Friday Challenge: Share Your Soulwinning Stories

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”

  1. I went to a conservative Bible college in downtown Chicago. We all had to participate in weekly PCM’s – which stood for Practical Christian Ministry. My first semester their I choose street evangelism. Which meant a small group of us would go either to the subway or street corner and hand out tracks while one person would draw “chasm of sin” and how we’re separated from God on a large flip board. It always amused me at how we were relegated down to the level of a panhandler by everyone we came in contact with (we even had to apply for a street performer license with the city dept) and how people would try their best to avoid you when they got off the subway and you’d pester them with a tract and try and pray with them. I don’t know how “practical” anything we did was. I find it disturbing that there’s the stigma within conservative evangelical circles that if you humiliate and degrade yourself by discrediting your sanity in public then you must be doing the Lord’s work.

    1. if you humiliate and degrade yourself by discrediting your sanity in public then you must be doing the Lord’s work

      That’s beautiful. I may very well steal that from you, joe. 🙂

    2. If it’s any consolation, I have had some experience with attempting to pass out non-religious information on street corners and at Metro stations, and people have tried to avoid me too. One time a bunch of us were passing out info about a special offer from Sprint, and I was the person who was completely disguised as a giant Blackberry; I tried to get people’s attention by dancing around at the top of the Metro escalator, and they STILL wouldn’t look at me! So apparently it wasn’t the message that was the problem, but the fact that people don’t want to be approached in public.

    3. I went street preaching in Sydney (Parramatta) on the night of the “Wiccan Festival”. It was the same place we street preached every other week so it wasn’t some planned event. Anyway, I was preaching down the hellfire and brimstone and some kid/man/woman came up to me (it had a weird mask on) and then began to stare at me and kneel down. It then proceeded to walk to five points around me and kneel down. I think it was cursing me and praying to Satan or something at 5 points of a pentagram. Anyway, some other guy came up to me and asked me “do you have a permit” (I was using a loudspeaker and it was VERY loud). I didn’t have one but I wasn’t going to let the devil win. “Yes” I replied.

      “Oh, can I see it”.

      “No, go and call the police if you don’t like it”

      He did.

      Cops came. Told him to shut up, told me to turn off the loudspeaker (but I was allowed to continue preaching – but I didn’t have a permit for the loudspeaker).

      So… all up, I managed to make a bunch of wiccans angrier at God, gave them something to laugh about, didn’t preach any of God’s love towards sinners, told them all they needed to stop being witches or they would burn in hell and lied in the process of “sharing the gospel”. But I thought I was awesome and that story was shared as heroically as possible in testimony time.

      Another time, preaching in Sydney, I walked past a guy who was passed out drunk. I did nothing because I thought “he deserved it”. A friend I was with, who also walked past, decided to go back thinking “I don’t not want to be a samaritan”. Turned out the ambulance was already on the way, but far out, I can’t even think of that without wanting to crawl up and die for my hateful attitude.

      1. “It then proceeded to walk to five points around me and kneel down. I think it was cursing me and praying to Satan or something at 5 points of a pentagram.”

        It’s more likely this person was praying for you to be healed of the hatred and pain that were causing you to damn other people with a loudspeaker in public.

        1. Well, maybe. Regardless of what they were doing, it was Pagan. But that doesn’t excuse my behaviour.

    4. Joe I see we share the same alma mater. I did the open air a few semesters at said school. I managed to get mine in before we had to get the street preformers license. Had some good and bad experinces with it. I also now ave someone to share the alpahbet with CPO SDR ASC PCM. One last thing which dorm did you live in Culby or did you live with the rest of the pagans in dryer 😀

      your brother in gid

  2. I managed to avoid going on “Christian service” at my Fundy U the entire four years I was there. I did have occasional pangs of guilt about it but between full-time classes and a full work schedule I simply couldn’t make it fit even if I had wanted to. Besides that, the idea of winning trophies for going on these things sat wrong with me.

    After college I went door-knocking exactly one time. And then I realized that I was violating the golden rule of doing to others what I would not want them doing to me and wasting my time in the process (most people didn’t even come to the door).

    I still do leave tracts on public restroom toilets, though. I mean what better way is there to get people to re-think their theology than from the mysteriously stained pages of a germ-infested gospel tract? (I kid, I kid).

    1. The worst thing you can do is stiff a waiter/waitress and then leave a tract. It happened to my future sister-n-law and so she sent a letter to that church where that tract came from telling them that that’s a poor testimony. The pastor sent a letter back with money and an apology.

      1. I’ve heard of people doing that. I would think if you’re going to leave a tract, you would want to leave a huge tip with it, to get the server’s attention. Leaving no tip gets his or her attention, too, but not in a good way.

      2. Well, I applaud the pastor of that church for responding to her, offering money and an apology, that’s a good testimony. I’m sure he was rightly embarrassed by whoever it was who left the tipless tract.

      3. I had to quit going out to eat with certain people in college for this very reason.

        I was shocked that they left a tract without a tip, pointed out that people depended on those tips to live. I was told- quite snottily so- that “finding Jesus’ was far better than any monetary tip.” 🙄

        Idiots.

        1. I’ve actually taken tracts off the table and stuffed them in my purse when out to eat with idiots, so we wouldn’t be a “bad testimony.” I’ve also tipped for the whole table (who conspicuously prayed before lambasting the waitress) because they said they got paid by the restaurant to do their job. 🙄

      4. I used to work at a coffee shop and (even as a fundy myself) I used to hate it when church parties came in. Loud, rude to the staff, and lousy tippers to a person. And yes, a couple of them did leave tracts; Chick tracts, the good gruesome ones.
        And no, I didn’t go out soulwinning. I’ve always been a big woman and back in the day was very selfconsionce about it. That and as others have said, I hated being accosted by anyone for any reason and couldn’t see doing it to anyone else. I knew I was a bad person (and God and all the souls I’d help damn would judge me ) for not going but I just couldn’t bring myself to.

        1. A local Christian radio talk show was just discussing how waitstaff hate serving Sunday afternoons because church folk are so rude. Why? Love is not rude (I Cor. 13), and they’ll know we’re Christians by our love. So embarrassing to have that kind of a reputation!

          Also, I hate being accosted or bugged too so I hated turning around and bugging other people, even though my cause was worthy.

      5. I wish this topic was not a year old so no one will see my reply here. Not that I’m so all fired important but this particular topic has stuck in my craw for 30 years!

        I worked at a Big Boy restaurant as a young adult for several years. There were two Baptist churches within a couple blocks of the restaurant. This was before I married and became IFB, I guess these two churches were both IFB, because they each would come in on Sundays and leave tracts.

