October 17, 2007 – Equipping Newsletter.
By Sarah Guldalian, Editor Equipping Newsletter and Coordinator of Equipping to Share Program, Lutheran Hour Ministries, St. Louis, Missouri.
I recently received an email from a passionate servant of the Lord, Dr. Frank Mwakasisi, the Director of Evangelism and Missions at St. Michael Lutheran Church and School, in Portage, Michigan. This gentleman, who moved to the United States from Tanzania, Africa in 1990, brings with him a contagious enthusiasm for the Lord in every conversation. I was incredibly encouraged and felt further trained in evangelism myself by a recent phone call with him and by the email he sent. I trust that you will feel the same. He is joyful in my sharing it.
“There are a lot of misconceptions about evangelism and it is our job, as leaders, to help our people overcome that and empower them by helping them to discover their own personal styles of evangelism. Once they discover their style, it becomes easy to put into place what you teach in ‘Equipping to Share’.
People have seen too much of either Mormons or Jehovah Witness; and, the majority may not like that type of evangelism of knocking on doors. Some have seen a great experience of crusades conducted by people like Billy Graham and they know they’re not like him. Their answer to evangelism is: ‘Sorry, I can’t do it because I can’t be one of them.’ Discovering their own personal style has to overcome that.
Imagine the impact in our homes, and in our community, if everyone in our church became spiritually contagious! That is exactly what happens when Christians begin to understand their personal, God-given evangelism style and learn how to naturally communicate their faith with others.
Today you asked me twice if I am a pastor and anytime I open my mouth and boldly share something about God, the same question arises again and again from other people. Right now, my passion is to share about God and train other people to discover their style of evangelism so that they can go out and boldly proclaim the Gospel.
I’ve totally, I mean totally, surrendered to God and asked Him to use me mightily any way He wants. I am a former professor of Civil Engineering but should God tell me today to go back to school like a seminary, I will jump in a heartbeat. The only thing that I don’t want is to jump ahead of Him. I want Him to pave the way for me and send me in the direction He wants me to go. That way, failure is impossible as His presence will be all over me.
As a Civil Engineer, for years I have been designing and constructing bridges so that people can have a good experience on the highway. However, now I’m designing and building bridges to connect people’s souls to God, what a joy that is! It is an amazing privilege.
That is why for now I’m focusing on training saints to catch the vision and set their hearts ablaze for God. I want people to have a testimony of God’s glory in their lives. Because when you experience that intimate presence of God in your life, Sarah, God becomes so real such that there is no faking anymore. When God is real in your life, you get transformed inside out. That is my prayer for my people here at St Michael as well as all Lutheran churches and of course for all people of God worldwide. That’s why we started a Prayer for Renewal for St. Michael, as I want my people to be on fire for God.
My prayer is for my people to have a jumbo size passion for God, craving for more of God with thirst that doesn’t get satisfied. Getting involved in small group Bible studies, craving for reading the Bible daily, chewing the word of God and coming to a point that if a day passes without reading the Bible or coming into God’s presence is like they’re missing air to breathe. We need to come to that level, Sarah.
Please read Ezekiel 33:1-7 to get the context and then read verse 8, again and again, to get God’s command to evangelize. It is not a choice: It is a command otherwise somebody’s blood is on us for letting him or her die in sin on our watch. May God bless you, your family, your work and everything that your heart cares for.”
When I spoke with Dr. Frank over the telephone last week, he asked me what my style of evangelism is… Confrontational like Peter? Testimonial like the blind man? Servanthood like Dorcas? Invitational like the situation with the woman at the well? His point is: No matter what your area of talent is, God wants to use your talent mightily towards spreading His kingdom message to the entire world.
Dr. Mwakasisi is on fire for the Lord and His calling upon His life as one of His disciples. We are all Christ’s disciples! And, I am especially thankful for this reminder and the refreshment of Frank’s passion. If you have questions for Frank, he is available via email at frank@MightyOutreach.com or by snail mail at Mighty Outreach Ministries, PO Box 1655, Portage, Michigan 49081, USA.
Praise be to God!