Monday, November 26, 2018

Sneak Peak (Evangelism)

I want to share with you a little back and forth "rough" email conversation between myself and some ministers from around the country.  Hopefully this will encourage and inspire some of you as you see some of the behind the scenes communication that I am blessed to be a part of almost every day.  I have added some graphics to help with the mundaneness of it all.  Here you go:

 From Preacher 1:

I ran a revival a little over a month ago for a Pastor friend of mine, Bro.
B.L Horne. He pastors South Thompson Baptist Church near Vidalia Ga.( *I
caught some heat from teh Holiness Powers that Be for preaching at a
Baptist Church but I have felt it heat for other stuff so I knew I would
survive it !)*

After the last service we were talking outside and I could see he had the
burning desire to reach out to folks but had not had success in the past.
Literally across the street was a large trailer park. I asked how often had
he and his church made contact with these folks.
Bro. Horne told me they had knocked on doors over and over and invited to
church but very little response. He said his church folks are not as
engaged in it as I would like them to be and they don't seem to enjoy the
experience of meeting strangers.

I told him about Holiness Missions to America, Bro. Todd Sloggett and I
also told him what I knew about Bro. Kevin Vickers outreach efforts in
Waycross. I told him, " You know BL , my buddy Bro Todd Sloggett says, "
Its Amazing what you can accomplish when you don't care who gets the
credit!" and He also says       " Lets build the Kingdom of God first and
the Church Membership second."

I told him of all the things Bro Vickers and his church ws doing and the
impact it had made in his Church's community.

I thought to myself, What would Todd and Kevin say to this man!! So, I
asked him , Have you considered that you and your church folks could
establish a relationship with the neighbors in the trailer park and
minister to them even if they never came to South Thompson Baptist?

His face lit up..He said, We could fix Thanksgiving Dinner and go invite
them all to eat with us at the Social Hall! I said, Or you could just setup
a tent in the middle of the Trailer park where they live and bring the food
to them on their own turf?

I think it was the best sermon I preached the entire week and it was in the
parking lot to the pastor after the revival was over !

Attached are the 2 photos he sent me this morning and I have copied his
texts into the 2 entries below for your reading pleasure:

We did it yesterday and it was awesome. We prepared smoked chicken plates
(150) and carried them out. We went door-to-door last Sunday and met with
108 people and told them what we would be doing yesterday. They came to a
central location in the trailer park to get the plates, many of our church
members were there to meet and greet, Some went door to door delivering
plates. The chicken we had left over was delivered afterwards to the Mel
Blunt youth home Which is opening a completely new door of ministry for us
in December. The best is yet to come!

There is so much that has already come out of this that I just stand in
awe! The participation and turn out from going into the community and
surveying every house, To those that participated in preparing and cooking,
assembling the plates and what really blew me away those that went into the
trailer park to deliver from the STBC family. I realized last night after
reading some post that to some it was their very first trip into the
mission field and their eyes were opened and are excited. - Pastor B. L

*Now throw your hands in the air and SHOUT HALLELUJAH and keep on keeping
on !! -BF*

Also from Preacher 1:

I want to put you 3 guys together in this email. I have shared already with Todd and Kevin what I know about STBC outreach experience yesterday but Bro. B.L can tell it better himself .

Bro BL told me so many positive things that has happened since the revival I cant name them all but he can. I'm just putting good folks together that share a love to help others in hopes y'all can compare notes.

Let me introduce yall:

Rev. B.L Horne, Pastor STBC

Rev. Todd Sloggett, Evangelist and President of Holiness Missions to America

Rev Kevin Vickers, Pastor Waycross Holiness Baptist Church

From Preacher 2:

Bro Brian I want to thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and challenge to me when you didn’t even know you were challenging me.  The Holy Ghost prompted you, convicted me and is now working in our church and community in an incredible way.  Here are my thoughts.  Excuse my rambling but my heart is just full of little things that God has done over the past few weeks.  And I KNOW that He has more to come our way.  Just keep us in your prayers.

Bro. Todd and Bro. Kevin,

Let me just take the time to introduce myself.  I’m a nobody that became somebody because Jesus cared enough to call me to Himself.  I have pastored Southern Baptist Churches for the past 21 years. I am not an evangelist but I have an evangelical heart.  I thank you guys for what you do for our Lord.  My goal is 2 fold.  In all I do, bring Glory to His name and see lost people saved.  Brian asked me about using our story of our recent outreach and you may under one condition.  Give God Glory.  It is not about me or South Thompson Baptist Church.  Our story may seem really insignificant to many but I have seen Him work through this process and truly believe the Best is Yet to come!  I look forward to hearing some more ideas from each of you and  one day getting together.  Here is what happened,

The last night of revival, Bro. Brian Fowler made the comment that we (South Thompson Baptist Church) had a gold mine across the road in a trailer park.  I agreed and explained that we had set up a bounce house, slide, snow cone stand, door to door invitations to festivals, VBS visits, just about everything I could think of to reach the unchurched.  Efforts had not been useless, we had seen some response, and a small number of salvations but over the 8 years that I had been at STBC, the community that we call John’s Trailer park, showed little to no interest in anything we attempted.  In fact, the day we set up the bounce house, slide and treats, only one child came. 


