently, and persistently build a bridge to share a gospel message. His biggest hang-up was hearing at a funeral that a person was in heaven — even though we have not had Judgment Day. That’s illogical! But there was more to the story. He was speaking of his son’s funeral eleven years ago — that was held at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church! What a joy it was to share the benefits of finding freedom in Christ. By believing in what Christ has already done for us on the cross, those who trust in Him and are redeemed do not have Judgment Day. Their case has been thrown out of court! Jesus Christ stands in our place. We await Judgment Day with peace of mind by knowing that we will be declared, “Not guilty!” We are free in Christ! We challenged Willard to gospel of Luke and to connect with us if he had any questions.
Even though it was late in the afternoon, Willard kept following the person down the driveway. He didn’t want the conversation to end. Even though he declined to learn more, the gospel was fully shared with him. The rest is in God’s hand.
What a joy it was to be with the faithful Christians in Coon Rapids who stepped out in faith to share their faith. While they rest, the Lord is at work with the many gospel seeds that were planted.