Dr. Chris Stephens, Broadway Baptist, Sweetwater, TX
One of my favorite pastimes is hunting. Whether it’s deer, quail, feral hogs, or turkey, I love to hunt.
When I was first starting out a dear friend said, “Chris, we have a lot of deer on our property, come on out and hunt them.” I could hardly wait to get out there and see all those deer just waiting to welcome me. When I arrived, my friend was busy so he told me to go back and get one. As I walked around, for what was nearly 3 hours, I didn’t see one deer.
When I returned to the house and expressed my disappointment of not seeing any deer I asked, “Just where are all those deer?” to which he replied, “WHERE YOU SEE THEM IS WHERE THEY ARE!”
I’ve never forgotten that statement and have used it dozens of times, especially when referring to soul winning and visitation.
There are several basic truths I use when working with others regarding outreach and visitation.
- 1. Go where they are. You can’t reach them from your office; you’ve got to get out there with them. In a small community, it is easy. Go to the ball games and just sit and watch the kids play. Go to school functions and mingle with them. Go to the gym (you don’t have to work out). Just go where they are.
- 2. You can’t go to the wrong house or address. If you aren’t sure about the address, just get close and ask others. I was looking for a man who had visited and had the opportunity to talk to his neighbor who eventually trusted Christ and united with the church. You can’t go to the wrong house or talk to the wrong person – everyone needs the Lord.
- 3. Take someone with you. It is called discipleship: training others.
- 4. Don’t wait for a special day or time: do it always. God’s word says “daily and in every house . . .”
Everyone wants a “how to” seminar, but when it comes to outreach there really isn’t a “how to”—it is simply a “go do”. I have always been taught “them that goes gets” and “you win some, lose some, and have a lot of no shows,” but as is said of Gideon and the 300 in Judges 8:4, “faint, YET PURSUING THEM”. They are where you see them…so go get them.