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  1. Fifteen Reasons Our Churches Are Less Evangelistic Today
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The average office worker will know the colleagues in her office way better than the church pastor, and yet all too often the church evangelism strategy consists of church members doing little or no evangelism all year but then having a big push to invite colleagues to an annual week of mission talks. Greed, idolatry, porn has such a grip on many believers that they are uninterested in building the Kingdom, and are trapped by the lies of Satan.

Personally I think the way out of almost all these things is to be an infectious evangelist — do not try to change other people, do not try to fix others, but rather let the Holy Spirit work to change you, give yourself over to mission, and naturally that will bring others along with you.

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I firmly believe that taking our eyes primarily off the church, off other believers, off problems within the church, off mission etc, even off ourselves and focusing primarily on Jesus is the only thing that can help to heal the church, other believers, problems within the church. Too often reading an article like this I am tempted to think about strategies to put into place to fix all the symptoms, but the heart of the problem is my heart. And when that gets fixed, others see and want the same. May God give us grace to change. Two problems. For several decades, we have not made disciples.

We have told them what to do, but have not shown them or held them accountable for their obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Those are the only evidences of true salvation. Thom, this is thought provoking and heartbreaking. Thank you for what you share, it is motivating. I can only love them and try to be a good example that others could follow.

Acts tells us what the church was busy doing during the early days of rapid growth. These new converts had heard the Word of God preached Acts and for those that heard, by the working of the Holy Spirit, faith was given Romans This is still how it works today. Acts tells us how everyone not just the church leaders prayed together. Acts tells us that after the conversions, the early church continued in this manner of devoting themselves to prayer.

It really is just that simple. I have heard Dr. Douglas F. Kelly of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte make a startling comparison with the moral decline of our nation with the actual timing of our Methodist and Baptist and Presbyterian churches systematically doing away with the prayer meeting. There was a time in our nations history when churches faithfully gathered together once a week for the purpose of prayer. Kelly argues that the church needs to return to the weekly prayer meeting if she wants to see the tide turn.

I am convinced that the Lord will indeed add to the number of His church, and I also believe that He will do this through the prayers of His church. You can find it on tractplanet. I believe J. Apologetics consequently takes its place at the head of the departments of theological science, and finds its task in the establishment of that knowledge of God which forms the subject-matter of these departments.

When believers discover that the factuality of the Truth-claims of Christianity, their spiritual walk is impacted. My solution is FOOD, back in my early salvation days, we had Monday Night visitation, and I suggested a food fellowship during visitation, and of course everyone reported back how their visits went good or bad. That was one of the greatest evangelistic churches at that time Westside Baptist Church w Dr. Make visitation FUN and of course educational.

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Fifteen Reasons Our Churches Are Less Evangelistic Today

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. We had a huge launch and great success in terms of numbers and budget but it became increasingly harder to continue that momentum. All of our time was spent on the weekend service prep and there was very little connecting with people taking place. The core team that come together to start the church had all come from a frustrated organized church experience where we felt the leadership was more concerned with building buildings than building the kingdom.

So we had as a value that we were not going to focus on getting property but building relationships. The problem was people in the OKC area were concerned with our lack of motivation to build and left. Two years into it, it was shocking when I finally admitted that we were doing the exact same thing — chasing people and money to keep it going — that the churches we left were doing. If as a Preachers Kid I am feeling this way how many more people are also getting this feeling and rejecting this idea of ministry?

There is something to be said for quality — until quality is the goal and not connecting people with the Spirit. I find it interesting that most the stories where deep chancing connection with God took place in the Bible are in desolate, wanting, places where desperate people discovered God.

There is no desperateness in Western Christianity. How can there be when every church is focused on making the experience as smooth, clean and perfect as possible? As our culture becomes blatant as Darkness steps boldly to the forefront, the more we need to be redirecting our teaching to marrying theology and how it must drive our ethics. The felt-needs focus of our sermons has run its course as ministers continue to make humans the focus.

We must begin teaching theologically again. When we are silent on this, we reap a culture where individuals are left to reason their own way. I believe we are living in times similar to Israel in Babylonian exile. We are being indundated with a polytheistic culture and it is time for the scribes and religious leaders to begin penning the story of God!