        Now I was saved, I was saved 18 days before my 16th birthday. I had to work Sundays because the restaurant was open Sundays. I wanted to go to church but I couldn’t because I had to work and getting a Sunday off in a place like that was very difficult. But these well meaning Christians would come in and leave tracts instead of tips. They assumed I was unsaved. A couple times I would catch them on their way out and give the tract back to them saying I was already saved. They’d counter with, “How come you’re working on Sundays?” How dare they ask me that? They came to the restaurant on Sundays, many from those two churches came after the service and they ask why I’m working? Because you choose to eat out on Sundays that’s why! If the people from those two churches would stop coming MAYBE I could’ve gotten a Sunday off so they were the reason I had to work.

        Back to the tract instead of a tip thing. The one tract they left the most often resembled a dollar bill (a good tip in those days) but it wasn’t of course. You’d pick it up thinking it was a dollar bill and it said, “The Best Tip You’ll Ever Receive.” This ticked me off something awful and here I was the Christian. You can imagine how my co-workers felt about receiving these. What do you think they said when I would try to witness? They’d bring up these Sunday Christians and their tracts instead of tips. Most of them would trash the tracts out of anger and I couldn’t blame them! So those well meaning Christians actions had the opposite effect of what they intended.

        I remember once coming up to a table to serve and the man was praying. When he finished I said Amen, and again they acted so surprised to find out I was a Christian. So they wanted to be served by non Christians so they could leave a tract instead of a tip and congratulate themselves on doing the Lord’s work.

        We were ripped off from even minimum wage in that place, we made a full 70 cents LESS than minimum wage which should have been illegal. So many of my coworkers depended on their tips and they were ripped off by these Christians. I wonder if any of them ever did get saved. 😥

  3. Strictly speaking, I never went “soulwinning,” but I was coerced into passing out flyers for VBS one summer. While I didn’t have any horrible experiences with the people on whose doors I knocked, the director who drove us around in the church van caused some consternation by insisting that we knock on doors that had highly visible “no solicitors” signs. If I remember correctly, I refused to do this, which made me “rebellious” and “hard hearted” since I didn’t “care for their souls,” evidently.

  4. All godly teenagers in Fundy land gets up at the butt-crack of dawn on Saturday to go door to door and interrupt people’s sleep. So that is what I did. That and later on I did bus ministry.

    Anyway, there are many funny stories, but one stands out. We would normally travel in pairs. I was chatting with my partner and crime and he said that his worst fear would be someone pulling a gun on him. True story, we rounded the yard to head to a house. As we walked up the stairs we noticed that the screen door was shut, but the regular door was open. The door looked into the living room that had all the lights turned off, so it was pretty dark. Dark enough that you couldn’t see faces in that room. Off of the living room was the kitchen with the light on. When we knocked a man appeared silhouetted by the light behind him. Suddenly, out of nowhere, he lifted up a butcher knife asking, “What you guys want.” We about freaked until we heard the laughter coming from the kitchen. From that day forward I never joked about worst fears again. 😯

    1. Years ago, friends of mine lived in a very heavily evangelized area. It was not uncommon at one point to have Saturday mornings interrupted by three or four deputations from different churches/religions. That dried up rapidly after they started keeping a rubber chicken and a carving knife next to the door…

      When I lived in a very heavily evangelized area I, fortunately, did not have to resort to such cheap theatrics. A big enthusiastic dog with a deep bark worked quite nicely. (Actually, the main danger was being licked to death, but they didn’t know that!)

  5. Currently there is a man who stands at my subway stop in Boston. He is there just about every day all day. It is sort of a comfort to see him actually only because he is so faithful. Anyway it is interesting from my perspective because he doesn’t do it like a Fundamentalist. He stands there just holding out a pamphlet or tract dressed nicely, but with no extra paraphernalia. He doesn’t engage unless he has been engaged. He doesn’t force anyone to take anything. He just stands there offering the Gospel to anyone who cares. I sort of admire the guy really. It has to be tough seeing thousands of people walk by every day without so much as a hello. And yet he doesn’t force the issue or escalate. He just patiently waits. Interesting.

      1. Good question, but I was saying all day more because I always see him at rush hour on the weekdays. But he could easily be there between 7:30-8:30 and come back between 5:00-6:00ish. Or any variation on that timing. He is dressed nicely so I wonder if he isn’t a local pastor or something.

  6. I use to go on a soul-winning mission in downtown Greenville with a group from BJU/Mt. Calvary Baptist. This was my first big-time soul-winning experience. I just watched the first couple times as people talked to drug addicts, prostitutes, democrats and other horrible people.

    Then it was my turn to try. I walked up to a 50-something year old successful business man and asked him if he died and stood before God and God asked him, “Why should I let you into heaven,” what he would say. He said he would bargain with God. HA! I knew that wouldn’t work, and I let him know it to.

    So he began rattling off all the good things he did. My response? Being the good fundy I was, I yelled at him. Right in the middle of the street and told him he was going to hell. Loudly. Over and over. Yeah, it was epic!

    He obviously refused my tract and left without praying a darned thing. I was distraught. I thought about it later that night and was sure that I had screwed up…I must not have followed the script. Now he was going to hell…and now it would be MY fault!

    Yeah. That’s the kind of nasty guilt fundyism gives you. They don’t tell you to love people and share Christ with them and let God do the saving. I thought it was my job.

    Thanks, Fundy U and Fundyland, for the screwed up theology and practice. Try taking some food to those homeless people instead of tracts. Try showing some compassion to the drug addicts instead of using their addiction to “prove” to them that they’re sinners.

    1. Will,

      I don’t think BJU told you to shout at the guy, did they? I know Mark Minnick wouldn’t have told anyone to do that. He’s pretty much of a Calvinist, and I am sure would tell folks to give out the Word and then trust the Lord to bring fruit. I also think the BJU delivers food every Thanksgiving to the poor and needy in Greenville, and a lot of their students and faculty are involved in humanitarian activities with the idea of presenting Christ throughout those good works.

      1. Have you listened to Minnick’s sermons? He might hang around with Calvinists, but the guy does not preach the Gospel. He preaches another Gospel. He says over and over that “our only hope as Christians to please God is to do our best to live biblically.” That isn’t an aberration. He says it every week. He preaches works.

        As for BJU and yelling, yeah, they yell. Of course they yell. That’s why we called it “Faculty Beating” every week. I got yelled at all the time.

