Today’s challenge is to tell a fundy soul-winning tale. Did you go door knocking? Did you litter the landscape with tracts and pamphlets? Perhaps you even did a little street preaching? Tell us about your experiences.
If you’ve never done any of the above, perhaps you can share the story of when a well-meaning fundamentalist accosted you with the gospel message.
162 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: Share Your Soulwinning Stories”
I have always tended to be in favor of tract distribution, since that is how my Mom came to Christ. She was 16 years old, and someone handed her a tract on the street, and she stuck it in her pocket and read it later in her room. No high-pressure sales was involved.
My husband’s mother was saved as a teenager reading a tract left in a public restroom. She married a godly man who is today an assistant pastor and raised four children who are all following Christ (including a missionary and a pastor). I hope in heaven we’ll get to meet the person who left that tract and tell them, “Thank you!” I’m so glad that person left a tract there and for that person who gave your mom the tract. God’s Word will not return void!
Like many things, tracts can an effective tool or can be mishandled. I certainly don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater!
I had very interesting soul-winning experiences in the US Commonwealth. The very first time I went it was with a colleague on a FU-wide Soulwinning Day. Because it was my first time, I let him do the talking at first. When I saw that the text my friend was using was Acts 1:8 and was teaching all kinds of save-yourself heresies, this gave me courage to want to do all the talking from then on. =D
One thing I must mention: Most cultures don’t appreciate confrontational, door-to-door evangelism. It just does not work for them. They saw us as JW’s, Mormons (esp. me, since I’m light skinned), vacuum-cleaner salesmen, or rescue mission workers who were begging for money. They just didn’t feel like being bothered on a Saturday morning to listen to 2 young guys from a fundy church present the gospel to them as a Science teacher would present the laws of photosynthesis to her 5th grade students. Our job was seen as inconvenient and irrelevant.
I must point out, however, that some older ladies thought that what we were doing was cute, and even though they wouldn’t want to listen to our schpiel, they gave us a “benediction,” and commended us for our good job. Like something a Boy Scout would do? Even though I hated to call people from outside their house gates (since houses there don’t usually have doorbells), I enjoyed spreading tracts. The fondest memories that I have are from the old ladies that were so happy someone cared enough to visit and have a chat with them. I think God likes door-to-door elderly visitation more than door-to-door gospel-selling.
The pastor of the fundy christian school my wife attended used to love to use a soulwinning story as an example of how hopelessly depraved the male mind will always be. (side note, any guy who didn’t already have a problem with sexually immoral thoughts was forced into having the problem, because, according to the fundies who love to study this the most, it is most definitely the most unconqerable sin..)
Short and sweet, but while calling on houses one Saturday morning, who would answer the door but a deliciously young and attractive mother of two wearing nothing but a towel. I can only imagine that her hair was still dripping, maybe with a little soap in it, which only added to the excitement. According to the pastor, and he said this “to his shame,” but all that was on his mind was a hope and prayer that just maybe a divine act of physics would cause the towel to fall off before they finished their brief introduction and apology for catching her at a bad time. And the moral of the story is? You’re pastor is a creeper. I saw a woman in a towel on tv the other day and the only thing going through my mind was how much I hate commercials when all I want is to find out how much that coin is worth on Pawn Stars.
Reading this brings up a lot of unsettling memories for me. For years, I was a member of a church that preached going out and giving the gospel was the only way you could be right with God. Being very shy and introverted, I hated the salesmanship. I made myself go a few times, and hated every minute, even if I didn’t have to talk. There was so many other things I could have been doing! I stopped going, and then had the leadership on my neck. I was called into the pastor’s office, and I was not allowed to use my talents in church, because they wanted to be able to say that everyone in the choir, or who played the instruments, or sang, or did any work in the church all went “soul-winning”.
I felt terrible all the time about not going out, but I feared I would lose my sanity if I went.
Although I am no longer at that church, the guilt of being screamed and yelled at for not going out with the rest of the church has remained with me; I still feel like the lowest Christian that has ever lived.
Misery is my best friend.
I can fake being OK pretty well and have many people fooled, but the guilt trip I’ve been on is a long one, and has deeply affected me.
