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what does it take?

by Todd Smith

Using her husband as a practice partner, Melanie asked, “In your personal opinion, what do you understand that it takes for a person to go to Heaven?”

Rodney knew the correct answer, but because he knew Melanie was trying to learn the FAITH outline, he gave an answer that an unsaved person might give, “Well, I feel that if I do enough good, it will outweigh my bad.”

Melanie responded to her husband with the next question in the FAITH outline. She asked, “Do you mind if I share with you how the Bible answers this question?” Having been taught since childhood, Rodney knew the answer but waited for his wife to continue.

Melanie proceeded to share the gospel plan using a simple tool called the FAITH outline. “‘F’ stands for forgiveness…without God’s forgiveness there is no eternal life. ‘A’ is for available...forgiveness is available, but not automatic. ‘I’ is for impossible. It is impossible for sin to enter into Heaven. ‘T’ is for turn. We must turn from sin and self and turn to Christ. Last of all, ‘H’ is for Heaven.” Melanie shared with her husband all the correct verses and points under each letter, then she asked the question, “So, has there ever been a time and place when you repented of your sin, turned from sin and self, and turned to Christ?”

There was silence. Yes, he knew all the correct answers. Yes, he had grown up in church, but had he ever really “repented and turned from sin and self?” Tears began to flow from his eyes as he realized that he could not remember ever becoming a Christian. “I – I – I don’t know,” Rodney stuttered. At first Melanie thought that Rodney was once again playing the role of an unsaved person by his answer, but then she looked up and saw his tears. Was he sincere? Did he really answer that question from his heart? Finally, Rodney said, “I don’t know, Melanie, if I have ever been saved...if I have ever asked Jesus Christ to save me!” There were questions and discussion; then Rodney prayed and asked God to forgive him of his sins, and accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior!

Rodney was baptized a few weeks later in our Sunday morning worship service. Melanie had already seen the FAITH process change her church, and now she saw first hand how it had begun to change her own family! Rodney is one of many who have responded to the gospel due to the FAITH outreach process.

FAITH is a Sunday School Evangelism and Training Strategy for the local church. It involves discipleship and evangelism. It marries the concept of Sunday School and soul winning. FAITH is a very effective tool to help you use God’s Word to lead someone to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

After becoming a Home Missionary, I felt that I had to do all the work of evangelism by myself. I knocked doors until I felt that I could not knock another. Then, I responded to an invitation to a FAITH Clinic and took four people from our church. I realized that God does not intend for us to evangelize alone. Jesus chose twelve apostles to do the work of evangelism. The pastor and his laypeople need to work together in outreach.

Our people have had the privilege of leading seven people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. FAITH has changed my life, our church, and it can change you and your church, as well.

Todd Smith is a Home Missionary serving in Aiken, South Carolina.


©2005 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists