SOULWINNING IS EVERYWHERE
BY MAARK HANBY & V. ARLEN GUIDROZ
If the Holy Ghost is in a man only at 7 PM on “Prospect Visitation Night” then you could expect to win souls only at that time (or on Saturday morning at 10 during Sunday school visitation or any other scheduled time for outreach). But how absurd it is to think that souls can be won only during scheduled times or when you say, “I’m going soulwinning.” You may go and you can win souls. But you may also win souls at any other time. On the streets, in the stores, over the telephone, at home, on the job- anywhere you go you are a soulwinner.
I. WHAT DOES GOD WANT YOU TO DO?
The Holy Ghost is in you twenty-four hours a day, every day of the week, of the month and of the year. The surging, powerful, glorious Holy Spirit of truth lives within you, empowering you to affect that world about you. Jesus said it would be “a well of water” within you, springing up into everlasting life (John
4:14). The well wants to spring up, flow out and bless others. The incessant flow of the Spirit is like a spring, never stopping, always fresh, flowing continually day and night “Spring up, 0 well…”
He Would Like To Win Souls Through You Wherever You Are
The Lord expects you to yield to Him at all times. You do not go forth in the power of the flesh but with a river of living water flowing into the desert places of human abode.
How disappointing when you simply and only stand at a door, knock the right number of times, present yourself properly, compliment an object to win acceptance and then just invite someone to church. Is that all you came to do? Stand there, knock, invite, leave? And maybe never to see them again’ They may
go to Hell just after you walk down the steps, to go down the street, to knock on another door, repeating the same dead formula. Smile like the undertaker, my lifeless friend, because, like him, you have nothing to give.
Such As I Have, Give I Thee … Anytime, Anywhere If you have nothing, you can give nothing! This is the plight of ceremonial, liturgical denominationalism. Little to give because little is possessed.
But you have something to impart in every situation. A word of wisdom, a word of knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous utterances and understandings are all part of the arsenal of the spiritual personal evangelist.
Peter and John, on their way to worship and pray at the temple, were addressed by the man who was lame from birth. They weren’t especially out looking for someone to speak to about God but just going about their worship. He asked for alms but was given a negative reply. “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” The healed man stood up, walked, leaped and praised the Lord. They imparted what they had at the time it was needed. It was not done inside the church nor during service.
Missionary Billy Cole, on a flight to another city with a one-hour layover in St Louis, Missouri, witnessed to a young man in the seat next to him. It was evident he was hungry for the Holy Ghost But with only one hour at an airport and with no place to pray, it was almost an impossible situation After several
minutes of calling to find someone who could pick them up to take them to the church, they finally were able to pray. They had only ten minutes but in those ten minutes the young man received the Holy Ghost They left the church, went back to Lambert Field and departed on time. Only one hour had elapsed. And
where is the young man now? He is in a church in Illinois winning souls.
II. SOULWINNING IS AN ATMOSPHERE YOU LIVE IN
The breath you breathe is from the atmosphere around you. Oxygen! You could not live without it. It sustains you, keeps you from collapsing.
The personal evangelist lives in the atmosphere of soulwinning. The very breath he breathes is “souls” and the winning of souls keeps him alive. Without it he would collapse.
Rachel cried, “Give me children or else I die.” The soulwinner sobs, “Give me souls or else I die.” The personal evangelist is a soulwinner because the only surrounding in which he can exist is revival, renewal, uplift, travail, birth, life.
The Spiritual Envelope of Your Existence
Your entire attitude must be with souls in mind. In fact, even in our relaxing moments we must be constantly alert for souls. In leisure time? Why not’? We are most comfortable in the pervading influence into which we were born We can relax back on the farm, down by the river where we “grew up” or just at home. Likewise, your spiritual self was born in revival, nurtured in compassion and sustained in renewal. This is “the home of the soul,” the spiritual envelope of our existence. And you will never be the happy Christian you want to be until your soul is breathing the familiar, exhilarating atmosphere of winning souls.
You Don’t Just Wake Up And Say, “Today I’m Going Out To Win A Soul!”
Soulwinning and personal evangelism can’t be just turned on and off like a water spiggot. The day you finally decide to go out and find that soul God laid on your heart three weeks back may be too late. The Spirit of God can be resisted. Eternal decisions against God can be made long before you decide to go out visiting. So the time for personal evangelism is NOW – and ALWAYS- and ANYWHERE!
III. HOW TO FIND AN OPENING
1. Live With Your Eyes Open
The alert soulwinner is always looking for a chance to talk about Jesus to anyone. Opportunities open themselves to the concerned person who is living in the atmosphere of soulwinning.
Openings come natural for a heart-to-heart expression of your experience. People want to know about other people and will listen to a sincere account of a true experience. This natural interest people have in one another is a constant opening. No one can rightfully dispute the experience you relate. Because you
had a tremendous experience which is unusual, you have a right to tell it. In fact, if you don’t tell it, people are disappointed.
A preacher testified to a group of ministers not long ago about his experience in witnessing. He said, “I found out I have not been bold enough I discovered that the man at my service station is hungry for God. The other day I started testifying to him and a boldness came over me. When he started to be evasive, I
kept working. I looked into his eyes, knowing I should pursue. An extra power of boldness came over me which is becoming common in my witnessing.”
2. Opportunities Are Everywhere
A soulwinner went into a cafe for a cup of coffee. A young couple of his acquaintance sat at another table alone. Before leaving, he passed by their table and at their invitation sat down with them. He led the conversation toward spiritual matters and questions began to flow from them. What about the world situation? What is your assessment of the events in the religious world? These and many more questions were asked by the inquiring couple. For two hours they sat while the soulwinner talked about the Bible and interpreted today’s events in the light of Bible fulfillments. These two profitable hours will bear fruit. How many opportunities all of us have had!
