Participants: Karen Thomas, Jason McCracken
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000066
00:32 Welcome. I'm glad you could make it today. We have back with us
00:35 Jason McCracken who is the marketing representative for the
00:38 Review and Herald Publishing Association and a youth
00:41 evangelist. And the last time he was here with us we talked about
00:45 outreach to the community and the world. You know, these times
00:48 require that we have a Bible foundation for what we believe
00:51 and that is what he's here to talk about with us today. This
00:54 time it is winning people to Christ. Welcome to the program.
00:58 Thank you, thank you, thank you. Well I'm glad to be here and I
01:02 want to thank you for inviting me once again. We're going to
01:08 start with the word of God. Matthew chapter 28, because our
01:13 topic today is winning people to Christ. So Christ has given us
01:18 some excellent information that we need to share not only with
01:22 ourselves but people all over the world. The Bible says in
01:27 Matthew chapter 28, verse 19, it says go, go ye therefore and
01:33 teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and
01:39 the Son and the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all
01:43 things whatsoever I have commanded you and lo I am with
01:47 you alway even unto the end of the world. Amen! Now when Jesus
01:51 was talking to his 11 disciples, today he's talking to the church
01:56 He wants the church to go. G means get, O means out. That's
02:02 how I use it. Get out. Get out and teach all nations. Get out,
02:06 baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy
02:11 Ghost. And that brings us to our topic, Winning People to Christ.
02:15 How do we win people to Christ?
02:18 Well that's a question people want to know. How do we...
02:20 You know there was a book that was written, How to Win Friends
02:22 and Influence People. People want to know how to have a
02:26 winning personality.
02:28 Well, let's look at six different areas here. OK.
02:30 The first is we need to equip members...
02:42 There are two essentials we need to pick up here. Equip and to
02:49 share. The first is to equip. How do we equip? In order to
02:56 make disciples, we must teach disciples. We must sit down with
03:02 members of the church in not one session or two but we must do...
03:08 I do it in a period of six months to a year. Can you
03:13 imagine sitting with me for a whole year? But now I teach
03:19 people. We have to teach them how to become a disciple.
03:24 Now is the pastor supposed to do this only?
03:27 A lay person, an elder, a deacon, a church officer, an
03:33 associate pastor, the pastor of the church. It doesn't matter.
03:38 The person that is equipped for training people, that person
03:42 should be designated how to train. There are people in the
03:46 church that just can't do everything and the pastor cannot
03:50 do everything in the local church. So he must delegate
03:54 responsibilities to people who have the gifts. There are
03:58 certain gifts that people possess and I think the pastor,
04:02 if he cannot do it, assign it to someone else. If you want to
04:06 equip work like we do in a university on a curriculum
04:11 basis. Say I want to give you 24 lessons on how to reach
04:16 people and so the first is to equip. We want to make sure that
04:21 when they pick up the Bible in somebody's home and when they
04:24 start whizzing through these pages and say, well the text of
04:27 scripture is here, over here, they need to know how to do
04:31 that. Most people don't know how to do that because there are a
04:35 lot of questions to objections. So we have to equip. Now the
04:39 good thing is you need to share Christ. When you equip people to
04:44 go out into the community, they have to share Christ. Now, how
04:49 do you share Christ? You share Christ because you know Christ.
04:54 That's the only way you can share. An example: Somebody's
04:59 getting ready to get married. Invitations go out. They're
05:04 sharing that that person will get married on that particular
05:08 day at that particular time. When you look around the whole
05:12 church is full. Well how did that happen? Well newspaper but
05:17 word of mouth. People need to share. If Christ is in their
05:22 hearts, if they're convicted by the Holy Spirit, they'll share
05:26 Christ in their neighborhood. So after you equip them, now you
05:30 tell them to share Christ.
05:33 Let me ask you something. About this sharing. What is the
05:36 best thing for a person to go out with? Is it good for them
05:41 to go out with commentaries on the Bible primarily or some
05:45 people have said well I think I've got a really good book
05:48 on the end times and I want to just kind of blitz my whole
05:52 community with that. What have you seen has been the most
05:55 effective way for sharing Christ as far as... Is it Bible based
06:00 or is it primarily commentaries?