Our sermons need to be teaching more theology and less humanology. The gospel that Jesus taught was not the cross because the cross had not happened yet. He taught on the Kingdom of God. We must begin teaching on the values of the His Kingdom and seek to live those values out in this world. One of those values — seeking the ones that He is seeking! We have left the church that we planted and are now building home communities that are unashamedly Seeker Sensitive — He Jesus is the Seeker.

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The job of the church is to join him in that search for the pennies, sheep and lost brothers He is still seeking! Fifty years ago people could maintain connection with old friends only through letters and phone calls. They were more inclined to seek new friends and form new relationships. No one buys the churchie talk or rhetoric. We are also responsible for Whose we are, do not be hypercritical — identify with Christ that is all. I know that sometimes I risk relationship with those that believe differently.

If I am led with Love, and by His Spirit it will have been worth all the risk. It is a reasonable sacrifice for what Christ has done for me. Thom, thanks for your ministry. It takes time, grace, and effort to help the Church of God and you supply all of those to us. I think that the 15 reasons are good and there are probably many more reasons for the lack of evangelistic fervor in our churches.

I skimmed through most of the responses and was thankful for many of their insights. For me I come simply to one thing. I believe until the men in the church 1Tim. Our people must pray that God sends them into the harvest first. That is the primary point regardless of all the reasons stated above.

When the men are burdened to pray to be sent into the harvest, buy more chairs. After reading the reasons our churches are less evangelical, it would seem that there is one ingredient that may correct this problem. If we compare ourselves to first century Christians, we all have the Holy Spirit indwelling us and we all have the gracious gifts of the Spirit — both being critical ingredients for growing the body of Christ. The one thing that we seem to be missing is persecution! Human beings seem to be actuated and bonded when the heat is turned up in our lives. Based on recent events and the changing attitudes in our country, it may not be long before we get to put this theory to the test.

Persecution my be the impetus that moves us to tell our neighbor that sin is wrong, hell is hot but God is love. We have a church full of pews with people sitting in them who have not felt the flames of hell. We have a lack of hell preaching today, therefore our people are not aware of or afraid of hell. Until we hear of the wrath and love of God, we are no to concerned about my friends. We must feel the heat an experience the love of Jesus Christ. Evangelism is as much a work of God as it is a work of men. In North America and western Europe especially, there is more to evangelism than planting seeds.

Far too often, we find ourselves spending so much time trying to break rocks and pull weeds that seed-planting takes a back seat. And to be sure, for the seed to germinate, those rocks need to be broken and those weeds need to be pulled. After all, Paul planted and Apollos watered.

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  • And to extend the analogy further, where the soil is good, we really are seeing tremendous — I would go so far as to say miraculous — increases. I read almost all of the responses particularly those blaming the pastor. Well, I have been pastoring for 7 years and I can sum up the problem with one example.

    For this trip, tons of people show up. Yet those very some people will not come to Sunday school, Sunday night, Wednesday night and you can forget about evangelism efforts! Yes, leadership is important no question about it. But in the end, people are self centered. I am trying to figure all of this out that is why I am reading this blog and all of these answers. Sometimes…I think…the church of today is less likely to follow the direction and leadership of there pastor. They are not unkind to the pastor, but they do not respond to requests or directives from him when it comes to the foundations of the church in scripture — personal prayer, Bible study, and outreach.

    They do not seem to acknowledge the pastor as an true spiritual authority — they know what is best…for them. Alas, you are correct. Thanks for the post, Dr Rainer. First, I wonder if the increase of Calvinism among Southern Baptists should be considered alongside the decrease of evangelistic effort? If it is to be understood in harvest crusades and revival meetings of the 19th and 20th centuries, I fear we might have a distorted understanding of what effective evangelism looks like.

    The invitation, understood and practiced this way, is central to later tent revivals and evangelistic crusades. Large net crusades and revival meetings were an effective way at the time to get the gospel message to the masses. Charles Fuller eventually used the technology of radio to increase the reach.

    Today, the internet, satellite communication, and other technology continues to make the gospel available to more of the world than ever before. However, the appeal to a decision of repentance and confession remain. My questions are are these: These methods make converts and produce baptism numbers, but do they make disciples? I ask because I think the missing elements here are a recognition of the variation of conversion experience, and the consistency of personal relationship community in NT evangelism.