3. When Your Help Is Needed, Your Voice Can Be Heard
People listen to the tender voice which accompanies a compassionate hand. One day, while driving to another city a preacher saw a car ahead of him stopped on the shoulder of the road. The hood was up and three women were looking at the motor helplessly. He stopped and offered a friendly face and a helping hand. He towed the car several miles to safety and help and made sure they would quickly be on their way. The lady, with her two teen-age daughters, was thankful and invited him to come by her home to pray for her husband. A few days later he stopped by and prayed for the man They had been told he would not be able to work again, but God healed the man right then He returned to work and the lady came to church. It was several months before the preacher learned she was blind. Her appearance and the way she cared for her home disguised her condition She began to seek the Holy Ghost and after various events in her life she prayed through.
At the hospital, on the street-anywhere you help people-take time to tell them about your Lord. After all, it is His influence that made you that helpful person you are.
4. Get People To Do Things For You
Many men have received the Holy Ghost during or after a church building program. They worked on the building or gave money for its erection and found an interest in its success. A wise pastor or other concerned soulwinner recognized their interest was not a passing sidelight and won the worker to the Lord. Maybe it’s a personal thing you ask them to do or something for someone else. The shared feeling of helpfulness draws the two of you together. There’s time to talk and maybe time to pray. Who knows? Try it!
5. Make Openings For Yourself
Create incidents which will result in some form of conversation As soon as they find out you are a good kind of person, friendly, interested and the “nicest person I ever met,” the stage is set The Pentecostal should be the sweetest, kindest, most helpful, nicest person in town. They should say afterward, “I have never met a guy like that!”
For instance: Let’s say you are making a visit to a prospect who lives a little way out of town. You know where they live, the kind of house and all about it But it doesn’t hurt to ask someone else how to get there. You know they live “five miles out on Highway 47. You would turn left on Brown Road, go three
miles to the second road, turn right and they live the fourth house on the left” It’s easy to find, to say the least, but what’s to keep you from stopping at several houses and asking, “Do you know where Mr. and Mrs. Jones live?” Everyone knows where he lives. But you can let them tell you. And while you are there,
why not say, “I’m Bro. Smith from the United Pentecostal Church and while I’m here I’ll just tell you what is on my heart” And there you are; what an opening!
Maybe you just stopped by to say “Hello” to someone you see sitting on the porch. Perhaps you knocked to tell a family you found their little child out in the street and brought him back to the house for safety. You could find a hundred reasons just to “stop by.” And while you are there you can say, “You know what is happening at our church? We’re in revival and last night … etc.” You can make an opening, in the big city or in the small town.
6. Focus On The Highest In Town, Also
Everybody is a prospect for the Holy Ghost For too long we have contented ourselves to say, “They don’t want our message.” But you are wrong if you say that They do want our message. It’s just that many times we have eliminated people from our prospect list because they were business people, professional
people or perhaps because they already belonged to a church, maybe the “big” church in town Soulwinner, don’t be sidetracked from pursuing a soul because you think they wouldn’t be interested. Little do you know about that heart but God knows a lot He is already crying with a loud voice in the dry wilderness of a lonely heart You should knock on the door of the mansion, go to the lawyer, speak to your doctor and approach your banker with this message. The Lord will walk in ahead of you to do a mighty work.
7. Use The Prospect And Visitors List
Every church should have a file system to keep information concerning visitors and prospects. Each card contains basic information on each family who is even remotely considered as a prospect By reviewing these names regularly, the personal evangelist will recognize special needs or will be prompted by the Spirit to contact a person.
Why keep a prospect/visitors file? It’s simple! Not every person receives the Holy Ghost the first time they hear the gospel. Sometimes the gospel seed falls on hard ground or stony ground. But events soften some hearts and continued attention will often nurture a soul to spiritual birth. Don’t give up just because a person doesn’t respond the first time. Keep going back, again and again. Your persistence will pay off.
A prospect/visitors file, properly and consistently used, is a tremendous source which feeds into the church altar. Never remove a name from the file but as prospects become saints, baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost, put their name in a special section of the file. As you review the file
occasionally you will be thrilled at the number who have received the Holy Ghost By checking the date they first visited the church you will discover that persistence pays in souls won to God.
8. Check The “New Names” and “Move-Ins”
Some cities have a “Welcome Wagon” or similar service which provides the names of newly-arrived people into your area. In larger cities this service is harder to get but a contact with the area utility offices will no doubt provide you with most of the names. These people are special. They are prime prospects for your Sunday school and your altars.
Here’s why! Can you imagine living in an area where you know hardly anyone? The children are going to a new school and making new friends. Life is a turmoil as the move-in gets adjusted to a different grocery store and many other shopping places. And, not everybody makes the newcomer welcome. There is a new church to find. How nice when a friendly face, the face of “the nicest person I ever met,” meets you at your new front door and invites you to church. The new-comer may say, “Well, we haven’t found a church like ours,” or, “We don’t know which church we are going to.” The soulwinner says, “Before you settle down, how about visiting with me. You don’t have to join. Just visit Let me tell you about our church … And from there you tell about the progressive Sunday school, the friendly people. The contact often blossoms into a full friendship culminating in an entire family coming to the Pentecostal church and being filled with the Holy Ghost.
Does it work? I know scores of families won to God this way.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM “THE POWER WITNESS” AND PUBLISHED BY THE
GENERAL HOME MISSIONS DEPARTMENT UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH, HAZELWOOD, MISSOURI, PAGES 39-42.
THIS MATERIAL MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.