But as Bro. Brian shared how another mission minded, gospel loving Brother had reached the low and lonely by feeding them, I felt inspired.  Well it was more encouraged and conviction than inspiration.  I felt like I had given up but God hadn’t.  I all of a sudden became excited about a new direction, a new idea that God had delivered.  I quickly assembled our Church Council and we began sharing ideas of how we could reach these people by feeding them.  Not preaching to them or trying to get them into our church service, but just feeding them.  After a couple of meetings and discussions, we decided to not invite them to a thanksgiving meal as we initially planned but take a plate of food to them.  The idea popped into my mind to do it on a Sunday during regular worship time.  To “Be” the church instead of “having” church. 


The idea was saturated in prayer, shared with the church and quickly developed into a plan.  The plan was in 4 stages.


1.) Planning- Map the area and go to every house, not asking names or any private information.  Just simply identify who we are and ask if they would like a smoked chicken plate at no charge.  If they said yes, ask how many plates and invite them to pick them up at a central location under a white tent located in the middle of the trailer park.   This was to be carried out by the council but I invited anyone to go.  On Sunday November 11 we assembled and instead of 5 people, we had 18 people show up.  We went out to 50 houses making 108 contacts and invited them and presented them with a card  to remind them of the location and the time.


2.) Preparing – Each Sunday School class hand wrote cards with a personal scripture to be placed inside each chicken box.  The men’s ministry gathered together early Sunday morning to prepare the food.  A group peeled, cut and cooked potatoes for potato salad then mixed it.  Other men sliced and bagged pieces of cake. Yet others smoked chicken and cooked green beans all while fellowshipping and eating breakfast together.  At 10:30 others from the church joined the men to prepare the plates.


3.) Presenting – Once 150 plates were prepared, they were loaded into the church van which is marked with the church name on the side to identify who we are.  We then took the plates to a designated area in the center of the park under a white tent.  People were waiting when we arrived.  Plates of food were distributed as people from the trailer park and surrounding area came.  They were met and greeted by about 25 members of the church, both children and adults.  I took the van, loaded with children and a few plates and went to houses that did not come to pick up plates.


4.) Pray, Pray, and Pray – Prayer surrounded every part of this mission.  



Once we were finished, we gathered around the table as a church family to share a meal together and individually give thanks for God's provisions and gifts in this life, things we call blessings.  Upon cleaning up, an abundance of chicken remained even after all had eaten, (like 12 baskets after Jesus fed 5K).  One of our members, Jim, suggested that we give the chicken to a boys home a few miles away and he and his wife agreed to take it.  A short time later I received a text from his wife that said “What a blessing. 20 more fed and praising God for His provision.”  Later that night Jim called telling me of the experience and how each boy personally introduced himself and gave thanks for the food.  Once Jim told me this, I began thinking of how we could minister to these boys.  Plans are already underway. 



Even though no one has come to the Lord since this took place yesterday, as we know of.  God has already worked in this opportunity.  First I saw the response of those willing to serve.  It has opened people’s eyes. I was surprised at the turnout of STBC members.  Some of them commented that they had doubts but were excited when they went into the community and saw the needs of others being met by our church.  This caused me to realize that this was the very first mission trip that some of our members had ever been on and it was 500 feet from our church steps.  Three people that live 2 counties away heard what we were planning and came to help.  A hospital heard and volunteered to cook for us and only charge what it cost them. Secondly, I saw the response of the community.  They came.  Even if it was to get food, they came.  Jesus met people’s physical needs first by developing a relationship.  I feel for the first time in 8 ½ years that I have been there, that STBC has begun a relationship with our community.  Thirdly, other opportunities have developed.  We now have a foot in the door to minister to 20 teenage boys at a boys home that is only a few miles away, this was not in the scope of our mission area. (God is so good!!!)  An elderly lady the stepped across missing boards on her back porch to come out to talk when we knocked on her door is willing to let us repair her porch.  The last house that we took plates to, a Hispanic family of 6 wanted to know from another Hispanic lady that is a member, about our services, times, and child care.  THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!!

I did have some back and forth in there with each of these ministers but I left my part out.  Just wanted some of you to catch the raw dialogue of the beginning stages of what something like some of our ministries might have looked like as God began to spark a dry field.  Please be in prayer for all that are involved that God's will and Holy work is done. 

While so many are arguing, fighting, splitting, building up power, wealth, influence and clout, we have worked with a couple hundred cases such as these and are in daily workings with about 50 of them right now.  We have seen hundreds and hundreds of conversions in a little over a decade.  To God be the glory.  Fight, work, love and pray on!

Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett