Here’s this month’s Gone Fishin’ Newsletter.
Every month a team from our fellowship at Calvary Wellington heads out to our regular fishing holes – the Naenae Market and Hillary Court shops, or the Hutt Riverbank Fruit and Vege Market. There we share the Gospel to those in our immediate community.
Once a month I publish a simple newsletter that is distributed to the fellowship (or for anyone else who stumbles across this website), as a way of encouragement, and as a tool to equip us to be better evangelists.
You can read the last Field Report from 15/7/23 here.
Gone Fishin’ Monthly Newsletter – August 2023
“And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” (1 Peter 3:13-17)
Praying this finds you all well, and still pumped up for evangelism!
These awful wet wintry days can often be used as a pitiful excuse not to do what God has asked us to do: always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.
I have used this verse a few times in my newsletters now, and it never fails to re-focus us on the reason why we do what we do.
Today we will focus on a word in verse 15: always.
Let’s look at an analogy from Ray Comfort to drive this home (paraphrased):
Someone gives you $86,400 and tells you that it expires at the end of the day. Whatever you don’t spend, you lose. But the good news is that come tomorrow, there will be another $86,400 to spend as well, and every day after that for the rest of your life. What would you do? Well, you would make sure that every cent was spent wisely before the day was over, otherwise you would lose it!
In the same way, there are 86,400 seconds in a day (60 x 60 x 24). Once they are gone, we can’t get them back. What would you do as an evangelist? Well, you would make the most of every second of every day to share the Gospel, wouldn’t you? Outside of sleep, work, meals, family time etc – the rest you would allocate to sharing the good news.
This is true, but I would take Ray’s analogy even further. The thought in the back of my mind is always there, and it’s a trap I’ve fallen into many times: There is always tomorrow. There are lots of people out there, and I can’t reach them all today, so I’ll spread the load out and do it tomorrow. After all, there is lots more time tomorrow.
This is fine to a certain extent, as we all have busy lives, and lessening the load prevents burnout.
None of us are like John the Baptist, whose life and calling was solely to prepare the way for Jesus. He had no wife, children, work commitments, or a home to maintain, and his meal preparation was minimal – wild locusts and honey. I don’t know of anyone this day and age who has had that particular calling.
The trouble with putting things off too many times is that it can lead to laziness. Procrastination can make us too comfortable. A comfortable Christian will always find ways to stay comfortable. A comfortable Christian is an ineffective one. I know this, because if there was a PhD in Procrastination, I would pass with Honours. I have even left the finishing of this newsletter to the last minute, and God, with His wonderful sense of humour, sent a power cut to the neighbourhood to show me out!
So, what are ways we can redeem our time for God’s glory in evangelism? One of the easiest ways is to change the way we think, incorporating it into our daily lives. Street evangelist Tony Miano would put it this way (paraphrased):
Go to the gas station to evangelise, and while you are there, fill up the car. Go to the supermarket to evangelise, and while you are there, buy some groceries.
Always have some good Gospel tracts in your pocket. While standing in a queue waiting to be served, you can pass one to the person waiting behind you, saying “Here’s something for you to read when you get a chance”. If they ask what it’s about, you can say “It’s about what happens after we die. Do you have any thoughts about where you are going to go?”. That may be the beginning of an awesome Gospel conversation. They may blow you off but try the person in front of you. Whatever the outcome, God is glorified!
When the weather is wet and cold (much like the last few weeks), it can also throw a dampener on your evangelism endeavours. But that doesn’t let us off the hook. We have a wonderful tool at our fingertips called the internet. There are tens of millions of people online at any one time, waiting to read or listen to the next exciting thing. Why can’t that be the Gospel?
One tool I have been using a lot lately is an online chat service called Omegle. In one click I can be talking with a random stranger anywhere in the world! This needs discernment though – just like any tool, the world can use this for evil as well as good. The online evangelism team at needgod.net have tweaked the app so that the camera at the other end is initially blocked, protecting your eyes. They live stream to youtube every day. They can even train you on how to use it properly – right from the basics of how to start a Gospel conversation, to bringing it to a successful conclusion. As I have done the training, I go online using their app when I get the chance. Here’s a link with me mumbling my way through some chats from Schoolies last year here. If I can do it, anyone can, so check them out!
Speaking of training, you may have heard of the awesome opportunity coming up in October for a week’s outreach in the Wellington area. Glen Richards from Operation513 & needgod.net is a full time street evangelist in Christchurch, and has kindly offered to partner with Calvary Wellington for some free evangelism training on Monday 23 October (Labour Day), followed by an opportunity to put it into practice around the Wellington region, from 23 to 27 October.
If God has been prompting you around putting the Great Commission into action, then this may be the opportunity for you! Click on the link below for more. Calvary Wellington members do not need to register, but please let me know if you are coming, for numbers sake. All others will need to register. There is a video everyone needs to watch on the link.
I’ll see you at my place at 10:00 for prayer before heading out! (my new address is on the weekly church newsletter).