      2. Well, C.J., first of all, I didn’t receive any instructions whatsoever from Mark Minnick, so your point’s pretty much moot. Second, this really has nothing to do with BJU’s thanksgiving baskets…so again, not really sure what you’re getting at there. But if you don’t think fundies yell, then you clearly haven’t spent enough time on this site.

      3. Mark Minnick is NOT a Calvinist.

        I did (and do) respect those faculty and students who went out from the school and did tremendous works of good for the community: Red Cross, Greenville Literacy, Camp Spearhead, and candy striping. That is (or at least it was) part of the culture at BJU.

        But when I was there, the yelling faction was also a part of the culture of BJU. In fact, only a minority–dedicated as they were–participated in that charitable work that benefited people’s lives. “Getting people saved” outweighed doing them tangible good in Christ’s name, when I was at BJU, although the two mindsets lived in peace with each other. My own extension was canceled when John Vaughn decided he wanted to be more “evangelistic”. We had such regular attendance from the children that we were teaching the older ones genuine doctrine and were seeing true spiritual growth and having real conversations with them about their questions about spiritual things. But the children in Po Mill just could not expand his numbers.

  7. I remember being yelled at by a street preacher while I was attending a Pensacola Christian College. He was embarrassing to watch. One of the street preachers stuck his head inside someone’s car and yelled at them. People do many crazy things in the name of God.

    1. Yep, that’s Ruckman’s “Bible Institute” guys! I also went there (to PCC) and because I did not have a car, and not many friends who did, I had to walk to the store most of the time. Its really sad, but not one of those guys ever tried to talk to me about the gospel, or anyone else who happened to be walking. They would ignore walkers, and even cross to the other side of the street some times, so that they could scream at the passing cars instead.

  8. I personally evangelize to any Jehovah’s Witness that comes to the door. It’s a matter of principle.

    In “doing unto others”, I ask them lot’s of questions about scripture, which gives them a huge chance to talk. Any good salesman, ahem, Jehovah’s Witness knows that if the “mark” is talking, keep talking.

    It is easy to trap them in their theology, in their Scriptures, in their history.

    Since they come in two’s, it’s hard to separate them, get them alone, and get them to think reasonably. But if I can plant a seed…

    1. I’ve become friends with a sweet elderly JW lady in my town named Grandma Jean. I told her up front I was going to try to convert her, and she kept coming back, so I figure it’s working. I actually really like her and care about her, and she knows it. I’ve been told I shouldn’t let her in my house because she’s rejected the truth and all that, but she’s just a person on a journey like us all.

      1. “I’ve been told I shouldn’t let her in my house because she’s rejected the truth and all that, but she’s just a person on a journey like us all.”

        I lived for almost 20 years in Greenville. I had a friend whose mother lived in Maine and was a Jehovah’s Witness. My friend went to a church affiliated with BJU and was told by the pastor of this church that she should not allow her own mother to stay with her in her house while visiting because her mother was a “heathen and a heretic, allowing her mother to enter her home would be wishing her ‘God speed’.” 🙁

  9. Somehow I only managed to hand out one tract during my time at BJU. I gave it to a clerk at a shoe store, and the experience was so traumatic I still think of it whenever I pass that place.

    Actually God did something amazing for me when I was in BJU and struggling with soulwinning guilt.

    My senior year I signed up for a Personal Evangelism class. I didn’t need it but I felt obligated. Bucause the homework involved handing out tracts and I was painfully shy, I *really, really* did not want to take that class. So I prayed, “God, if I’m just taking this class out of guilt, and you don’t actually want me to take it, please, somehow, keep me from taking it.”

    I registered for classes before break, and when we came back to school in the fall I got a note to go talk to the registration office because there was a problem with one of my classes. “We’re sorry,” they said. “you signed up for the *men’s* section of Personal Evangelism. We can’t let you take that class!”

    Yeah, God definitely had my back at BJU.

  10. Oh boy, I definitely dreaded soul winning when I was forced to do it. I’m not at all a good salesperson. I hate approaching people trying to convince them of something. I did it quite a bit in high school as part of the youth group. We always went in pairs, and everyone was very uncomfortable. I don’t know, there’s just something not right about sending teenagers who are uninformed to convince adults that they are going to hell. I absolutely hated it. I also hated selling candy door-to-door for school fundraisers…just as annoying.

    I don’t have any particular soul winning stories, just the overall uneasiness it left me. After a while, I joined the puppet ministry and had a much, much better time. That was fulfilling, and the kids really enjoyed what we did, so there were personal rewards.

    1. People who are naturally outgoing and good at selling things do not understand what it is like to have been born without that type of personality. They are the people who tell you that you have an obligation to speak about Christ to everyone you meet. Don’t listen to them. God gave you the personality you have and the talents you have for a reason; and I don’t think He wants you to force yourself to be something He did not make you.

        1. I put that book on my wish-list. I’m just like Ben. My whole life I’ve struggled with guilt because I didn’t have the salesperson personality to go out and talk to complete strangers about the Gospel. I get terrible anxiety when I have to talk to people I don’t know or when I’m in a strange environment. I’m very friendly & somewhat outgoing when I’m comfortable with a person, and it’s always easier to share the Gospel with someone you have a casual relationship with.

        2. I cannot recommend Introverts in the Church highly enough. As a very strong introvert who’s never really “fit in” in churches, that book was incredibly helpful to me. Again, I cannot recommend it highly enough, whether you are an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between.

        3. One more thing: McHugh’s book does include a chapter on evangelism for introverts, along with chapters on community, leadership, etc.

  11. We lived in a “complex” back in SA (a gated, townhouse development). Anyway, one day we get this tract and things under our door from the girl next door, who was attending one of the local (Reformed) Baptist churches. Anyway, I went back to her, and said, thank you, but we are already Christians, and it might be a good idea to befriend her neighbours before plying them with tracts. She was immensely huffed about it, so I phoned her pastor to mention the occureence to him, suggesting better training for their folk. He listend to my advice, but I’m not sure if he ever took it.

    1. I think it’s a sort of twisted asceticism – this idea that we have to suffer for Christ so He wants us to go out and do things we really DON’T want to do. The thing is, life is going to bring us suffering anyway without us trying so hard to put ourselves in uncomfortable positions. It doesn’t sound anywhere near spiritual enough, but maybe instead of spending Thursday night passing out tracts, how about inviting some neighbors over for supper and a game of Outburst? You’ll be forming relationships and getting to know them, laying the foundation for sharing Christ.

