Evangelism Is…Hanging Out With a Purpose (The Soul-Winning Motivator #71)

Our soul winning verse from the Word of God today is Esther 4:14 which reads: “For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Our soul winning quote today is from Steve Sjogren. He said: “My own false perceptions about non-Christians had convinced me at one point that only the lowest forms of life on the planet hang around bars…God has shown me a different kind of love, a fertile love that reaches out towards everyone. For years I loved the lost in obedience to God and His Word. In recent years something has shifted in my heart. I feel I’ve grown. Now I don’t just love the lost, I even like them.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 54 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Evangelism Is…Hanging Out With a Purpose

Beach volleyball is a popular pastime for those blessed to live in warmer climates. It is, in fact, the passion of one mid-20s single man named Chris. As a strong Christian, he was convinced that he could mix what he loved most, volleyball, with a chance for others to hang out or do evangelism. So he did both. He called it the Midnight Volleyball Club.

It started small with only a few friends showing interest the first month. Through word of mouth, it was not long before this tight-knit volleyball club had turned into a weekly social gathering that averaged more than 40 young professionals.

The club met on the campus of a local university. Some people came wanting to hang out and meet new friends. Others saw it as an opportunity to minister by inviting coworkers to get involved and have some fun. Most of the guests would never socialize with the stereotypical church crowd.

Eventually Chris and others from the club became accepted into the beach subculture. This gave them the opportunity to meet new people who shared similar interests. As it grew, the Midnight Volleyball Club became a way to integrate these new friends into a Christian environment without the fear and pressure associated with going to church.

Upon arriving at the courts on Thursday night, they were greeted by a variety of young professionals who enjoyed volleyball and loved the Lord. What started as a way for friends to play ball and hang out during the week turned into a sports-driven mission field. The club’s motto soon became, “Always act like Jesus…because you never know who’s watching!”

This continued to grow as local college students prioritized Thursday nights as an opportunity to unwind in a safe but competitive environment. It was not long before the basketball courts also became a place of fellowship while others played games like four square, or brought their dogs to run and play. Unlike many churches, laughter — not judgment and condemnation — became the Thursday night language around the courts.

Chris and the Midnight Volleyball Club members attended a local young adults group that held a Tuesday night worship service. As the Midnight Volleyball Club members invited the people they met on Thursdays, the Tuesday evening worship service grew to more than 200 singles meeting every week. The volleyball and basketball courts served as an opportunity for club members to invite their new friends to come and see what was happening at church.

As a result of adding purpose to their hanging out, the Midnight Volleyball Club members made an impact. Large numbers of students and young professionals were introduced to Christianity, attended the weekly services, and surrendered their lives to Christ.

You Can Do It Too

It really is a simple concept. Take something you and others enjoy like softball, volleyball, dodgeball, bowling, golf, or hiking. Then adapt the concept of hanging out by adding intentionality and purpose.

In our next broadcast, we will continue to look at why evangelism is…Hanging Out With a Purpose.

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