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Evangelism Training

Beach Evangelism

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Beach Evangelism

What is it?

Spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by public proclaiming or personal witness.

Why do we do it?

Campus Outreach has a strong commitment to sharing the Gospel with people  on the beach. We believe that this is commanded and modeled all throughout scripture. To help explain the Gospel we use verses like Romans 6:23 which says,

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We believe that this verse summarizes the Bible and includes two main characters, God and man. On the man side there are wages (something you earn), sin (disobedience or action against God), and death (separation from God). On God’s side there is the free gift (costs nothing), God (opposite of sin, perfect), and eternal life (living forever with God in heaven). Through this we can ask different questions to see where they are and ask why they feel like their on either side of the cliff. Then we explain that the only way to get to God’s side is through Jesus Christ who freely takes all of our sins and wages on the cross so that we can be in relationship with God the Father.

Personal Experiences

Jessica Tweeten and I went out on the beach together and walked up to a lady named Brenda. She seemed a little intimidating at first but was very happy to talk with us. I asked her what her faith background was and she explained that she goes to a Baptist church and is very involved there. During part of the conversation she asked us to pray for her brother Don. He was a marine and out of the picture for 20 years. He has struggled through tough times with alcoholism as well as is recovering from a broken hip. Now reunited with his family, he lives with Brenda who has been ministering to him every day about Jesus. Jessica felt like she could relate to Brenda because she has a similar relationship with her brother.

Another story from going out on the beach was with Alberto Ramos who walked up to two teenage guys and talked with them about their faith background. One guy shared that he was from a Christian family but was not sure of his beliefs yet and asked Berto to pray that it would feel real to him.

Evangelism happens anywhere and everywhere. Haley Gibbs went to Goodwill one day and a lady asked where she was from. Haley explained that she is a part of a group called Campus Outreach and the woman said that someone shared with her on the beach 2 years ago. This was really encouraging to hear and helps to give motivation for going out on the beach talking about Jesus.

It can also spring from other conversations or interactions. One day while working at Chick-fil-a, Elliot Larson, talked to a guy about sports for a solid 30 minutes and then that next Wednesday he saw the same man on the beach and shared his faith with him.

Each evangelism experience is unique and not always the best conversation but hearing encouraging stories like these, we can see that it is worth it.

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Evangelism Training

As I mentioned in a previous blog, we have several trainings each week here at Summer Training Project.

One training that is particularly sweet is Evangelism Training.

It’s a unique opportunity to have a training each week on the Biblical whys and hows regarding evangelism. Before STP, I don’t recall anyone ever truly explaining evangelism to me. I knew Christians were supposed to live out their faith and be a light to the world, but it’s hard to wrap one’s mind around that. It’s certainly true, but it’s vague. What does that mean? How do I do that?

This summer, Matt Reagan and Paul Poteat are the staff members giving the Evangelism Training talks. Once staff leaves this weekend, Brent Cramer, a student from Bethel and a team leader this year, will be giving the remaining talks.

During this training, we learn more about the gospel, the state of this broken and fallen world, heaven and hell, and the Biblical reasons to explicitly share our faith with people.

“I like Evangelism Training because it’s been giving me convictions about sharing my faith. I’ve always been too scared to talk to people about it, but my heart is starting to break for the lost. God uses people to spread the good news of the gospel to all nations, and he uses all believers to do so, not just a few believers with some sort of exceptional confidence,” explained one student.

After the training, the students break out in pairs and head for the beach. We simply walk around and strike up conversations with people about Jesus. Reactions certainly vary, from blatant rejection to awkward hesitancy to enthusiastic excitement about the Lord. Because we are in the ‘Bible Belt,’ people are usually willing to talk about spiritual things even if they themselves are not interested in the subject.

After spending about 45 minutes on the beach, the students meander back to Project. We break off into teams to share stories and pray for the people we encountered on the beach. Some stories are encouraging tales about meeting fellow believers and having mutually encouraging conversations about Jesus, while others are heartbreaking stories about pain, brokenness, abandonment, and complete distrust or distaste for God. It is amazing what complete strangers are willing to disclose about themselves.

