The Send Network Church Planting Blog

Training in the Hall of Tyrannus: Part 2: Stories

December 5, 2017 by Robert Christmas

There were many many great stories from our week of intentional gospel conversations. Here are a few of the highlights:

Kyle

Konstantine and Angela Goncharov are church planters from the Ukraine. They moved here to reach the hundreds of thousands of Russian speakers in South Florida. They joined me to go out in my neighborhood, meet some of my neighbors and offer to pray for them. I saw Kyle walking down the sidewalk and stopped him to tell him what we were doing. He immediately agreed to let us pray for him, and seemed genuinely grateful we offered. After we prayed he began to share about some things going on in his life, which included a lot of brokenness. We shared the gospel with him using the 3 Circles, and he identified with brokenness and was willing to meet again soon to talk more about it. So I offered, “How’s tomorrow at 4:00?” He agreed. Kyle lives down the street from me. So, the next day we met and went through the 1st Story of Hope (sinful woman in Luke 7). Through this Bible Study I learned Kyle is a believer, but he was very encouraged by Jesus offering a new start and felt this was going to help him begin to move past some of his hurts and move forward with life. We are planning to continue meeting for discipleship!

Joe and Stephanie

Seth and Lauren Scriber just moved to South Florida to join our church planting residency. Seth teamed up with Alex and headed north in my neighborhood. When he saw Joe taking some trash down to the road he stopped and simply asked if he could pray for him. Joe told us later he normally would not have given him the time of day, but something about the way Seth approached him made him open up. So they talked, prayed and Seth shared the gospel with him. Joe identified with brokenness, and agreed to have Seth come back later to start Bible study. After hearing this report during our debrief I went to meet him myself. Two nights later, I went back and shared the first story of hope with him. They were both excited to study the Bible! Joe recognized that he needed to repent like the woman in the story, so he did. Stephanie said she was already a believer. Two nights later Seth and Stuart (another 1st Year Resident) went back and did the second story of hope. Stuart has a lot in common with Joe, so there was a strong connection. A few nights later I went back and walked through 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 and began casting vision for them to live out their identity as ambassadors of Christ (see 411Multiply.com). They are ready to continue and are starting to get a vision for reaching others with the gospel! This has strong potential to be a house of peace—a center of mission to reach their oikos!

Daniella

Pastor Steve Wright and I met at a coffee shop in downtown Lake Worth; we had planned to go out into the surrounding neighborhoods to share. We never went out. A couple hours later we finally left, having had seven gospel conversations with two strong yellow lights! One of those was Daniella. I saw Daniella sitting by herself and felt I should share with her. I didn’t want to seem weird approaching her, so I almost didn’t … but I felt strongly that I should. I started an everyday conversation in which we both agreed South Florida is a mixture of beauty and brokenness. So I said “can I show you something that talks about beauty and brokenness?” I shared the Three Circles with her … she clearly identified with brokenness and kept saying: "I probably need this" … "I really need this" … "I know I need this." She told me she works in “the pit of sin” (a strip club). I asked her if she wanted to get out of brokenness and trust the gospel. She said “I probably need to learn more about it.” So I said, “well let me share a story with you about how Jesus loves people.” I shared the Sinful Woman (1st story of hope!) … she was grateful, understood Jesus forgives but said “I need to take this slow.” I gave her my wife’s number and told her I’d love for her to meet my beautiful wife sometime when we can get together to talk more about this. We are hoping she will agree to meet with us. This story reinforces the value of going out two-by-two—Pastor Steve was on the other side of the room sharing with two other people at the time. This would not have been a wise or appropriate conversation without accountability onsite.

Lauren

We used GroupMe to share pictures and stories, give updates on time or place and keep the vision in front of people all week. I believe this inspired some guys to action who were only able to make it to one session during the week. Eddie Lopez is also a year one resident. He took the time to set up an appointment with a coworker who has been struggling and shared the gospel with her using the 3 Circles. She repented and believed right then! Eddie then set her up to meet with his wife for discipleship. There are other stories of guys being inspired by the activity of the week and taking action apart from the planned sessions!

These stories represent the beginning of the kind of seed sowing we need to consistently see in South Florida in order to push back the darkness here! Embedded in these stories are the efforts for multiplication. These are not professionals—they are lay people engaging in the mission of making disciples, and training the people they reach to be disciple makers as well.

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