THE I SERIES: I BELIEVE • I DECLARE • I WIN • I WITNESS

“People pay attention when they see that God actually changes people and sets them free. When a new Christian stands up and tells how God has revolutionized his or her life, no one dozes off. When someone is healed or released from a life-controlling bondage everyone takes notice” Jim Cymbala

“I don’t know any source that will stop the bloodshed in Houston better than if every man and woman in Houston who loves Jesus would begin to talk to their friends and simply tell them what He has done for them. Every time we witness we plant a seed of peace and non-violence in our city.” Pastor E A Deckard

Forward Thinkers the first three steps of the I series was preparing us to be in position to witness and win souls to the Kingdom of God.

Forward Thinkers the most important aspects of ministry are soul winning and discipleship. Connecting people to Christ and coaching people to become Christ-like should be the number one priority of every church and Christian in the world because it was priority to Jesus Christ.

Forward Thinkers every activity committed by the church should have soul winning as the ultimate goal and mission of that activity. The body of Christ must refocus and stop majoring on things we should be minor in.

Matthew 4:19-20New International Version (NIV)

19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

Matthew 28:19New International Version (NIV)

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Forward Thinkers Jesus said I will make you fishers of men. Notice Jesus 1st communication with his followers are I will make you fishers of men and His last communication is found in Matthew 28:19 (We call it the Great Commission) Jesus commands us go and make disciples. Forward Thinkers from the beginning to the ending of His earthly ministry soul winning was important to Jesus so it should be important to His Church.

Forward Thinkers statistics indicate a decline in church growth in America but the reality is there is a decline in witnessing and you can’t catch fish if no one is going fishing.

Proverbs 11:30

Amplified Bible (AMP)

30 The fruit of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives [for God, as a fisher of men—he gathers and receives them for eternity].

Forward Thinkers the modern day church is filled with titles of honor but the greatest title we can achieve is to be called a righteous wise soul winning servant of the Lord.

Acts 3:1-5

3 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

Forward Thinkers there are three men in this story and let’s see what we can learn about soul winning form them.

Forward Thinkers the first man has been lame from birth and is carried to the outside of the church daily to beg from the church goers. Forward Thinkers the man was taken to the right place but no one gave him what he needed the most.

The man has never walked on his own and this should have been an opportunity for the church to witness to him and those who carried him to the front of the church parking lot. Forward Thinkers I wonder how many of us are so busy getting inside the church we pass by opportunities to witness.

The man had been depending on others to carry him and this should have be a place where someone going to church could have shared their testimony with the man. Forward Thinkers there is great power in your story but we share our stories so others can see the power of God is still available to them.

The man put his hope in the wrong thing because the church kept giving him hand-outs instead of giving him Jesus. Forward Thinkers we have to do more to save this generation then just throw money at every issue. We must become effective in letting others know Jesus Christ is the answer.

Forward Thinkers the other two men Peter and John said look at us but what they were really saying was look at God.

Forward Thinkers both Peter and John knew the power of God because God had brought them a mighty long way. Side-note don’t let people make you feel lame because they’re going to church and you are outside the church because not too long ago those very same people had their own story.

Amazing grace does say because I once was lost and I once was blind. Peter could say look at God because he knew all about his Simon days and his cursing days, and his denying Jesus days but Jesus never denied him and Peter used his story to witness to others.

Forward Thinkers when Jesus called Simon (Peter) to follow Him Peter declared Lord I am a sinful man but Jesus replies back I knew that when I called you. Forward Thinkers as Peter (the new man) follows Jesus, Simon (the old Peter) follows Peter because Satan desired to reclaim Peter. Forward Thinkers Peter remembers denying Jesus just as Jesus said he would and Peter remembers going back to his old life (Mark 16:7 ) but Peter also remembers Jesus telling them to go tell my disciples and Peter to come to me.

Forward Thinkers Jesus forgives Peter and ask him again to follow Him and Peter will spend the rest of his life being greatly used in the Kingdom because he never forgets what God did for him and he freely shares the gospel of grace with others. Forward Thinkers we must share the good news everywhere we go because a dying world needs to be saved.

Forward Thinkers that’s the best news of the day God never denied you either. God so loved the world he gave us his son Jesus while we were still sinners.

Forward Thinkers Satan has peeked into your future and saw God doing great and awesome things through you, that’s why he is trying so hard to convince you that you are disqualified from your own destiny.

Forward Thinkers if you are not ashamed stand up and tell somebody look at God I’m still standing in spite of all I’ve been through. See church God’s greatest work was not in creating the heavens or the earth or the sun, moon, stars, or even the beautiful ocean but you see God’s greatest work was when he created you.

In conclusion, Forward Thinkers after the resurrection of Jesus Peter felt so guilty because he messed up he went back to his old life but Jesus goes to him and takes him back to the Potters house and the next time we see Peter he’s preaching and saving thousands of souls. Forward Thinkers your story qualifies you to be a major soul winner.

Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located, in both Houston, Texas, and the Woodlands, Texas. Pastor Deckard is also the Co-Founder of the No More Bloodshed Movement. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at pr.ghic@gmail.com, follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope @ Pastor E A Deckard or the church website www.ghic.net.