It’s kind of nice to read all the writings here, but the teaching still is with me that perhaps these posters that don’t go out trying to sell Jesus to people have fallen from the truth.
One day, maybe, the guilt will be gone and I will be a whole person.
Thanks for reading…
I’m still on that guilt trip. Not just about soul-winning but everything. I cannot measure up and I worry about the state of my eternal soul all the time. It’s a burden that I try to hide from most people but my fiance and my mom get my constant questions and my constant concerns.
So if anyone feels like praying for me, I would greatly appreciate it. But be encouraged, Guilt Ridden, you are not alone.
I don’t worry about the state of my eternal soul, praise the Lord! That is SETTLED!
It’s nice to know I’m not alone, but the voice buried deeply within me says that “Of course you’re not alone with these backslidden reprobates!”
Sure, some people will write off this site by calling everyone on it a reprobate or a rebel, but remember Jesus Himself was called a glutton and a drunkard. Some even said He did His miracles through the power of Satan! So other people’s assumptions may not be true.
Line up what people say with what the Bible says. I’ve found this blog incredibly helpful in bringing out in the open some of the things I’ve been uncomfortable with for years but didn’t know how to express. There probably are some readers who are scoffers, but many of us love Jesus and want to live for Him, unencumbered by legalism and the burdens others tried to lay on us. There is freedom and joy in following Christ! I believe it and I’m trying to find it!
What you are going through is a result of abuse. No if ands or buts, it was abuse.
We hope in time you will see the God of the Bible (you know the one who is Love, and in whom we have liberty) and not the vindictive, angry, petty god of the fundy cult.
Come and sit a spell with us, and heal with us. You’re among friends here.
Thanks, Don… but “they” say they only wanted to “encourage” me to live a life pleasing to God.
I know that God is love, but He is also Holy and Righteous, and He commands us to live holy and righteously.
The voice from the past inside me says that forums like this are inhabited by rebels against God and His word.
It may take a long time to get rid of the teaching from my former church.
It will take some time. Trust me on that one, it will take time. I know I had to deconstruct my entire worldview and break it down then rebuild. Problem is I have to remember to take off the fundy lenses before I try and rebuild, otherwise I end up rebuilding what I just deconstructed. It is a long frustrating process.
I keep going back and examining: is this Biblical? Or is this tradition? Is this of Christ? or is this of the IFB? Did God actually say that? or did I only hear it from the pulpit? If from the pulpit who whas exalted? God? or the MOg? It is so much easier to be spoon fed or bottle fed… having to think these things through and give a reason for the hope that is in me… and why? That is a tremendous process. But it also produces tremendous growth.
Just hang in there with the rest of us sinners (who have been redeemed by grace) and we’ll all get through this and have some healing along the way. 😉
Don’s questions are a VERY GOOD way to help get off the guilt-ridden merry-go-round in my thoughts and start focusing on what the Bible REALLY says. 2 Cor. 10:5 says to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” which reminds me to stop feeling unforgiven and unaccepted and BELIEVE what Jesus says. God delights in me; He has forgiven me; He rejoices over me with singing! He treasures me! (I have trouble believing those things, but they’re biblical!) I DO want to live my life to please Him, but out of joy and thankfulness and as a beloved daughter! I will pray for Jessica and Guilt Ridden both – and pray for me too, because it’s hard to change years of thinking one way. Above all, I want to please Christ, not man’s traditions, not a church or a parent.
I was fed a guilt trip, too, at my former fundy church. Though it wasn’t as severe as what you went through at your church, I understand and feel for you. I was taught that my introverted personality was no excuse, that I wasn’t trusting in God to overcome my “fear of man.”
Something that helped me was remembering what I learned (in a fundy youth group of all places) that the apostles all had different personalities. Andrew simply introduced people to Jesus (using an established relationship maybe, instead of cold-call door-knocking?). Peter was the impetuous one with his foot in his mouth. James and gentle John were the vengeful “sons of thunder. The thing is they all had different personalities that God gave them. A carpenter has more than a hammer in his toolbox. A painter paints with more than one brush. A potter uses more than one shaping tool. And, I think it is reasonable to believe that God uses different personalities to share His gospel in different ways.