      1. eeehhh,
        I’m sorry, this approach is still shady to me. If you have an agenda, just be out with it and let me take it from there. No thanks to the love bombing stuff. This is not about friendship, this is about recruitment. People who have been in these systems for so long have no idea how sincere friendships are formed. I’m not a recruiter. May God forgive me.

        1. I agree. My sister (a Fundy U student) only socialized with me in an effort to convert me. People at my fundy ex-church only socialized with me to try to get me to join choir, the Ladies’ Bible study, etc.

          When I didn’t do what they wanted I was dumped.They didn’t care about me, they only had an agenda.

          “Love bombing” really hurts.

      2. I agree with the idea, but yeah you have to be careful with it, as Maybe Gray and Lizzy said.

        I do think you need a relationship with people before you can try to “evangelize” them. I personally would never “pray the prayer” with someone who came to my door, because I know nothing about them.

        But you have to stay friends even if they don’t want the Gospel. Or they’ll be left with a bad taste in their mouth, and you’ll be left with a horrible testimony.

        1. I agree! Faking friendships to get in the door to share the Gospel and then writing off people if they’re not interested isn’t right. Neither is hiding behind the walls of your church and not having a SINGLE FRIEND who isn’t already a church member (or a member at a similiar church). And lest you think that’s an exaggeration, that pretty much has defined me for nearly all my life. It IS possible to live life completely within the Christian bunker because I’ve done it. But I don’t think it’s what Jesus did. He didn’t hide from people; He went to them, loved them, cared for them, listened to them, and told them about God. Personally it’s a lot easier just to surround myself with people who already believe exactly as I do (and then pass out tracts once a month to get over my guilty feeling that I’m not fulfilling the Great Commission) rather than try to reach out, getting misunderstood and maligned by others in the process. But I want to follow Christ no matter what the cost.

  12. from a different perspective…but i will always remember the strange fundies that would show up at the state university i attended and park it on the mall for the afternoon with giant signs reading (and my memory is a little fuzzy..) “whoremongers, adulterers, [gays], etc..are all damned to hell” with the glaring omission of anything related to jesus dying on the cross to forgive those sins. but it always managed to draw a large crowd, with one person (usually the dreadlocked philosophy major with the lingering odor of incense on his vegan poncho) standing near the front brave enough to say what everyone else in the crowd was thinking, sparking a heated, awkward, circular debate in which there could only ever be one winner (or loser?). hard to measure the effectiveness, but if i were a betting man i would wager he turned off about thirty people to true chrstianity for every zero people he influenced to follow christ.

  13. For several years, I tolerated the guilt of “never having won a soul for Christ” and often left the service with a huge burden after hearing the pastor preach about our responsibility to share the gospel. Then we adopted Reverend James Kennedy’s “Evangelism Explosion”, complete with his “how to” books. We knocked on the doors of the people who had visited our church, but on weeks when we had no visitors, we’d go “cold calling.”

    Looking back on those experiences, I have mixed feelings. Yes, I do remember those occasions when we either knelt in their family room or stood outside on their porch and led them in the sinner’s prayer. But I also wonder just how effective our efforts were.

  14. I always hated knocking on doors. I hated everything about it but I felt guilty if I didn’t. I was started young so I eventually got pretty good at it and learned to endure it. That said, I “won people to the Lord” a lot.

    I always thought the Saturday morning routine was dumb but the Thursday evening thing is dumb too. Why must we go pester people when they are most likely sleeping?

    I have been out knocking doors in several countries on several continents. I have handed out tracts by the thousands and, yes, I have stood on street corners and screamed at passing strangers. I hated it at the time and do not miss it.

  15. Faith in God (or the lack thereof) is a very personal subject with most people. For good reason. In order to effectively share the Gospel with anyone you have to get to know that person. The knock, pray, and run routine just doesn’t produce long-lasting results.

    1. No. No, no, no, no, no.

      I understand what (I think) you’re getting at. And I’d agree that building a relationship with a person is often the most effective form of witness. But just because you don’t have a relationship with someone doesn’t mean you can’t share the Gospel with him. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that “Lifestyle Evangelism” is the ONLY way you can share the truth. Satan wants us to limit God’s miraculous ways of working through us by telling us this or that isn’t possible.

      Jehovah is the God of the impossible and is fully capable of using me however He chooses.

      1. Believers are described in the Bible as a body – we are different, but we work together to glorify God. Some people do well with a more confrontational style of evangelism, and some people respond to that as well. Some can use apologetics well; others tell a riveting personal testimony. As you said, Jehovah is the God of the impossible. He is not limited to one style or way or personality of spreading the Gospel.

        For me, the error is in insisting that everyone witness the same way (Thursday night visitation) when we are differently gifted. Another error is assuming that handing out tracts releases me from any further obligation to help my neighbor.

        1. Well said! Although I am accustomed to being in front of audiences, cold calling scares the liver out of me. I used to feel guilty about not having ever “won anyone to Christ” personally even though I have been in a Christian ministry of one kind or another for… a long time. (ahem) I have come to understand that God uses me according to the talents He has given me. I find myself on the seed planting end of the process, and I refuse to pressure someone into “making a decision.” I was pressured, so I know first-hand that produces more confusion than anything. Being part of the body is truly how God works. Years ago I wanted to see my guitar teacher trust Christ. The group of us taking lessons determined to share the gospel when it was appropriate and to be examples of believers at all times. I prayed that God would send someone to him to make the gospel plain. After about 2 years of this my teacher told me at the outset of a lesson that he had become a Christian a few days earlier! Wow! None of us had ever personally done the Romans Road or any other method of soul winning. We just lived it and prayed and were friends with him. Years, I mean years, later I met the man who “led him to the Lord” at a music event. We discovered we both knew the fellow that had been my teacher years before and he said, “I got to lead him to the Lord!” I replied, “So you are the guy I was praying for all those years!” This statement surprised him, and it was fun telling the story. Just amazing! Really, God does not need our help, just our availability for Him to use however He wants to. Fundies are so self-centered and concerned about carving notches on their gospel gun handles that I wonder if they do more harm than good.

  16. I went out with my youth group in high school. We were given “surveys” that closed with a pitch for praying the prayer. I would go out of my way to get partnered with someone I knew wouldn’t be comfortable with deceiving people. We would walk, very far away from the neighborhood we were canvassing, and I would throw the fake surveys in a garbage can and walk back, lying about all the people we talked to. I just thought that I wouldn’t want to be bothered by JW’s or Mormons, so why would anyone want some 16-year-old Baptist kid ruining their evening?

  17. I almost always managed to get out of going soul-winning when I was growing up because I always had to stay home and babysit my siblings so my parents could go. Thank goodness.