    Paul was converted in a blinding light and in a powerful instant.

    Did each disciple convert at the same time? What about Thomas? It seems our standard evangelism metric accounts for the Pauline experience, but not so much for that of the others. In addition, we find conversion in the NT linked to relationships with people. Again, something hard to measure.

    In J. Packer wrote a slim volume titled Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God. The main point in his book was that while God is sovereign in matters of salvation, we are not excused from proclaiming the Gospel to all people groups. God works through those who formally preach his Word and those who informally share their faith with others. They are his instruments.

    Packer is a theologian in the Anglican Reformed tradition. Whitefield was a Calvinist. A number of the leaders of the eighteenth Century Evangelical revival were Calvinists. Charles Simeon who was a contemporary of the Arminian brothers John and Charles Wesley devoted a life time to recruiting, mentoring, and sending out young men as missionaries. Simeon was a Calvinist. To suggest that the growth of Reformed theology in the Southern Baptist Convention is behind the decline of evangelism in that denomination not only shows a lack of familiarity with evangelical Calvinism and Reformed Baptists but points to a willingness to scapegoat a part of the denomination for a problem that is denomination-wide.

    If you taken the time study the history of the Baptist movement in English in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, you should be aware that Reformed theology has been a theological strand in early Baptist congregations as well as Arminianism. Southern Baptists have their roots in the English Baptist movement, not continental Anabaptism.

    Trying to blame them for the problems of the denomination is unhelpful. A lot of factors explain why Baptist churches are not evangelistic as they were fifty years ago. Reformed Baptists are concerned about this development as much as Arminian Baptists. If God has chosen the local church to be an instrument of his salvation, why are the local church disobeying God? What we are seeing is the spread of a spiritual disease affecting the heart.

    The will follows the heart and thoughts and actions follow the will. It is a disease that is related to the condition of the heart. The Southern Baptist Convention is historically Calvinistic. James P. Boyce, the founding president of Southern Seminary, was a staunch Calvinist. Some people to Calvinism to unscriptural extremes, but people do the same with Arminianism. When the pastor takes time to intentionally train his people in evangelism and regularly models evangelism for them, most of these concerns fade away.

    Unfortunately, I think many pastors have become slactivists. The pastor has a role in equipping. No doubt about it. I absolutely agree that the Great Commission applies to all believers. Unfortunately pastors generally do no better in evangelism than the average church attender. Next time you participate in an ordination council ask the candidate when they last led someone to Christ, outside of the church … watch how they squirm.

    Of course, exceptions exist, but I stand by my claim. A pastor who takes time every week to intentionally train men in and model evangelism will see his church grow. This means the pastor must actually go find lost people and share the gospel while the person he trains watches. Has it ever occurred to you to examine your own heart? What the pastor does, has a tremendous influence on the congregation. In contemporary times, the low hanging fruit is converting Richard Dawkins, or any of the Four Horsemen of Militant Atheism, to Christianity.

    If the preacher is willing to harvest that, then the congregation will do so. At this point, somebody will no doubt jump up, and point out that the entire book of Acts is about outreach. And it is. There is a difference between reading about a subject, and doing it. An individual can struggle alone, learning how to apply what is found in Acts, and the Pauline Epistles, in doing outreach. Or they can skip the stage where everything they do is wrong, by having somebody show them how to do things correctly. If the congregation has both an evangelist and a preacher, then the evangelist can be model, rather than the preacher.

    Either way, it still requires somebody for the congregation to use as an example to follow. The attitudes mentioned can grow in a person or church that is isolated. But any true Christian will be activated when they actually see and interact with people who need Jesus. But we can keep our hard hearts by isolating ourselves from our community. What needs does our community have? Do students need tutoring? Do people need food? Do people need financial planning help? Do people need counseling?

    It makes it really hard to have a hard heart. I am not sure entirely what the perfect solution is, however I think of going back to basics. For an example… every believer should know and be equipped with some essentials. Like WHY they should share? This is our fathers heart and His plan Acts 2: 9; Mat. Every believer whether they are a day old in the faith or 50 years in the faith needs to know WHO they should share with? So our role is to help them discover the persons of peace The person who God is clearly working on and is receptive… Mat.