06:02 Well there are many ways you can do this. First of all I would
06:06 not sit in my home and say my community needs this particular
06:11 book. That's an opinion. The reason why we have an opinion
06:15 is because we don't know. First of all we need to go into the
06:19 community to find out what is happening in the community and
06:22 based on the events that are taking place in our community
06:26 then we can decide for a book or a magazine that will help our
06:29 community grow. And our community will respond based on
06:33 the information that we send them. Let's say that three
06:37 houses caught fire in the community. Would we send a book
06:41 on end time prophecy? No they have the current events.
06:45 Or are we going to send a book dealing with grief, hope, the
06:51 resurrection? We need to send information that's going to help
06:56 the community to grow. That's sharing Christ. We must share
07:01 Christ at the appropriate time. For example: During Christmas,
07:06 a very interesting phenomenon that happens around the world.
07:11 People who are not Christian understand that there is a
07:18 Christmas. The Xmas is Christ, the X means Christ. So now
07:24 people around the world actually celebrate that event.
07:29 Are you going to go in the community and talk about
07:34 stewardship? Or how it's a pagan holiday.
07:39 Yeah. You need to share. Bad timing.
07:43 Bad timing. You need to share Christ.
07:46 Well I don't want to get on the topic that Christmas is a pagan
07:48 holiday. But we share Christ. We share
07:52 Christ. When people are sharing Christ at the
07:55 appropriate time you get a better response.
07:57 Well Jesus said if I be lifted up.
07:59 If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me. So when you
08:03 go into the community you have to make sure that you are in
08:07 tune to what is taking place in your community and then when
08:11 you're there to share Christ it's easy. So they must equip
08:15 their members to share Christ in the neighborhood and in their
08:20 life cycles. Every day we should witness. Every day. It's a part
08:24 of our life style. It's like breathing. When we breathe we
08:30 get air into our lungs. It generates... I'm not a doctor
08:35 but see I understand some of the things. We have oxygen going
08:40 through our bodies. We breathe, we inhale, we exhale and it's
08:45 the same as sharing Christ. We share Christ because it's a part
08:50 of us, it's a part of our makeup We just don't say we're going
08:55 have a specific time and date that we go out and share
08:57 Christ. No, no. We share Christ every day, every day. Can you
09:06 imagine if a church of 15 people would share Christ seven days a
09:15 week times 52 weeks, how many people in the community would
09:22 know about Christ. Just 15 people. Christ only used 12
09:26 disciples. So if your church is small don't worry. Share Christ
09:31 on the telephone, in the internet, by passing out
09:35 literature, magazines, books, talking, communicating to people
09:42 share Christ. Let's go to number two. Be friendly. The reason why
09:48 I'm laughing is because a lot of people get the misconception
09:53 that Christians are not friendly they're not friendly. They're
09:58 sad faces. They don't show their teeth. Well now if you don't
10:03 have any it's something you don't have to worry about.
10:07 But if you be friendly. Marketing teaches us to be
10:11 friendly to people because they respond easier.
10:15 If you're mad and sad and gloomy nobody wants to talk to you so
10:19 be friendly...
10:23 Let's just say we're out in the community. We go to let's say
10:29 a county fair where they have a lot of horses and cows and mules
10:35 and exhibits and we set up a booth on health. We're passing
10:40 out magazines on health and all of a sudden our faces are gloomy
10:46 so let me give you a picture right here. I have a health
10:49 journal, actually it's a big book. Say for instance I'm
10:52 standing there saying would you like to have this health journal
10:57 Please come and get it. But if you say hello, come here, look
11:02 at this health journal. Would you like to see it. It's
11:05 beautiful. It's fully illustrated. This is what I'm
11:08 talking about. Be friendly to people. Be friendly. Christ was
11:14 friendly to everyone. He didn't care if they were drunks or
11:19 prostitutes. He didn't care if they were religious leaders.
11:23 He was friendly, he was courageous. That's the secret of
11:28 winning people to Christ. Be friendly. Be friendly. Number
11:42 Let's say there's something that I do every year. There's a major
11:50 celebration that takes place in the United States based on a
11:54 pagan belief and it has a lot of spiritualistic values.