    This past New Year’s I went up to Seattle with some friends for the fireworks show they have every year at the Space Needle. There was a group of fundies walking around with huge signs with the typical rude sayings on them, and one of them yelled in my face as I was walking by. I was so offended, embarrassed, and angry. I’ve trusted Christ as my Savior–I’m going to heaven–yet how dare these people assume I’m going to hell and yell at me to flee from judgment just because I was at a fireworks show?! There was nothing about this crowd to make anyone feel like they were in the middle of heathendom–no alcohol, nobody fornicating in dark corners…just happy families celebrating the new year and waiting for fireworks. It really upset me. I’m SO glad I’m out of that world and don’t get guilted into “evangelizing” using these kinds of methods.

    1. That sounds very obnoxious! It’s strange how they assume everyone they’re yelling at is unsaved. How can they possibly know that every single person within earshot is lost? Oh, that’s right, because they don’t see any of them at their particular church on Sundays & Wednesdays…

      I think it’s terrible that they just indiscriminately yell at everyone that they’re damned to hell. Talk about a complete turn off…

  18. “Soul winning” was actually one of the few positive experiences I had as a fundie. When I got to be old enough to drive, I was allowed to go out on my own on Saturdays. I got lucky enough to meet this elderly lady who wasn’t really to keen on all the Jesus stuff but really seemed to enjoy that someone was taking the time to have a conversation with her. After that, I would just return there every Saturday and sit and talk for a couple hours with her. She enjoyed the company, I enjoyed the baked goods she made, and my parents thought I was out winning the town for Christ. Everybody wins!

  19. True story. Once I went door-knocking with a couple of very aggressive fundies. At one house, we were invited in by a very kind and soft-spoken young man who happened to have an earring. As the conversation progressed, one of my soul winning partners begin to go on and on about the evils of homosexuality. Since the young man was becoming visibly more confused, the fundy finally told/asked him, “You’re a sodomite right?” To which the young man replied by dropping his jaw and shaking his head. “I’m sorry,” says the fundy, “you just look a lot like a homosexual”.

    By this time I was heading for the door and had decided that I would never go ‘door-knocking’ again.

  20. Once, a man fainted right in front of us as we were in his apartment, trying to evangelize. He really went down hard, too. He got back up, and promptly escorted us out. We had an ambulance come, but he refused to get checked. Very interesting experience.

    I must say, though, while I reject many of the IFB peculiarities in ‘soul-winning’, I for one have not rejected confrontational evangelism altogether. I think there is a right way and a wrong way. I also think that the main venue for evangelism is in our everyday situations and relationships. However, I believe certain people are gifted to go out into a community and herald the gospel – I just no longer believe everyone has to do it that way, or that doing it that way is the apex of evangelism.

  21. I accidently posted this in the wrong place

    I went street preaching in Sydney (Parramatta) on the night of the “Wiccan Festival”. It was the same place we street preached every other week so it wasn’t some planned event. Anyway, I was preaching down the hellfire and brimstone and some kid/man/woman came up to me (it had a weird mask on) and then began to stare at me and kneel down. It then proceeded to walk to five points around me and kneel down. I think it was cursing me and praying to Satan or something at 5 points of a pentagram. Anyway, some other guy came up to me and asked me “do you have a permit” (I was using a loudspeaker and it was VERY loud). I didn’t have one but I wasn’t going to let the devil win. “Yes” I replied.
    “Oh, can I see it”.
    “No, go and call the police if you don’t like it”
    He did.
    Cops came. Told him to shut up, told me to turn off the loudspeaker (but I was allowed to continue preaching – but I didn’t have a permit for the loudspeaker).
    So… all up, I managed to make a bunch of wiccans angrier at God, gave them something to laugh about, didn’t preach any of God’s love towards sinners, told them all they needed to stop being witches or they would burn in hell and lied in the process of “sharing the gospel”. But I thought I was awesome and that story was shared as heroically as possible in testimony time.
    Another time, preaching in Sydney, I walked past a guy who was passed out drunk. I did nothing because I thought “he deserved it”. A friend I was with, who also walked past, decided to go back thinking “I don’t not want to be a samaritan”. Turned out the ambulance was already on the way, but far out, I can’t even think of that without wanting to crawl up and die for my hateful attitude.

  22. The soulwinning I do every Saturday is plainly knocking on doors and invite people to my church. I rarely, if ever, present the Gospel at someone’s door unless I can tell they have been putting thought about life and death, Heaven and Hell, etc. I go out due to my working on a bus route.

    I recently stopped evangelizing on my door knocks because I now no longer believe that someone can hear a 5-10 min presentation of the Gospel, understand it, believe it, and as a result persevere in the grace of God for the rest of their lives. My church is big on the “1,2,3 repeat after me” when all it is doing is committing spiritual abortion to these people. Almost every week in church I present the gospel to a visitor, and I always if they understand what I am saying, and what they would like to do in response to what I said. Almost every time in the last couple months, every person has wanted to think about it. I refuse to have them repeat a prayer, because then they rely on that prayer for salvation, even if I tell them beforehand it’s not the prayer that saves them. Although I do feel like maybe my gospel presentation is not good because, if it were, then these people would be getting saved then and there. But I have to realize that most people do not believe the first time they hear the Gospel. I remember my mother told me it took her about a year before she finally believed.

    I will continue to go out on Saturdays and invite people to church (I’ve forced myself to turn from naturally shy into an outgoing individual).

  23. When I was in high school we teenager were taken to a local mall to witness. Nothing like trying to shop at the mall and having someone preaching at you.

    We also had to go on door to door visitation on Thursday evenings. I also worked for a church bus ministry near Philadelphia PA. We used to go on Saturday morning “calling” to lure children to ride our bus on Sunday morning by telling them they could come to church, hear about Jesus and would get a DQ “Dilly Bar” on the way home. We always seemed to have higher attendence on “Dilly Bar” Sundays than non-“Dilly Bar” Sundays, wonder why? hmmm 🙁

    I now go to a large evangelical church after I moved back into this same area a two years ago. I refused to go to the fundamentalist church I grew up in for a number of reasons. This caused quite a bit of “concern” for my “eternal home” and now guess whose door is being knocked on, on Thursday evenings 🙄

  24. I discovered this site recently, and I have to say, I find it very therapeutic. Sort of group-therapeutic. The guilt regarding soul winning robbed me of the happiness of my youth. I was pretty sure God was finished with me due to my failures to share Christ. I seriously believed God had plans to kill me off because of my uselessness or at least injure me badly to get me on the right track.