    Help others discover who they already know thats FAR from God in their home place, work place or place of passions. We should equip them with a simple Gospel tool. There are thousands of them out there, but we should perhaps do better at not over-resourcing our disciples because it can easily create incompetence, confusion and lack of obedience overall. If we give them a simple tool and expect obedience and hold them accountable, the chances are greater they will use it. Also teach them their story in under a minute… Our testimonies are great ways to sift for spiritual openness… Every believer needs to know that if they stumble upon a person of peace and they receive Christ, HOW then do you disciple them?

    As I am discipling someone I meet, one or two things can possibly happen… because of the relationship built, they come back with us to church. Or perhaps these individuals or personas of peace are well connected, and maybe even sharing with their friends as we want to help them answer these basic questions too… In the scriptures we see modeled by Paul, that new believers equal new churches… Maybe every bible study has the potential to become a healthy church… that does not mean every one will though. Either way we can let God build His church, as it says in Matthew 16 and we can focus on making disciples who make more disciples in Matthew Giving people the basics and expecting that they be able to teach others the basics allows every person, male or woman, young or old, new or older believer, get in the game and make disciples….

    I find in the church I am in, there is a great disconnect between the much older church and the much younger neighborhood. The congregants raised their children in church to become the current generation of leaders, but those children moved away pursuing families, education and jobs. That has left a vacuum of leadership, energy, and passion that we have been unable to fill.

    And for the many leaders who held positions for 60 or 70 years, they are weary. Everyone in town was part of a church somewhere. The growing need for evangelism and avenues for social connections were missed as their children moved away.

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    After getting ignored and bludgeoned in the church for using tracts, I obtained JesusIsLord. So a technological innovation allowed me to exercise my gift and call throughout the world. I ask people I meet questions. So I find out they are devastated and alone as Mom just died. There is an open door for a caring listener with the gospel of hope. Just start smiling and talking with people and maybe have something to give to them they can take home and in a quiet moment see what else you have to say.

    I had to go to school to learn html code. I think of the man in India translating books into the several languages of India. If he could do it with a lamp, I can do it on a screen. I give them out often. I always tell people a good gospel tract should be 1 scripturally sound, 2 appealing to the eye, and 3 concise.

    Do you? There is a false spirit that cause people to think that they are right with and serving God when in fact they are serving false gods. Someone from our church as translated this blog. Surprisingly, our pastor brought a message, about evangelism, the Sunday before February 22nd. At the end, out of 60 adults, present that morning, maybe a third advance to praise and pray. We are about 60 members and between 5 and 10 brothers and sisters evangelize every week. Some of us are praying for a awakening, spread the word God has made some miracles in different awakening throughout time.

    Or in it. Think about the lake of fire… Who would you like to be in it. I would agree with the first 4 and if you read those 4 sum up the rest in some form or other. The early church were expert marketers because they were able to show everyone around the transformation God had done in their lives without preaching it verbally. If we can get show that transformation it would be no problem for others to follow. The world is seeking answers that only God can provide and we should be the instrument he uses.

    The point is this, think about the cunning strategy the Jehovah Witnesses have deployed. Who is left at home? It is alarming to think that false religions are out-hustling us in evangelism. Let him or her who has an ear, hear! Regarding 8, Left Behind Theology has promoted an increasing pessimistic view of the future and has put Christians in retreat mode, hoping for the Rapture while the world collapses around them. We need to look at historical theology, especially as it relates to eschatology, and diagnose our current End Time views for what they are- defeatist, pessimistic and unbiblical.

    The slain Lamb, the Word of God, shall conquer. I believe a huge problem is believers look to methods to save people rather than the Holy Spirit.

    We must be reminded that God adds to the church. We are commanded to share the Gospel, not save anyone. If you are a genuine believer do you not have the example and teachings of Christ, of Paul, Peter, the early church? Secondly do you not have the power of the Holy Spirit that will bring to remembrance all things and teach you all things?

    We had a small group the other day on Sunday afternoon and I mentioned how I would form a good rapport with my students and we have what I call life lessons where I subtly but intentionally lead them to an understanding that Christ fulfills all their needs, after saying this all of the small group members looked at me in udder shock like I was insane for trying to share my faith. Our ministry is wherever we go, not inside four walls of a church.

