Speaker 1: You’re listening to evangelism with Johnny Hunt, a podcast from the North American Mission Board that equips you and your church to share the gospel. Now, here are your hosts.
Kevin Ezell: Well, thanks for joining us for this episode of Evangelism with Johnny Hunt. I’m Kevin Ezell from the North American Mission Board, and here with me is Johnny Hunt.
Johnny Hunt: Pastor, thanks for listening. We’re here with you, and as you lead your church in evangelism, we know that as pastors, one of the best resources we have is really one another. Pastors can learn from other pastors. I’ve been doing it my whole ministry, which is why we’ve invited a good friend for many years, Danny Forshee, to join us on the podcast today. Danny, thanks for being with us, brother.
Danny Forshee: Good to be with you guys. Thanks for having me.
Johnny Hunt: Danny, we want to talk about several things, really kind of more of evangelism and really how you lead your own church to focus on personal evangelism. It’s always been a passion of yours. You’ve taught it. I’ve sat in some of your classes in Southeastern many years ago. But how do you lead your church to focus on personal evangelism?
Danny Forshee: Well, Pastor Johnny, I try to primarily lead by example. I really try to set the course for our church through my own personal evangelism, witnessing soul winning and try to share those stories, both successes and those encounters that don’t go as well. Just Sunday I was sharing with them about a witness encounter I had just this week, and it didn’t go as great, but I think that’s important. I think it’s good to share our good times and not so good times, but I really try to be out front with them. And lead by example, primarily.
Johnny Hunt: Yeah, I believe that is the key. And it’s really something. You had mentioned sharing both stories, sort of the ones that are real good, and then the ones where you don’t feel like you got very far. So the people just realize that we’re all just learning, and we’re all depending on the Spirit of God. You’ve just written a book called For The One, and the very premise of the book is consistent with Who’s Your One? evangelism initiative. So share what us the importance of starting with one when it comes to personal evangelism.
Danny Forshee: Absolutely. In 2018, I preached all year on the evangelistic encounters of Jesus in the New Testament and just had a wonderful time with our people. And actually, it was the notes that I preached that I got from Roy Fish years ago when I taught at Southwestern Seminary. So I took those notes and adapted them, redacted them into a sermon series. And so, we have just had a blast with this, and so it’s the SBC with Who’s Your One?, and we call it For The One. And what we try to do, Pastor Johnny, is every day, I literally try to challenge our people to who is your one for today? I mean, God’s got somebody out there that He’s going to orchestrate, and He’s going to put in your path. Will you be ready to share with that one?
Not the masses or the crowds, but who is that one single, solitary soul that God has orchestrated, put in your path, and I just encourage him, brother Johnny, to just to do something like, “I’ve got to pray for you today,” or “How are you doing today?” And just hopefully that segues into, at the bare minimum, an invitation to come to our church, or, “Here’s the gospel booklet that I’ve written. I want to share this with you,” or preeminently we want to get into the gospel with people. But that one is so important, to answer your question, because that’s what Jesus did. I mean, He went one on one with people.
Johnny Hunt: You know, it’s really encouraging. I don’t think we’ve been to a single state with Who’s Your One? that somebody didn’t bring up the name of Roy Fish, and I’m not sure there’s any of us in our generation or behind us that weren’t influenced by his 50 years of really helping us to keep the main thing, the main thing.
Kevin Ezell: I loved his class, Jesus and Personal Evangelism. Did you take that? Or teach that?
Danny Forshee: Yeah, that’s the class basically I taught. It’s been a number of years ago, but he gave me his notes, Kevin. And I was like, oh, this is a treasure trove, you know? And I just added my little humble opinions exegesis into the text, but yeah, he was my hero, my mentor for so many years. Took everything he offered in the masters and PhD levels. And then we were colleagues, which is just a really strange thing, but I never once called him Roy. It was always Dr. Fish.
Johnny Hunt: That’s awesome. You know, Danny, when we think about Who’s Your One? the truth is there was a day in your life that you were somebody’s one. Who was it that really influenced and shared the gospel with you?