    My attempts at soul winning are so many I could write a book! I hated it, but if I gave out a tract, I felt some sense of relief that I’d done the right thing. “Their blood was no longer on my hands,” as Jack Chick would quote.

    I would still be a complete basket case if not for the severe depression and anxiety that drove me to an actual psychologist (more guilt: the counsel of the wicked).

    I am free of that awful pain now but confused spiritually. One thing I know. We need to CARE about people! I used to care about souls, about following the Bible, about saving my butt from God’s wrath, but I did not really care about people, or was too caught up in how I had to be a perfect sales person to ever actually listen to people. Does it make any sense that I feel like a better person now, but a worse Christian? I actually care about people. This is one thing I know is right.

    1. “I used to care about souls, about following the Bible, about saving my butt from God’s wrath, but I did not really care about people, or was too caught up in how I had to be a perfect sales person to ever actually listen to people. Does it make any sense that I feel like a better person now, but a worse Christian? I actually care about people. This is one thing I know is right.”

      There’s a great quote from author Margaret Feinberg: “Love has not agenda. Love IS the agenda.” 💡

    2. “I used to care about souls, about following the Bible, about saving my butt from God’s wrath, but I did not really care about people, or was too caught up in how I had to be a perfect sales person to ever actually listen to people. Does it make any sense that I feel like a better person now, but a worse Christian? I actually care about people. This is one thing I know is right.”

      There’s a great quote from author Margaret Feinberg: “Love has not agenda. Love IS the agenda.”

  25. in youth group, we used to get a paid scholarship to the wilds if we fulfilled certain requirements throughout the year, including soulwinning. even better, this activity also fulfilled God’s requirement of earning his approval through good works. so, not only did we become more pleasing to God through our works, we got paid to do it!!!! that’s straight scripture gospel right there!

        1. The WILDS is a terrible place to send your kids to. I worked as a counselor there less very recently when I still considered myself a fundy. Don’t get me wrong- the facilities are cool, and the giant swing is still my favorite. But the kind of preaching that your kids will get is pure legalism. They mix the gospel (they’ve got the gospel right, at least) with ARSENIC of pull-yourself-by-your-bootstraps IFB Peripheralism!

          As a “moreover,” I remember hiking one day with my campers when I overheard a fellow counselor fulfilling his requ….(erm) counseling one of his kids: “So, you say you got to Casting Crown concerts? Do you think this pleases God? Think about it… what music do you think they’ll be playing in Heaven? Casting crowns, or something more like what the play here at the WILDS?” ❗

    1. I was saved at the Wilds, but only as a geographic location. Neither the staff nor evangelist (Double-Barrel Ferrel) playing any part of that wonderful, liberating moment. The moment after, I began coming out of FundyLand and stopped drinking the kool-aid.

  26. When I was a student at Fundy U. I encountered an outside, secular person. We were chatting and I mentioned that I was engaged. She asked what his major was and I told her it was Bible. She got this horrified expression on her face and asked, “Is he required to go out and yell at people every night?”. Apparently, she and her husband had been yelled at by another group of Fundies in the area who were picketing a restaurant that served alcohol. She thought that group was from Fundy U. and made the logical assumption that this was a “ministry requirement” for all males on campus.

    1. You know, I wish some guest chapel speaker would drop the Deut. 14:22-29 bomb on these anti-booze “Christian” colleges. I’m tempted to do that to my former fundy church of 19 years. How odd is it that perhaps the only passage in the Bible that might offer some tiny bit of credence to the the-word-wine-does-not-mean-the-strong-stuff argument is the same passage in which God Himself says it’s okay to drink “wine” AND “strong drink”?! And, you don’t have to be a first-century Greek pastor with gastric troubles to get away with it! I haven’t started drinking and don’t have a desire to, but I love this passage! It’s so refreshing! I thank God for it!

  27. My dad was actively involved in running and organizing our church’s Thursday night “Fisherman’s Fellowship.” As we became teenagers and then BoJos, my brother, sister, and I were expected/told to go. I never wanted to – the panic! the anxiety! the fear shame guilt! – for reasons I couldn’t always articulate (and because of that, I guess I wasn’t saved appropriately) but mostly because it made me uncomfortable.

    I remember one time as a teenager, not necessarily related to Fisherman’s Fellowship but vaugely recalling itself as inviting people to VBS or something, in the “Allison Hill” section of Harrisburg: a group of people on the porch of the house, my dad talking to some or none of them, me standing there useless and awkward, and one of the men on sitting on a step looking me up and down, grinning, maybe winking or air kissing. I was horrified and frightened.

    My dad, of course, did not notice.

    1. Sarah, I’m moved by your description of “fear shame guilt”. I’d love to hear your story. And I hope you are finding grace and freedom in Jesus, as I am. (He didn’t say, “Come to me…and I will give you fear and shame and guilt”!) 😉

    2. Oh, and one more very important thing, Sarah. I’m thinking that, as one of your pastors during your childhood, I probably contributed to that fear/shame/guilt (because I felt so much of it myself!). I’m deeply sorry if that’s the case. May you (and I) know the freedom grace brings.

  28. I have done d2d in my community. I had a pretty good partner and we just talked with people and waited to an open door to share the Gospel and give our testamonies. We were often turned away but more often than not people would at least talk to us. There were some times when we were able to give a straight forward presentation of the gospel and out testamonies. When we started that d2d ministry we made it clear to all who participated that our only comission was to share the gospel… not get decisions. We plainly said that our part was to be a witness and share the Gospel woth those we can in contact with and where the Lord opened the door and made available the opporutnity. Saving, conversion, redemption was the Lord’s work. In two years of d2d we never had anyone say the so-called sinner’s prayer. Most fundies would say we were not successful… I guess the Lord defines success differently than Jack Hyles, Johnny Rice and the other fundy god-fathers do.

    The most memorable incident was when I went with the pastor one evening to witness and hand out tracts downtown at one of the local homeless shelters. You have a captive audience as they line up to get their space in the shelter around 7-8 pm. I would start on one end of the building and the pastor would start on the other and we would meet somewhere near the door.

    So this evening after most everyone was in, we were getting ready to leave when the local police pulled up on the curb near us. Called us over to the car and asked us to assume the position. After the pat down and some questions we found out there was an anonymous tip that a couple of guys were acting like thsy were handing out religious literature but were actually drug dealers.

    Now when I went downtown I always carried a recorder on me so that everything I did that evening was recorded in case something went bad wrong, or incase someone wanted to accuse us of anything. I offered it to the police but they knew we were not dealing. I asked if this had been done to others who came down and preached or handed out tracts. They said that this was a first, for blaming a church group with dealing.