Like you, I still struggle with guilt. Sometimes I wonder if it’s real guilt or fundy-induced behavior control. Whenever that happens, just remember that God knows you’re confused, that He is gentle and loves you. God leads His sheep; He doesn’t drive us like cattle. Tell Him you’re confused, ask Him to help you know what to do, and then let go of it. If you feel like a court witness being badgered by the prosecutor, then consider that the prosecutor may have brimstone on his breath.
Remember Matthew 12:20: “a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory.” May God grant you peace and victory.
I don’t know if you were replying to me or Guilt Ridden, but I embrace that message and truly want to find healing. I’m starting to heal by coming to this site.
There are people here who care about you and are probably praying for you (And you too, Guilt Ridden) right now as they read your comments. Many of us may know exactly what you’re going through. I can understand feeling like you’re doing nothing if you aren’t witnessing like everyone else. Then I realized God gave me a different tool to witness than most people: writing. I don’t know what He has planned for you but I know He loves you and will never let you go. I pray you can find healing here with anyone else who was abused like you were.
Thank you for your kind thoughts.
Of course : )
My favorite soul-winning moment came during a vacation Bible school in Mexico, while on a BJU mission trip. We reached the time for the Bible lesson and I had to leave the auditorium to attend to something else, but apparently time went quicker than I thought. When I started to come back to the auditorium, I found one of my teammates leading nine little girls outside, a look of desperation in her eyes. “You’ve got to help me, they all want to accept Jesus!” She was conversant in Spanish, but not fluent enough to feel confident with this. So I got to lead nine girls to the Lord that day. (Yes, there was proper follow up by the people in the church, and lots of individual attention . . . eventually.)
I know this thread is long, stone cold dead, but I came across it with the “random” button and was reminded of “soulwinning” at my childhood church during elementary school. This consisted of going to the grocery store and planting Chick tracts in the produce and frozen foods.
One Sunday morning, I attended the Big Baptist Sunday School class at Eric’s invite. The song time was the high point. One kid pounded the piano furiously. Another flailed the air with his arms. It devolved into pandemonium. Problem was – one was working 3 quarter time and the other, 4 quarter. Yes. That was the good part. Then the lesson [questionable nomenclature]! It consisted of the typical sophistic, puerile, platitudes, delivered with increasing hysteria and clinched with the assurance that if anyone was not absolutely sure of their salvation, they could be so before leaving the room. When that blessed event [leaving the room] happened, Eric was ecstatic.
‘Wasn’t that GREAT!’
‘Amen, Eric! Praise the Lord! Tell me – what did you learn?’
Eric blanched as if I’d slapped a great, wriggling cod fish across his chops. A moment later, the ‘happy stupor’ burned back. Eric’s eyes lit up and the goofy smile returned …
‘Well, I learned to serve the Lord!’
‘Amen, Eric! Praise the Lord! Tell me, didn’t you know you were supposed to do that BEFORE you went to class?
Eric blanched again. This time he was really struggling. Then he spoke.
‘Gee … I guess I didn’t learn as much as I thought …’
I suggested that Eric take Strong’s Concordance and study God’s attributes by reading all the references to God’s glory, faithfulness, goodness, justice, love, wisdom and power. See how they matter in the context. Write down your observations in a notebook. At the end of each Bible book, write a summary of how that attribute plays into the faith and life of God’s people.
Three months later, several things happened at once. We came off a string of particularly pathetic chapel and heretical Sunday morning messages. The other is that the BJU Post Office inadvertently put a piece of Eric’s mail in my box. I found the mistake when I checked my mail before heading for the library after supper. I decided to drop by Eric’s room on the way to my own dorm later.
I found Eric on the top bunk with several books and a pencil. I asked if he was using Strong’s concordance. He was. I asked what he was studying. It was the faithfulness of God. I asked him where he was reading. He’d made it to the middle of Deuteronomy. Then I did my worst.
‘Aren’t these some GREAT messages we’ve been hearing at the Sunday service lately!’
Eric’s eyes assumed a look of subtle alarm and significant discomfort. His head shook slightly and he said, ‘I can’t say …’ But he did assure me that he was learning and growing fast.
I’ll leave it to others to decide whether this counts as evangelism and conversion or evangelism to counter-conversion.
I never did return to the Big Baptist class. I overdosed on stupid once. That was enough.