Danny Forshee: That’s a great question, and I got a quick answer. Johnny, that’s what his name. His name was Johnny Hughes, and he was on fire, a soul winner on our college campus, and there I was, a ministerial student studying to be in the ministry. And he would ask me about my testimony, and I’d tell him, “I’ve always been good. I’ve always gone to church.” And man, the Holy Spirit came on me, convicted me, and I repented and believed and was saved as a sophomore at the University of Mobile studying for the ministry. But God supernaturally used him. He was persistent, tenacious. And I would see him coming, I’d go the other way. That’s the man that God really used.
Johnny Hunt: I think it’s good. I believe you probably made a better minister getting saved before you got started.
Danny Forshee: Amen. Much better preacher. But Johnny, you said before, I may have doubted my salvation but never my call to ministry.
Johnny Hunt: Danny, you are leading a great church, and Who’s Your One tour is coming there to Austin. Thank you for your invitation. Tell us, how do you teach your church members to say, “See opportunities,” as they go about their day? Because that is the great commission is as we’re going. So what are some of the things you do or say to your people?
Danny Forshee: Yeah, well, evangelism is spiritual work. I mean, if we’re not filled with the Holy Spirit, walking with the Lord, having that time with Jesus every morning in prayer and reading the Word of God. You know, Chuck Kelly said, “When Jesus is on your mind, He’ll come out of your mouth.” And so, we really put an emphasis on that devotional spiritual formation. And as we’re walking with the Lord, “Follow me,” Jesus said, “And I will make you a fisher of men.” In fact, that’s the way we define our evangelism discipleship ministry here at Great Hills, is Matthew 4:19. Following Jesus and fishing for men. And if we’re not fishing, then…
Johnny Hunt: We’re not following, yeah.
Johnny Hunt: I’ve always said, “If you make Christ and your devotion with Him a priority, it seems like God does more through us accidentally than we can do for Him on purpose.”
Danny Forshee: I know. That’s so true. And the letters I get, the emails, the texts, the Facebook posts, you name it. Our people are still so excited about it. It’s rare in a week that I don’t get a, “Hey pastor, let me tell you about my one. Let me tell you about my one story.” And they’re phenomenal, and we’re just keeping it going. We don’t want it to stop. So it’s exciting.
Johnny Hunt: Yeah. Someone asked me, said, “What’s next after this?” And I said, “Well, if we’re going to keep the main thing the main thing, there may be some other things, but this won’t be replaced.”
Kevin Ezell: Go to the advanced track of Who’s Your Two?
Johnny Hunt: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Who’s Your Two?
Danny Forshee: Who’s Your Two?
Johnny Hunt: And some have written us and said that we were small on vision. It should be Who’s Your Five? And I said, “Well, if you get your five, see if you don’t probably have to win them one at a time.” You know?
Danny Forshee: That’s right.
Johnny Hunt: So that’s it. You’ve taught evangelism in two of our seminaries, and now you’re pastoring and leading evangelistic. What do you think is the biggest barrier that keeps our people from sharing the gospel?
Danny Forshee: Pastor Johnny, I really believe it’s kind of what I was talking about a minute ago. I think it’s the following Jesus. When we’re following Him day by day in the word and prayer, then we’re going to share our faith. And I think that the issue is the discipleship of our people. I just don’t think we’re reading the Word. I don’t think we’re praying like we should. And if we are doing that, people expect me to say, “Oh, it’s fear of failure, fear of rejection.” No, it’s not. Those both are just rooted in pride. That’s all that is, is pride. Oh, what are they going to think about me? Oh, I may not know what to say. That don’t matter. If you’re so in love with Jesus, and you just are excited about Him, you’ll just stumble through John 3:16. The key is Matthew 4:19. It’s just following after Him. I think that’s the greatest hindrance right now. The greatest barrier is our people are just not following.
Johnny Hunt: Right. You know, a lot of times I think that people actually think if they share with a friend, it’ll hurt their relationship. And again, I would have to strike it up as pride, and they’re more really concerned about their relationship than they are, that person’s relationship, with almighty God.
Danny Forshee: I agree. I agree.
Johnny Hunt: Are there any things you do in particular to help your church overcome this obstacle?
Danny Forshee: Yeah. I do, and I try to encourage them. I really try to affirm them and celebrate every tiny victory whatsoever. I mean, in our staff meeting, every Monday, we go around the room and we share about Who’s Our One. Who do we share with this week? And if staff hang their heads low, “Oh, I didn’t really have…” That’s, “All right, man, come on. Let’s do it. Let’s do better next week.” And I try to do that with our people. And, “Oh Pastor, I know I missed an opportunity.” And here’s what I tell them. I say, “Listen, say Lord, please forgive me. Who’s the next one?” You know? Go on. The enemy will condemn, but the Holy Spirit will convict and forgive, and we move forward. And I try to be just, “Hey, I missed an opportunity this day or this week, and man, that bothers me. But I’m going to try to do better the next time.” And just really as they go out in their lives, I mean, not just a one night we’re all going to go out, or one Saturday, we’re all going to go out. But every day. I think this is key and critical in our church life. It’s every day. Who are we going to have opportunity to minister to? To pray for?
Johnny Hunt: Yeah. I believe we can actually become so sensitive. At the end of the day, we can reflect back, and God shows us missed opportunities. Which then we begin to say, “God, please forgive me.” Become even more sensitive as we enter the next day.
Danny Forshee: You know what I found, when I miss the opportunity, I’m really dangerous. I’m not going to miss the next one.
Johnny Hunt: There you go. Boy, if anything, you may jump start something there. Really, Thom Rainer did a study recently on what is most discouraging in the life of the pastor, and number one was the lack of growth in his church. So, what piece of advice would you give pastors, and hundreds are going to be following us and listening today to this podcast. So, what advice would you give them as they lead their church to focus on one?
Danny Forshee: I would shout it from the rooftop, Pastor Johnny. It’s be faithful. I almost get emotional saying this, because I know where those pastors are. Because we live in an unseeded generation. The gospel seed has just not been sown. And so, we’re having to go and cast the seed into the soil, and some of that soil. Jesus said, “If you don’t understand this parable, you’re not going to understand any of them.” And those first three soils are just tough. But praise God. Some people are going to be saved. I mean, God’s going to save people. Just be faithful. We just came out of our staff retreat for two days, and we just encouraged one another. Just keep your hands to the plow. Keep preaching the sacred text. Keep telling the story. And that’s what I tell pastors. And I love pastors, brother Johnny. We all are one, you know? Just be faithful. And just keep being faithful. And watch. Just watch what the King will do.
Johnny Hunt: Yeah. You know, it’s so encouraging, because the truth is, we’re hearing from more and more pastors just like yourself that are just saying, “Man, I love pastors.” So those of us that pastor our whole life and then really desire to help the others. Well, you’ve done a good job talking about words that will be easy to remember. And that is, let’s be faithful. Let’s keep following. And we’ll find ourselves fishing. Johnny Hunt: And I know God will give the increase.
I hope everyone will pick up your book, For The One. And I love the way you really take the life of Jesus and show His one on one encounters. I made a statement for years that Jesus never asked us or commanded us to do anything He was not already doing.
Johnny Hunt: And I’ve just found that true. Anything He mentions to do this, you can see where He’s done it. So it’s well written, it’s well illustrated. And we’ll talk more about what we can do, even with your book, when we’re out there with you in Austin.
Danny Forshee: Cool. That sounds great. Well, thank you, brother Johnny.
Johnny Hunt: Hey Danny, thanks for joining us today on the podcast.
Danny Forshee: You’re so welcome. Love you. Love brother Kevin. So excited for what the Lord is doing through you guys and your ministry. Any way I can help you, encourage you, let me know.
Kevin Ezell: Well, hey Danny, I know so many pastors are going to enjoy your book, but is there a particular place that we could send them for any other information about the resources that you put out?
Danny Forshee: Yeah, absolutely. My website, www.dfea.com. That’s Danny Forshee Evangelistic Association, what it stands for, but it’s dfea.com. We’ve got a great website. It’s easy, easy to access our book there and other resources that we have. So that’s where I would point them.
Kevin Ezell: Well, you’re just one of those rare guys who’ve been a professor and a pastor. I love smart guys. I really do.
Johnny Hunt: And you’re actually doing what you taught. How encouraging.
Kevin Ezell: Because you’ve got stories. Yeah.
Danny Forshee: Yeah. Practice what you preach.
Kevin Ezell: Well pastors, thanks for listening to this episode of evangelism with Johnny Hunt. And if you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.