    Separation of church and state was invented and instituted by man but do we not answer to a higher authority, a higher command or law from God? If government restrictions or laws prohibit us from sharing our faith who are we to follow God or the government? I have found most Christians try to live somewhere in the middle which seems to be very ineffective from an evangelistic standpoint. Sadly most of their life outside of work is rather Christian so sharing their faith presents very few opportunities.

    Lastly, I believe the average church member has been taught to heavily rely on grace. Works obviously will not save but is only an outward marker that we truly understand the gospel. Blaming or at least pointing out that evangelism is not be taught by church leadership is not a cop out. It is pointing out a lack of demonstrating or living out a fundamental act for anyone who is a Christ follower.

    Understand that when I point things out I humbly admit there are three fingers from my own hand pointing back at myself. On my own I am not motivated to evangelize because of my own doubts and lack of boldness. But there have been times where I have accompanied mature Christians on various mission trips and outreach events and I witness how others evangelize. I have then been challenged to step out in faith and engage strangers to share the love of Jesus. I write all that to say that Christians need to be taught, shown and challenged to evangelize.

    When you read in the book of Acts how the Jerusalem church grew, you have to understand that those Christians were under the leadership of the disciples. The disciples in turn had been taught, shown and challenged to evangelize by Jesus. I had better admit my failures up front. I know some are weary.

    May God have mercy on us He will for our lack of work on earth. Evangelism is not being demonstrated by church leaders. I moved to a new city over the Summer and I am still looking for a church to plug into. When I ask people about their church I get answers regarding the preaching, the worship, or fellowship of the congregation. No one has invited me to church because the pastor is closing the doors Sunday morning so the entire church can go out into the community and connect with people. As much as I would like to see everyone have a heart for the lost and know how to reach out to them through osmosis, by sleeping with the Bible sitting on the nightstand; evangelism needs to be taught.

    Jesus spent time teaching and training the disciples by example before sending them out. So, that is to say, we teach evangelism to talk about how great our church is rather than how great our God is. Sharing the gospel is the greatest joy of the Chistian life. People are missing out on the pleasure and privilege of being used by God in His exciting work. I found Way of The Master method to be effective to show people the bad and the good news. I love handing out million dollar bills and asking people the million dollar question.

    So if God were to judge you -us according to the 10 commandments would you be innocent or guilty? Would you go to heaven or hell? How wonderful to watch Gods Word work to reveal their sin and need for a Savior. Then I get to share the greatest news this world has ever heard!

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    Pray for a burden for the lost. You can share what Christ has done for you! May I add a comment that can not be ignored? If the pastor is not red-hot engaged in evangelism, neither will the congregation. The love for God and Jesus is growing cold in many churches in America these days. I am involved in looking for a new pastor for a church and I find many of the applicants very soft on personal evangelism and these are Southern Baptists. Also, recently there is a missing hiker in my area who disappeared more than a week ago.

    I am frustrated that the appropriate searchers have abandoned the search. It has caused me to wonder if myself and my church has abandoned the search for the lost around us? We want the government to rule against gay marriage but how many gays have we witnessed to personally?

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    We want the courts to rule against abortion but how many young pregnant women have personally touched with the gospel? We vote Republican and watch Fox News and think that gets the job done. Thank you and love that song! I will share it with my church. I believe in hell and sin and the devil. Thanks again, God Bless. When GOD is left out. Not the building, but our lives we as Christians are the church. We are the body of Christ.

    For example Ezekiel preach to the dry bones…he didnt tell them I have a prayer handkerchief, a bottle of water or told them to sow a seed. I think people just do not know how to evangelize, and apparantly churches pastors are not teaching how. The believers think it is something that will end up in some theological debate that they are not prepared for. My goodness, all it takes is 5 verses in romans, and a desire. We then listen, pray for what they say, then simply ask, before we go, could I show you a neat little story that is related to what we just prayed about?

    Then we simply ask, is there anything you can think of that would keep you from accepting this gift of God today? People think this is so hard and awkward to do, but it is easy really. We are not out there trying to win them to a religion, we are not even talking church, we are just talking about them and a relationship with the Lord, …but first we show care that we want to pray for them and whatever their needs may be. Thom, I have a man in my area of the state Mississippi that has give up his job, and surrendered to home missions to do just the above to train others in evangelism.