11:58 It's called Halloween. And that time of the year can be very
12:04 touchy to a lot of people, especially Christians. Now
12:08 normally we ask people to out and knock on doors, right,
12:12 before Halloween. But what happens if somebody knocks on
12:16 your door? Isn't it interesting you can have 100 or 200 kids
12:22 come to your door. Rather than giving them a trick you give
12:28 them a treat and the treat is sharing the gospel, sharing
12:33 Jesus. And when you share Jesus with them at the door some of
12:37 them will say hey this is nice. I have kids come to my door
12:42 every year. What do you got for us this year. Last year I had
12:46 the Listen magazine. And it had some famous artists that we
12:51 actually interviewed and the kids wanted to read about these
12:55 artists lives. And they came to my door, please we want that
12:59 magazine. So we featured people like Venus Williams,
13:03 Shaquille O'Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers and some of those
13:07 celebrities. One time we had Michael Jordan on the cover.
13:11 And so they want pictures and so they're sharing their
13:16 experience, Say No to Drugs, Don't Do Drugs. This is what
13:20 they're sharing. I'm sharing Christ in a magazine. That's why
13:24 they bang down my door. Now if I get 200 people to come to my
13:28 door and I don't have to leave that's good witnessing isn't it?
13:33 I can sit there and have a great time just sharing Christ and say
13:37 Don't Do Drugs, Say No to Drugs. I'm sitting there and there's
13:41 200 kids coming to my door and I'm throwing magazines in their
13:45 bags you know. This year we're going to have a radio station
13:48 right there in our community and we're going to talk to
13:52 children live over the radio. That's exciting. Yes. So we want
13:56 to be friendly, open and caring to persons visiting the
14:00 activity. Establish meaningful relationship with individuals
14:03 who are attracted to Christ. So if somebody's attracted to
14:06 Christ, they come to your door and they're attracted to Christ
14:08 now what you're going to do is you're going to establish a
14:11 relationship. You call, you walk, you talk, you share
14:16 information. How about recipes? I can share a recipe. You share
14:20 a recipe. One time I was sharing CD's with a person and they
14:23 were sharing CD's with me. Today they're Christians.
14:26 Praise the Lord. Just because we're sharing information.
14:30 You have a relationship that bonds people to you just like
14:34 Christ did. He just didn't preach in a community, but he
14:39 shared himself. OK. Now what if a person is
14:41 naturally reserved? What can they do. You know some people
14:44 are just not very outgoing naturally and it's very
14:48 difficult for them to strike up a conversation with people that
14:51 they don't know. What can they do?
14:53 Ask them can they write letters. Can they pay for a full
14:58 subscription of a magazine to somebody, a religious journal?
15:03 Do they like talking on the telephone? Now some people who
15:07 are reserved like talking on the telephone. So maybe they will
15:11 not identify with the person face to face but on the
15:13 telephone yes. How about on the internet?
15:16 That's a good one. You know I like that new messenger service.
15:19 Yeah. It's probably new to me where it makes you can actually
15:23 talk to a person and they can answer back
15:24 and you can actually get a group of people together. That's
15:26 a great idea. The internet is one way of
15:28 sharing Christ. In fact, out of the 20 million internet sites
15:35 out there, there are probably thousands and thousands of
15:40 different religious internet sites and you can communicate.
15:44 So there are... Share a site. Share a site.
15:48 Build your own website. But do something that's within your
15:53 talents and within your gifts. We all have talents. We all have
15:57 gifts. We have to discover those gifts. And having a relationship
16:01 is based on your character and your personality. So some people
16:04 like to do it quietly where others like me are bubbly. I can
16:08 out and say... I do it differently. My results are
16:12 different from someone else's results. But at least if all of
16:15 us are doing that we get greater results. Number four:
16:21 Now this is what I really enjoy.
16:35 Not too long ago I buried three people who were very close to
16:42 me in my family. Sorry about that. And so at this funeral
16:49 I was sharing with the entire congregation to accept Christ
16:55 as their personal Savior because the experiences that
16:58 I've had with the three individuals, they'd accepted
17:02 Christ before it was too late and then they died. So I'm
17:06 sharing the experience with them I said, now you have an
17:10 opportunity to accept Christ as your personal Savior. We were
17:15 in a location, in a situation that governs that decision. We
17:19 must ask. We have to ask. So invite interested individuals to
17:24 trust and believe Christ and accept his forgiveness and
17:27 unconditional love. We can do this on the airplane. We can do
17:30 this on the bus. We can do this on the street. We can do this
17:34 sitting in a Laundromat. We can do it in church. We can do it
17:38 on a baseball field. We can do it with children in a circle. We
17:42 can do it at a nursing home, at a police station, at a prison
17:48 and it goes on and on and on. Ask people to accept Christ as
17:54 their personal Savior.