    Now, you know that a story like that is “pure gold” in the fundy cult-bunker network. And it got great traction and milage from the pulpit and during story time. 😯
    But… due to circumstances that I now see in hindsite… I am convinced that the “pastor” made the call himself while on the other side of the building before coming around to my side. *gasp* How could I say such a thing!? Well…The “pastor” is now in jail facing arson, kidnapping and assault charges. I did not see it then but I believe this guy would have done anything (a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g) to build his legend in the fundyverse. I think I was played like carp, having swallowed the fundy reverence for the M-O-G, hook-line-and-sinker!

    1. And then there was the time you and I went out and I got chased by a dog. That’s a war story right? Clearly some unsaved wretch trained his dog to chase a mannagawd away from his house. He probably gets fed tracts as treats. 😆

  29. I went to HAC where we were required to go soul-winning. Every. Single. Week. I secretly hated it but never said a word my entire 4.5 years there because I didn’t want to be labled as wicked. I wasn’t that type of social personality at all, and I spent hours every Saturday mentally wishing I was doing anything else in the world besides talking to random people. In fact, looking back, those Saturdays were worse than any part of boot camp.

  30. A friend told me about a disturbing thing he witnessed. The first time he was assigned to go soulwinning for his Bible college, the upper classman he went with took a water pistol with him filled with bleach or something. They came to a house with a dog in the front yard. He surreptiously squirted the dog in the face, then went to the front door to alert the family that “something is wrong with your dog.” Of course the grateful dog lovers invited them in. (I think this guy got the “be crafty as serpents” part down. As for harmless….)

  31. (Sorry my last reply got posted too early!)

    Visitation Rules (Not a joke):

    1. Knock 7 times (you know why)
    2. Two Men=Good
    Two Women= Acceptable
    Man+Woman= Worldly unless you’re married
    3. No white shirts or you’ll look like Mormons
    4. Only carry Bibles you can conceal in your pockets
    5. Shirt and tie a must
    6. No soliciting signs do apply to you as you are not selling
    7. Look for toys in the yard to determine if there are children
    8. Carry gum/jawbreakers/Jolly Ranchers for aforementioned children

    Learned these from Fundy U and mentors. 🙂

      1. Also, the door knocking/doorbell ringing must occur BEFORE 8 Saturday morning. This will ensure the occupant will be surly, therefore increasing you chances of “persecution,” and therefore increasing the “eternal reward” for your efforts.

  32. I thought I would not have one ,but i do.

    When my church had a missions conference, the teens who wanted to go could get paired with misionaries that had come for the conference. I was with a missionary to Canada. We went to this one door, but the guy was asleep on his porch. So, I walked up, rolled the track and put it between the door knob and the doorway. I turned around to go down the strairs , but my missionary partner was gone. I silently paniced and looked around for him. Then I see him over against a tree laughing. I ran over there. He was still laughing and said “Sorry, I just had to do that. Someone did that to me the first time i went soulwinning and I just had to do it to somebody else.”

  33. I don’t like tracts, cornering strangers, any of that. BUT…in a park by Niagara Falls, Canada, I was with my Bible college music team from PA. A girl on the team decided (first time ever) that she wanted us to tell someone–anyone–about Jesus. I reluctantly said, “OK, the next person that sits down…” and immediately a “biker-type” guy stepped off the path and sat under a tree. She dragged me over to him and I offered him a tract. His jaw dropped. He said, “There’s an old man who walks up and down outside the park all the time giving leaflets out. He gave me this exact same one yesterday! And my brother has been telling me the same message.” The real kicker: That night after our concert in New York I told that story to my hostess. She said, “Old man? Gives out tracts outside the park? That’s my dad!”

  34. I was with a group of teens one time downtown passing out tracks and one of my friends got cursed out by a Satanist when he tried to give him a tract and was told by the Satanist that he(my friend) was going to rot in hell).

  35. The memories are flooding back! My very first time handing out tracts I was teamed with George (whom we affectionately called Space Cadet). A couple was walking toward us and George stood in the guy’s way and said to him in an “I dare you” tone, “Do you believe in Jesus?” The guy replied, “Some other time, huh, buddy?” and walked on. George yelled after him, “Some other time, huh–SEE YOU IN HELL, BUDDY!”

  36. When I was in college, I went out to the local party street with other members of the Assemblies of God church that I was a part of. I did the handing out of tracts, the harassing of random people walking by, and even a little “street preaching” over a loudspeaker. Doing things like this was way outside of my comfort zone, so I thought that I was growing spiritually by doing these things. When we got yelled at, spit on, and, in some cases, nearly physically assaulted, we always took that as a sign that we must be gettin’ the devil upset ’cause we were stealing souls from Hell, so we must be doing the right thing.

    Of course, the real reason people hated us was that we were a bunch of loud-mouthed jerks that were ruining the evenings of people that just wanted to go downtown to the riverfront to have some beers and something to eat.

    I wish I could apologize to the people that we annoyed. And, if God actually does exist, I hope that he can forgive me for presenting such a horrible witness to the world.

    1. @ Trapped Pentecostal, God does exist and He does forgive!!! Think of how He called Saul away from zealously persecuting Christians. He forgave Him and commissioned him to become Paul, an incredible missionary and a writer of several books in the Bible. While yelling in the streets at people is obnoxious, Saul was dragging Christians away to jail where some of them were executed! But God forgave Him and used Him. He DOES forgive our misguided, often self-righteous, attempts to serve Him. He also leads us into truth so we get to know His heart of love (1 Cor. 13 “love is not rude”)and helps us see that harassing random people in public is not the best evangelism technique for today’s world!

      1. Thanks for the encouraging words, pastor’s wife, but I am afraid that since leaving fundamentalism (mentally, not physically, hence the “Trapped” part of my name), I have reached a different conclusion than most of those that comment on this blog. While many here have found comfort in the idea of a graceful, forgiving, loving God, I have found solace in the thought that no such deity exists at all.

        I won’t go into details here, since it’s not the place for it, but I am glad you have found happiness, and I won’t try to take that away from you, or anyone else that posts here.

  37. I went to a Bible college (with regional accreditation) where we were required to “witness to one person per week.” If you missed a week, you had to make it up. I managed to rack up the numbers, but really did not feel the hit-and-run thing was effective. I’ve done my share of d2d and bus visitation. It’s not my thing, though I do care about people, and whether or not they have a relationship with Jesus. I just always felt uncomfortable with the artificial atmosphere it creates.