Although some think evangelism on the beach is controversial, and we students can attest to the uncomfortable awkwardness, God has definitely worked through the years during beach evangelism. In fact, there have been several people who have become believers through it. Last year, a pair of students shared that they had talked to a middle-aged woman, and when they explained who they were and where they were from, her face lit up as she exclaimed, “Campus Outreach in Minnesota?! We met some of you guys last year!! Wait right here, I have to go get my husband – he became a believer after some of your group shared with him on the beach!”

What a glorious reminder that the Lord is faithful to his people and works in wonderful ways. We may never see the fruit, but God could very well be using us to plant or water (1 Corinthians 3:6).

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six plus four is ten team leaders

Wednesday this week is a little different. After evangelism, instead of debriefing, disciples will be cleaning in anticipation of the returning staff. There will also be a communal time of prayer held this evening. Continuing last week, James Gisler will share with us during Evangelism Training. He will be speaking on "The Gospel and the Campus."Otherwise today is pretty standard, the team leaders are just getting back from their Leadership Training Session. Until training today, disciples have been getting in the word and meditating on what they have learned from last night. There is still so much to be done and be thankful for even on the last week of project.

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Broadway at the Beach

Today the CCP group is organizing an adventure for today's social. Students are going to be sent to Broadway Beach on a scavenger hunt. However, the catch is that CCP members are going to be hiding in different places around Broadway. Therefore, teams are going to be rewarded if they find any of the CCP members.In regards of the talk from yesterday at Evangelism Training by James Gisler, please watch this powerful video of Matt Chandler:

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Christ and Faith

Today, Wednesday, the CCP group joined the Team Leaders and the Room Leaders for today's Seminar led by Adam Evers. Adam shared about Confrontation among the disciples."It made me realized how much I idolize relationships" said Michael Owczarek, one of the room leaders, "It was a helpful talk."

As for the afternoon, James Gisler shared "The Message, Part II" with us. James talked about the importance of having Jesus in our sharing time. "If we do not talk about Jesus, the message is pointless."

After evangelism time, the students had their campus time where the challenge was to think and pray for those who are back in Minnesota who do not know about Christ.

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Guacamole Night

Yesterday, Colby Williamson spoke for a second time at Evangelism training. He emphasized that God is loving, but also just. Students are beginning to be more confident sharing their faith.This is not because of the weekly experience, but rather, they have been able to see that God is the one who is working through them. Moreover, late afternoon the project was divided into girls and boys. It was a special bonding time for both of the groups. The guys played ultimate  while the girls had chocolate fondue.

As for today, the staff is leaving to different directions for the next four weeks. Pray for the staff as they go around the south raising support for their ministries.

Tonight is also Social Night, or as we are calling it, GUACAMOLE Night! The Josh Schrock's team, Boom Boom Pow, is in charge of the spicy night out.

A few pictures from the staff send-off last night. (a clip of this glorious night is also coming soon)

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Matt Reagan trying to catch whipped cream in his mouth...

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Paul Poteat's second try...

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Jon Saunders on his third try.

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The Why

Hello everyone and thank you for visiting our blog once again. Yesterday, as usual, students had the morning off while others had the privilege to work. Many of them took the advantage to rest and read. They also had the opportunity to spend some time meditating on the powerful talk Matt Reagan gave on Tuesday. We would encourage you to download it as well.

Later everyone got ready for evangelism training where Colby Williamson shared with us on “Why Share the Gospel.” Students were truly encouraged and challenged to realize that we do not share the Gospel as a kind of duty, or a certain type of debt that we owe to God. Rather, we evangelize in the light of valuing God. We share the Gospel because it is the most valuable message that a person can give and experience.

As for tonight, project is having social time where students are going to be able to experience a truly southern treat.

Colby and Lindsey Williamson

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Evangelism Day

Yesterday, after our first Evangelism training by Paul Poteat, the students and staff went over the beach to share Christ to the people. Paul challenged us to over come our fear of failure and put our trust in God, and the message of the Gospel. For some of the students this experience was new and challenging. Many students were rejected by the people; however, everybody was able to ask at least one person about Christ. Later on, we got together as teams and share our different experiences of how it went. Moreover, some of the students were able to establish a relationship with these people. We want to encourage you to keep in your prayers not only the students, but also keep in your prayers these people that were told about Christ. For today, students are looking forward to have a group picture. Have a bless day y'all! sharing after evangelizing on the beach

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