Signs of an economic resurgence can be heard when earth movers shake the ground, saw blades are whining, and hammers are pounding. When these sights and sounds are seen and heard only a few miles away from a congregation, opportunities will abound to be proactive and reach out with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is the case with the pastor and the leadership team at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Westminster, CO.
They decided to be a proactive and begin reaching out to the new residents of a burgeoning community with the idea of launching a satellite congregation. Praise and Proclaim Ministries was invited to come and help train members on how to share the gospel of Jesus Christ — and provide a well-organized and meaningful opportunity to put their training into action.
And we were not disappointed.
On Saturday, September 17th, twenty members from Shepherd of the Valley stepped out of their comfort zones to apply our methodology and approach to go door-to-door and proclaim the gospel. The Lord opened the doors and our teams boldly and confidently planted the seeds of the gospel 114 times.
The campaign was especially blessed when two ladies from the congregation uncovered a wonderful opportunity that came from a remarkable visit at the door.
For the second weekend in a row, Praise and Proclaim Ministries was blessed with gorgeous weather to go out and share the gospel. Sunny and in the mid-70’s, it was a joy to be outside and appreciate the beautiful mountains that dominated the Denver skyline to the west.
Our goal for this campaign was to train members on how to share the gospel in a comfortable and simple way. As their confidence and ability grew, they would learn how to deftly begin a conversation with a person that includes a proclamation of the gospel. Our campaigns just don’t teach a person to proclaim, but break through fears and discomforts that cause most Christians to shy away from divine opportunities to share God’s message of salvation.
Several weeks before the Westminster campaign started, God worked the first miracle. The evangelism team at Shepherd of the Valley approached a brand new school in the targeted neighborhood for holding a series of Bible discussions on how we can find freedom in Christ. The school gave the congregation permission and did not charge any rental fees! You could feel the momentum building!
In the targeted neighborhood, there were small pockets of homes that were completed just before the recession hit in 2008. Construction was now in full swing to complete the massive new development and you could hear the saws and the hammers in the distance while walking the streets. It was interesting to discover a greater interest from people who had just moved into the homes versus people who had already lived there awhile. The timing of our arrival seemed to be just right.
The Lord blessed the door-to-door campaign with people who told us that they were interested and looking for a new church. Sometimes people had to talk over tall fences to a neighbor planting iris bulbs. Sometimes people were greeted by fierce-looking dogs that only wanted to be petted. One gentlemen in a bathrobe expressed interest, but kept the outer door closed. He suddenly stated, “Hold on” and disappeared behind the door. After several minutes, our team wasn’t sure what to do. The man reappeared holding a key. All he wanted to do was to unlock the outer door, so he could talk further with our mission team.
Towards the end of the day, a mission team came across a family from the Dominican Republic. It turned out be a huge blessing!
The family was very nice to our mission team and the oldest daughter, a teenager at a local high school, began asking questions about the differences between the teachings of Christian churches. A young, grade-school boy asked a mission team member if they were going to the large neighborhood event that was going to take place later that afternoon. Linda, a member from Shepherd of the Valley, told the young man that she was planning to be there.
When all of the door-to-door teams returned back to church to debrief and celebrate the number of gospel seeds planted, Linda felt she needed to keep her promise to the young boy. Sharon agreed to return back with her and attend the community event. Even though they were both exhausted, the two ladies came to the event with a large red cooler of bottled water and information about the church and school!
They couldn’t believe how they were well received from the large number of people who attended the event. People wanted to learn more about the new church coming to their neighborhood and about the church and school in Westminster. Three different people told the ladies, “I met your people at my door today!” Their presence turned out to be a blessing and provided a model for future campaigns. Participating in community events with the intention to Engage-Proclaim-Invite (Praise and Proclaim methodology and approach), can be a powerful partner to proclaiming the gospel door-to-door.
What a blessing for Praise and Proclaim Ministries to partner with the evangelism team at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Westminster, CO. The members who participated are now fully taking advantage of the outreach momentum that was generated from the campaign.
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