Houston, TX (ANS) – In 1982, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee a friend of mine told me about leading someone to the Lord over the telephone. It was actually as a result of someone calling a wrong phone number. My friend took the opportunity to engage the person in conversation. When the caller realized and acknowledged that he had reached a wrong number, my friend said, “Wait a minute, maybe the Lord had you call this number for some special reason. Have you been thinking more about the Lord lately?”
Sparking New Ways to Witness
Well, that brief exchange turned out to be an opportunity for my friend to share the gospel. They had prayer together over the phone and the person confessed his faith in Christ. Hearing about my friend’s experience sparked something in me and I began to recognize witness and ministry opportunities I had never noticed before. Since those days, I have had similar experiences and have lead dozens of people to the Lord over the telephone.
Wrong Numbers or Divine Appointments
I don’t do it every time, but often, when receiving a call that is a wrong number, I seek to engage the caller in conversation. I may say something like, “Wait a minute, maybe the Lord had you call this number for some special reason. Have you had a desire for a more personal, intimate relationship with the Lord?” Any variation of those comments and questions have opened many witness and ministry opportunities over the years, that I could have missed otherwise. Most people are not receptive, but a certain percentage are. When we connect with those who are interested, to continue the conversation, I often ask something like, “Do you know the Lord personally? Or, is there something I can pray with you about?” Most people are not offended by an offer for prayer.
Sharing and Praying
These methods can also be effective for sharing and praying with marketing and solicitation callers. I normally listen briefly, then say something like, “We’re not really in the market for your product or service, but maybe the Lord had you call this number for some special reason. Is there anything going on in your life I can pray with you about? Or, have you come to an awareness of your need for the Lord?” Most people will not respond positively. However, over the years I’ve found that the Lord has prepared many, and some are open to pray and confess their faith in Christ.
A New Course of Witnessing and Ministry
A few years ago I was a guest lecturer at a local university. I shared some of my experiences with an evangelism class. I later learned that a young lady in that class was captured with the idea of using the telephone to share the gospel and pray with people. She determined to take the next opportunity she had to do so. As a result, she was able to pray with someone who received Christ over the phone. That experience set her on a new course of witnessing and ministering to others in some new and creative ways.
Creative and Innovative Ways
Many of the churches here in the Greater Houston area are mobilizing their staff and volunteers to call all of their members. They call and ask if they have needs, and how they can pray for them. There are many reports of how the Lord is using those efforts. Around the country and around the world church and mission leaders are discovering new, creative and innovative ways of using modern technology. In many cases the number of online participants are now exceeding what their previous attendance was. The number of those responding to the gospel has also increased dramatically.
Reaching Out – By All Means
In the Early Church, when the Apostle Paul was in jail, unable to proclaim the gospel personally face to face, he wrote letters. We still have some of those today in the New Testament. I can just imagine that if he had the tools then, that we have today, he would have been making phone calls, leading webinars, conference calls, maybe even producing radio and television programs and writing books. Many of my friends and colleagues in ministry and missions have embraced the idea of communicating the gospel and making disciples, by all means available.
Reconnecting with Friends and Relatives
During this pandemic, I’m finding new opportunities to reconnect with those I haven’t talked with in a long time. It is encouraging to get updates on what the Lord has been doing in the lives of friends and relatives over the past 15 to 20 or more years. It’s also important for us to make known the righteous acts of God, as we’re told in Psalms 105 and other places. It’s a real faith builder as we share and hear of the activities of God around the world. There’s probably enough unreported activities of God going on every day, that if reported, could spark renewal, revival and awakening for many.