Located about thirty miles east of Spokane, the growing city of Coeur d’Alene, ID is situated on a large, beautiful lake and is the host to several resorts and a famous golf course with a floating green.
It is also the site of a brand new church called The Vine. And Praise and Proclaim Ministries was invited to launch an outreach campaign in the Coeur d’Alene community.
Earlier this summer, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod – Board of Home Missions made the decision to provide funding to launch a new church in the Coeur d’Alene area. Rev. Kevin Schultz was issued a call to be the lead pastor. After accepting the call, he formulated a team from nearby St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Spokane to help launch this new effort.
Praise and Proclaim Ministries was invited to come and train the launch team to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and orchestrate a door-to-door experience to put their training into action. Last week, over twenty members from the church participated in the training.
The nerves were evident during the training. It’s one thing to go door-to-door to introduce a church or to provide an invitation to an event — it’s quite another to proclaim the gospel. As I explained to the group, there is something mysterious to the proclamation to the gospel which makes it very difficult. It’s not just about what we say, but who we are introducing. Apprehension clutches our throat. Our faith is intensely personal and it’s scary to step out of our comfort zone when we expect to be challenged or ridiculed.
But perhaps there is something more.
Christ wins when the gospel is proclaimed… and the devil is not happy about that.
The next day after training, a group of eleven members from the launch team including two children, set out to proclaim the gospel.
Fears were quickly erased when people utilized the methodology and approach taught by our ministry. As Tony told me when we went door-to-door together, “I can’t believe I got all worked up last night. I was coming up with a list of excuses not to come this morning, but I’m so glad I did.”
In the afternoon, twelve members from two district mission boards representing Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Nevada, and Arizona joined the launch team for two hours of door-to door proclaiming in the afternoon.
Every Christian was trained how important it is to engage a person at the door, transition to proclaiming the gospel, and conclude with a call-to-action. For this campaign, the launch team was inviting members of the community to attend their “End of Summer Fun Fest” at a local park.
When the group gathered together to talk about their experience, they expressed how blessed they were with the many open doors the Lord provided to share the gospel.
Here are just a few of their stories:
An elderly man told one of our evangelists that he worked for twenty years in a monastery. Upon retirement, the nuns told him that he did not have to go to church anymore. Even though his wife regularly goes to the Methodist church in town, the man believed that he was right with God. We were still able to provide a brief gospel message about the completed work of Christ and what He has already done for us.
One of our evangelists goes to Utah every summer to participate in a campaign led by Truth in Love Ministry. She is well-versed on how to speak the truth in love to Mormons. The Lord used her experience and provided a divine opportunity to put her training into action. She wrote,
“While out proclaiming God’s good news in a Coeur d’Alene, ID, neighborhood for our church, my partner and I knocked on a door. As we chatted we found out that she and her husband and children had recently moved there from out of state. Turns out they recently left the LDS church. My heart immediately ached for them as I have learned so much about how difficult it is for the Mormons to walk away from their culture.
My experience in Utah with Truth in Love Ministry prepared me for talking with this young woman. As I empathized with her feelings of betrayal (who can I trust now?) and the heartache of losing her whole world of friends and family, she had tears in her eyes. Her brother told her he would now have to take her out of his will as a guardian of his children if something happened to him.
Please pray with me that this family’s need for the truth about God’s Word is met by our ministry. Using the methodology of Praise and Proclaim Ministries, we will stay in touch with her to help her fill those voids in her life with friendship and love of Christ. I thank God for bringing us to her door that day.” (Peggy)
Albert served as our campaign manager and did a terrific job going door-to-door. He came across a man who opened the door and immediately asked if the new church belonged to the WELS (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod). He told Albert that earlier that morning, he prayed that a new church would be launched in his area. When all of the team members gathered at the pastor’s house, there was a knock at the door. The man who Albert met was so excited that he came to the pastor’s door to see if the new church was real.
We rejoice and celebrate that the Lord provided the opportunity to plant the seeds of the gospel 140 times on Tuesday.
On Saturday, August 27th, a core group of ten members and two kids continued the outreach momentum and went door-to-door proclaiming for two hours in the late morning. The came across several people who expressed interest. Members who came back a second time expressed a higher level of confidence and comfort than a few days ago. One participant who was going out to proclaim the gospel was thrilled that she “managed not to cry” upon speaking with the first person at the door. Afterwards, they were asked, “Was going door-to-door worth it today?” A resounding “YES!” echoed in the teleconference. We celebrate that an additional 39 gospel seeds were planted in Coeur d’Alene today!
What a joy and privilege it is for our ministry to train Christians how to share the gospel! It is an even greater joy to watch their faces after they have received a well-organized experience to actually share the gospel with a stranger at the door. With tears in their eyes, they express gratitude for the privilege of carrying out the great commission that God gives to all believers!
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