    I often talk to people about Jesus, offer to pray for people who are struggling, or have family members who need prayer, and try to encourage them.

    Awhile back, my priest read a story from a book about a woman who never went far from her home. I’m a little fuzzy on the details, but it put the whole soul-winning thing into perspective for me. One day, the woman was tending her flower garden, and a young boy came by. She gave him a meal, and told him about Jesus, and he began a relationship with Jesus that day. Later on, she discovered that he had led a good number of people to Jesus, and they had led others to the Lord.

    Then, there is the story of Phillip in the book of Acts. He was in the middle of a “revival” so to speak in Jerusalem and Samaria when the Angel of The Lord sent him to a desert place where there was one Ethiopian eunuch who needed to hear the Gospel. One man, who was ready to hear, and God sent someone to do some “soul-winning.” No screaming required.

    I think that the screaming, dramatic techniques are more often counter-productive than effective. (Somehow that last line reminds me of the time Adrian Monk got into the act with a street evangelist in New York City. LOL) Maybe the key to one-on-one soul-winning is to be sensitive and obedient to the whisper of the Holy Spirit. Maybe God uses the unique qualities that He has given to His children to minister to those who need to see and hear Him.

  38. I went to vist JD at the time he was 68. I was told he had cancer and that he hated preachers. However he was very nice and thankful I stopped by. We got to know each other for about 30-40 mins and as I was leaving I asked if I could say a word of prayer. He said yes and I prayed. Then I asked if he had ever trusted Jesus Christ as Savior. He said No..I then asked if I could show him a few verses in the Bible..To make a long story short, he still has cancer, But also has Eternal Life. a few weeks later was baptized and he is active within our church. God saved JD’s soul that day by His Grace and to Him I give praise, honor, and glory.

  39. As a teenager, I attended Trinity Baptist (Jacksonville) and every Thursday night, the whole youth group went door knocking.

    That was over 20 years ago, and I still know my lines.

    I also went to Daytona Beach for spring break with the youth group. We got trophies for soul-winning.

  40. * I was a summer missionary for CEF for two summers in high school. I actually think these are pretty sound because they are sponsored by a church, they are pretty fun, and they were low-to-no pressure.

    * I did canvas for our church’s VBS a few times. Not terrible, but . . . whatever. I remember a JW girl telling me she couldn’t go.

    * I did witness a lot to our Jewish neighbors in Tulsa — the Funks. Sigh. . . .

    * And I sang “Jesus Loves Me” at the top of my lungs on the swings in my backyard. The whole neighborhood heard me.

    * Oh! One more. My parents were actively involved in CEF. And my mom had Wordless Book everything — pencils, jewelry, neckties, pocket hankies, umbrellas. Gosh — what a site we must have been. And I loved it. I loved it ALL. Because I’m a dork.

    And my unsaved aunt was visiting us. I was convinced that I would witness to her. I was seven. So I wore everything wordless we had. And she commented (who could ignore me?), “Oh let’s see. The red stands for love, the yellow is for sunshine, and the green . . . is for money.”

    👿 😡

    NO! How could she get it SO WRONG!??! WORDLESS FAIL.

  41. Two words: Evangelsim Eplosion. You get trained to sell God. It’s all very professional, high pressure sales tactics. We even had a laminated flow chart to follow. 🙄
    And, to top it off, I got credit for my homeschool Bible class. Never mind that no one ever reached anyone using that program…..or that I wasn’t even a believer at the time: hence my “testimony” was sheer fabrication…I actually used to pray that people wouldn’t open their doors to us. To this day, I make it a rule not to buy anything from anyone soliciting door to door. If I want something, I’ll go get it.

  42. I went street preaching only once, as a college student in Pensacola (that’s in Pensacola, at UWF) with a friend. He was/is a big ol’ Southern boy and we were out in front of the Whataburger on Davis Highway and we were both just preaching up a storm at all the cars as they went by and then this pickup truck went by, slammed on the brakes, pulled over fast, and this rednecky-looking fella came barrelling out of the driver-side door rightr at my friend, shouting “What was you hollering at my woman?”

    My friend said softly, “Mister, I was just telling her about the Lord and about how she can get to heaven.”

    Redneck fella stood there for a second and said, “Well, that’s ok, then. I appreciate that.”

    and he walked back to his truck.

  43. So yeah, I went soul winning at my college. Hated it, never wanted to talk to anyone. Felt bad about bothering people who didn’t want to be bothered. Hated rushing them through prayers they obviously didn’t mean. Never again.

    I’d be much more comfortable advertising for our church and not guilty people into anything.

    I’m still (strongly) encouraged to go even though I’ve left the school, but I usually had to work Sat. morning. Now that I’m not, my mom will want a different excuse….

  44. The easiest fraud to point to (that I personally and regrettably participated in) is back in 1994 or 1995 when I was fulfilling my “momma-called, daddy-sent” obligation to become a “preacher boy” and attending Hyles Anderson to be “educated”. Face it: All the other schools were too liberal (BJU) or on the slippery slope to liberalism (PCC).

    Anyway, I digress.

    Dr. (not sure where he EARNED the Doctorate) Hyles set a goal of 10,000 baptisms in that year. I did everything I could to avoid the bus ministry, but as the year was running out and the 10k baptisms was in jeapordy, there was a “penecost saturday / sunday” declared by the powers on high and everyone was dragged to the chicago projects with a bus and a rented neighborhood church. I remember luring people onto the bus with some offer of free lunch and once they got on the bus, they were told that if they didn’t want to go to hell (and WHO DOES??) that they should pray this prayer (insert usual 1,2,3 repeat after me) and hey… if you really meant it, you should get baptized… and looky there… we happen to have a baptistry strategically located next to the stack of bologna sandwiches.

    (bonus rabbit trail: “If God didn’t care about ‘numbers’ so much then why is there a book in the Bible named ‘numbers’?” Yep… that’s the answer I got on more than one occassion.)

    I’m pretty sure they hit their 10,000 baptisms that year… while all of Heaven fell silent.

    It’s embarrassing to admit to even have played a part in that non-sense. Then again, it’s quite a badge of honor to say I got expelled 3 semesters in a row. It just hit me a while back that the reason they always waited until the last few weeks of the semester to expel heathens like me was so that they could get their tuition.

    As for now… I ALWAYS leave a Way of the Master tract with my 20% tip. (I was a waiter for years and can vouch for the pathetic testimony of many Christian non-tippers… oh…. and the tracts made to look like fake $20 bills… another bad idea)

    Wow… this group therapy is working!!! I feel better already!

    Mr. Will Yums

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