    He is totally dependent on the Lord right now, and is willing to share how to do the above and train any churches to do the same. He is training our church now because we were so lacking in evangelism. If you hear of other churches that want training in this, this guy is good, he is of the Lord, and he runs it by the book bible write me at vic gmail. I have to call on what my own heart has struggled with before. That is I believe there is a great number of folks who have not truly given their hearts to Jesus. Once you have truly been saved then there is no denying your calling to go and reach the lost.

    The trouble comes when one gets saved, then build their relationship with God on un -sound church doctrine or worse yet on what their church believes or differs as a whole. God has called us to work out own salvation out with a personal relationship with Him first. If we do this then we will follow His call. Not the call of the denomination we are in. My own church that has the services with a service.

    What a opportunity does not believe you need to bring the lost to church to get them saved, but that you go out and reach them. Which is correct thinking except, not all folks you tell Jesus about are ready to get saved just yet. I had cold feet. They want to test the waters. Now here is a issue. Our job is done. Bad attitude and not Christ centered. We have to sacrifice our time to interact with the list in relationships, inviting them to church with us with no pressure to get saved. The Holy Spirit will do this for us, through us. We just need to be real. Folks know when your looking to add another Mark on your tassle.

    This is a multi effort task, to reach the lost. So I will stop here. I hope I have some good fedd back and it helps. Ooh yes. Prayer is key. Learn how to pray fervently before the Lord. I was raised Catholic, and then as a young adult, made the choice for myself, to leave the Catholic faith and became a born-again believer.

    My walk has been been a steady, though sometimes weakened climb, to grow in Christ. I have been walking steadily with Christ more than 30 years now. I quite accidentally or was led by the Spirit of God to this website. I was compelled to read the 15 points as well as all the responses. I will give my heartfelt honest opinion of the questions and responses of this survey. I am known to be brutally honest, but try diligently to not offend. I ask forgiveness now to anyone who feels any offense, I truly do not intend for it to do so.

    We can continue to do the things God has called the church to do and be a steady, strong, bright shining light in a world of much darkness today. You just follow Him. He had 3 short years to His ministry, here, on earth. Ten years ago, May 23rd was a Sunday. I am always blown away as I reflect on those days. I do not feel qualified for my role today, much less ten years ago! Yet God has been faithful. Pastor Tom pulled me aside in February of to give me the news. He was leaving to start the Bible college in Okinawa. He believed that God wanted me to step up and become the Senior Pastor.

    I was freaked out and shak. Men's Breakfast CC Inland. I taught from Matthew 22 on the source of our mistakes. Here is the video If you missed our family meeting on Sunday, you can find out what you missed here! Find out more about this course at cclivingwater. Recorded: July 12th, 2 - Marlene Barba - Abundant Life Marlene shares her amazing testimony about how God brought her from absolute desperation to abundant life in Jesus! Recorded: September 29th, 2.

    Wonderful Fellowship Today! Our first potluck of was a great blessing! Thanks everyone for pitching in and for sticking around to spend time together! Hanging out with Pastor Quint! Pastor Quint is in town for Christmas so we hooked up and enjoyed a good meal together. It was awesome to hear how God is continuing to work at Calvary Chapel Clovis. Pray for God to continue to bless the Betts family and the church.

    Hannah Is Married! I feel like I'm living in another dimension. How can Hannah be married?! Still hard to believe. Pastor Sosimo Avila. It was such a blessing to watch Sosimo's ordination last Sunday evening. As I sat through the service I began to think back to the early days with him. I remember him being 11 or 12 years old and coming to youth group with questions. He had questions because he had started to witness to sales people who would call their home. I remember him begging and begging to persuade Pastor Tom and Pastor Cisco to let him go on the mission trip to American Samoa even though he was too young.

    Sosimo has k. Impromptu Meeting With Sosimo. Today Sosimo stopped by and we were able to have lunch together. God has done such a great work in him! He has grown into a great man of God! Praying for him and whatever God may have in store for him. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free delivery with Amazon Prime. Books By Jerry Simmons. More Information. Anything else?

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