Godly action paired with faith bears fruit
Once an atheist, Pete Verry is now a very active evangelist. He explains that churches can create excitement when they employ evangelism.
Stereotypical evangelists travel around churches holding missions and preaching from pulpits. But the truth is there are many local-church-based evangelists who work hard facilitating outreach. Often they are unpaid volunteers, heroes of the faith, as Pete Verry explains.
What’s your story of coming to faith in Jesus?
Well, I have been a Christian for around eight years and I’m now 45 years old. Before that, I was very firmly in the new atheist camp and did not have any time for people of faith. But I decided it was unscientific to only study half of the available evidence for why we are here.
This brought me to a place where I met Jesus in a major and tangible way. From that point on I have tried my best to live for God. I am a member of Cheltenham Elim Church where I head up evangelism and play the drums.
What inspired you to get involved in evangelism?
As an atheist, I believed that there was nothing outside of science, so when my eyes were opened to the truth I had a real passion to help others see the amazing life of freedom and joy that I had been shown.
My heart felt burdened that non-believers were going to perish without possibly ever having an opportunity to choose Jesus, and that my lack of action basically took that choice away from them. Jesus, of course, is my main source of inspiration. What did he do? He talked about the kingdom of God to everyone, everywhere at every time in love and with total authority.
Why do you think it’s important to do evangelism in the local church?
It creates an air of excitement when evangelism is employed. You see new people come into a church, which, let’s face it, we need, and it lifts the whole expectation of the congregation. When a godly action is paired with faith you will always have fruit.
On another level, we are all too aware of the need for Jesus in the local community. People live with spiritual, financial, mental and other issues, which can be helped if the church is more visible. This is easily achieved by offering and reaching out with a loving non-judgmental hand saying, “Jesus loves you, we are here to help.”
What have you found in terms of evangelistic momentum?
It’s snowballing, to say the least! I’m amazed by how the Holy Spirit works in people when they put themselves out for God. Initially, there was that fear of what might happen but that quickly disappeared and people who were shy and quiet became on fire and driven to talk to people about God. We give room for testimonies in the Sunday services which excites the church.
What would you say to a pastor about getting evangelism going?
First and foremost, give a fully supported avenue for evangelists in your congregations to express their gifting – come alongside them and encourage them. Run training courses to equip the church. Create a culture that evangelism is a normal part of the Christian life – even if you’re not called to be an evangelist we are all called to evangelise.
Proactively preach about putting faith into action and the very important partnership with God that we must all undertake through the Great Commission. “Christ within us, the hope and glory.”
Last but not least, pray, pray and pray for hope, glory, selfless love and power to flow through your congregation and into the local community for the glory of Jesus!
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