Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mission 2013 # 10. Forceful Witnessing

I have had my experiences with people who are hard core with their attempts to convert unbelievers. They think forcing their family, friends, children and people overseas is difficult but necessary. I have other ideas about witnessing that are much more humanly passive in hopes and expectation that God's Spirit will do the work.

Several years ago I spoke at a breakfast for men who were coming out of drugs and alcohol addiction. I told my conversion story and went into an "Altar Call" for salvation, re-dedication or healing. I had already extolled the virtues of knowing Christ as Savior and Healer so the call took very little time.

As I sat down the Preacher in charge asked, "Is that it?" I said, "Yes, I am finished" and he jumped up to give his own emotionally laden, intense, long winded call to Jesus. His call was almost as long as my talk. It was obvious that I had failed as a Preacher/Evangelist. My "Gift of Altar Calling" was not up to the test.

How about you? Do you think it is necessary to offer long, intense, emotional Altar Calls? Will those calls get more people saved than my kind? Are more people healed because of an intense call to prayer or with gentle ones? Does God more likely answer emotional prayers or calm prayers? I need to know because if I can bring people to faith by being louder and more insistent then I can do it.

My books on healing and growth are translated into many languages and national cultures. They are available on the web bookstore to download and read online or print out if you prefer paper. They are packed with power and promise but written in a warm and friendly way. Call me if you want me to yell at you and threaten you. I prefer grace, mercy and patience but I know some like a harder road to victory.


Rich Reder said...

Gary, as a child I attended a small fundamentalist country church where the preacher screamed every Sunday! But I actually didn't commit my life to Christ until I later heard sermons and experienced worship that emphasized the holiness of God - which convicted me of my need for a Savior - at a church my college friend attended. His walk with the Lord and respectful witness to me loved rather than scared me to salvation!

Gary Sweeten said...

Rich, I was also a kid who grew up hearing a good bit of "Hell Fire and Brimstone" and it did not draw me to Christ. MY Dad was a grace filled man who often said "That is just the Preacher's junk so don't pay any attention to it."