17:56 Do we necessarily know what we're going to say before we get
17:59 in that situation?
18:01 That's the purpose of the Holy Spirit. We're in tune with the
18:05 Spirit of God and he will tell us what to say, when to say it
18:09 at the right time.
18:12 Well that's a relief. So then we don't have to worry about that
18:14 situation. We just trust God.
18:16 Howbeit when the Spirit of truth will come he will lead you and
18:19 guide you into all truth and that's the purpose of witnessing
18:22 The Spirit will say, you need to say this right now. And you
18:26 change you're entire theme and now you're talking to that
18:29 person and you are actually making an appeal to that person.
18:33 I went to a church in California one time and... Been to many
18:37 of them in California. You're from California, right? And
18:42 I made an appeal. I was preaching and I made an appeal
18:46 and 18 precious souls came up for baptism. Well I thought OK
18:51 that's cool. At the end of the service a little old lady came
18:55 up to me and said you know it's been 15 years since our pastor
19:01 made an appeal. Fifteen years. Wow! But 18 people were ready
19:07 in that congregation at that particular day at that
19:12 particular time. We need to appeal to people. Another
19:16 interesting area is to...
19:24 Now after we've made our initial contact in witnessing,
19:28 after we have bonded with them now we need to actually have
19:33 them study the word of God in a Bible study group. Invite them
19:37 to a seminar, a Revelation seminar, prophecy seminar,
19:41 a Daniel seminar or in your own home. Sitting down in your own
19:47 home opening up the word of God. We just created some
19:50 interesting material that will help people. We've been selling
19:54 a book called Bible Readings for the Home for many years. It's
19:58 a book that is being sold by the millions. Bible Readings for the
20:03 Home is actually a book that has been sold by literature
20:06 evangelists for many years. So we decided to have a smaller
20:10 version of Bible Reading for the Home. We placed it in this
20:15 little book called God's Answers to Your Questions. And this is
20:20 actually Bible Readings for the Home.
20:23 That's a really neat cover.
20:26 Well the cover is attractive because we want people to know
20:29 that we are dealing exclusively with the Bible.
20:32 Let me just take a pause here and tell the folks at home how
20:36 can get information about this book. Go to the 3ABN website
20:41 www. 3ABN.org and you will see a link to the Review and Herald
20:46 website there and they can give you information on how to obtain
20:51 this book. And so we use this book, Karen,
20:54 as Bible studies. This is our Bible study. It asks the
20:59 question. It answers it directly from the Bible and then we can
21:02 go into a conversation. What happens, you want to make sure
21:05 that you have enough time to deal with that particular
21:09 subject and so you don't want to move to different subjects.
21:11 You just want to stay on that particular subject. Let me give
21:15 you an idea of what are some of the questions that people are
21:18 asking. They are asking about the future. They are asking
21:21 about the Bible. They're asking about God. They're asking about
21:26 the end of sin and suffering. They're asking about the man
21:31 who was God; that's Jesus. They're asking about our future
21:35 home in heaven, of course. They're asking about salvation
21:39 through Christ, living for Christ. The end of the world.
21:43 With so many events taking place around the world, catastrophes
21:47 and earthquakes and floods and famines. I'm telling you, people
21:52 are asking about the end of the world. The coming King, the
21:58 creator. God's unchangeable day which is the Sabbath. God's
22:02 everlasting grace. They're asking about baptism and death.
22:06 People are asking about death and these tragic incidences that
22:10 are taking place across the world. They're asking about
22:13 hell. They're asking about 1000 years of peace, judgment, growth
22:17 in Christ, God's people, financial security. People are
22:21 saying how can I become financially free. Vibrant health
22:25 The Comforter and also following Christ. A few subjects that we
22:30 introduce. You know, I like what you're
22:33 saying to really focus on what of course what the interest is.
22:36 There are a lot of people who have different ways that they
22:38 like to take information. I know my husband and I, when we
22:42 travel that's one of the things we also encourage people. Find
22:45 out are they readers, are they television watchers, are they
22:49 video watcher, do they like to listen to CD's or music and then
22:54 get that information that fits that person's interest. I mean
22:57 someone who doesn't enjoy reading and doesn't belong to a
23:01 book club, you know, maybe another type of material could
23:05 be of interest to them. Maybe they like to watch things on the
23:08 web. That's right. I met a young lady
23:11 who received a tract at the door.
23:14 What's a tract?
23:15 It's a small little brochure that has a particular subject
23:19 maybe on salvation through Christ or faith. And so
23:22 they'll read the tract. It gives them a lot of Bible questions
23:26 and answers and they go to their Bible and read that. So she
23:29 flipped it over and it said from your friends the Seventh-day
23:33 Adventists. Well she went on the web and she started researching
23:36 Seventh-day Adventist and she found the web site to the
23:39 Seventh-day Adventist Church. And in the website it had
23:41 actually Bible studies. She completed all the Bible studies,
23:45 went to a local church in New York, went to the pastor and
23:49 said I want to get baptized. And the pastor said I don't know
23:53 you. She said, you will now. And she told him the whole story
23:57 I met a young lady like that. Just from the website we can
24:01 actually reach people.
24:02 I know that's true. I know when I travel a lot I have these
24:06 little cards for 3ABN and I'll pass them to people because
24:09 not only can they watch Issues and Answers, they can watch a
24:14 lot of different programs on 3ABN and people will go and they
24:18 will do that. And there's lots of stories that you hear on the
24:22 Presents program and other programs on 3ABN how people have
24:25 actually come to the Lord by watching television. So that's
24:28 another medium. We'll talk about the website now and then of
24:32 course these kind of books here. OK, all right. Somebody may not
24:35 go to the web. They may not watch television. They may be
24:39 too busy to even watch TV. I've had people tell me I'm just too
24:42 busy to watch television, but they will read as they're riding
24:45 the subway or, you know.
24:46 I was on the plane not too long ago and I was sitting next to a
24:50 senior citizen. She was going to Florida, and of course I was
24:53 going in the same direction. And we were just talking about
24:57 life. Her grandchildren, my children. And finally at the end
25:00 of the conversation as we were landing I said well I represent
25:04 a religious publication and would you like a copy of it.
25:07 She says sure. And I pulled out of my bag a Message magazine
25:11 and I gave her that magazine and I said well my the Lord bless
25:14 you and keep you. And she said thank you. I'm going to a
25:16 wedding. And I said, well read it. It's very good. And the
25:19 subject was on the Holy Spirit. Well when I was leaving to come
25:24 back, to return to Maryland, she was on the same plane.
25:28 She tapped me on my shoulder and said Hi, how are you doing?
25:31 I said, Hey, it's nice to see you. Did you enjoy the wedding?
25:35 Was it great. And she said yes. And she said oh that magazine.
25:39 Oh that magazine, I love it, it's so beautiful. I said you
25:42 like it. I said on page such and such you can call a 1-800 number
25:47 and subscribe to it. She was not a member of my church. But
25:51 she loved the content. Reaching people through literature is one
25:56 of the areas in which I think every believer should preach
26:01 through literature and also by their mouths. OK. Let's go to
26:05 the last one...
26:11 Do you not realize that there are people sitting in our
26:15 congregations who would come to our church as visitors for years
26:19 and we've never asked them to become a member.
26:21 We always say will the visitors please stand up. Now how about
26:25 the guest. Can a person say guest. Would you say in your
26:29 home would the visitors in your home...
26:32 When I was pastoring a very, very small church, a very small
26:36 church, I had 10 people in my congregation who were going to
26:41 that same church for 20 years, 20 years, and they were not
26:45 members of my church. They are now.
26:48 I'll tell you a funny one. We had a dentist in our church and
26:52 he did a health program for the afternoon and we didn't find out
26:56 until like after he had finished the presentation and a lot of
26:59 people from the community had come, that he was not a member
27:03 of any church. We said well why not. He said, well nobody ever
27:07 asked me. That's right. We have to ask.
27:09 Why don't you ask, Jason, ask our viewers today.
27:13 We would like for you, all of our viewers, right now if you
27:18 have not accepted Christ as your personal Savior, why don't you
27:23 take this time to just fall on your knees, close your eyes, and
27:28 ask Christ to come into your life. It's very simple to say
27:33 Lord I want as my personal Savior because the Bible says
27:38 in John 3:16 for God so loved the world that he gave his only
27:42 begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not
27:46 perish but have everlasting life. Accept Christ today.
27:50 Thank you so much, Jason, for coming to our program today.
27:53 Thank you. And thank you for sharing this topic and until
27:57 next time may God bless you.