Over 2,700 pieces of literature. Over 30,000 homes. 10 weeks. 10 students. 2 vans. 1 church. 1 community. This is SOULS Northwest’s Winter Literature Evangelism Practicum in Vancouver, WA.
There is a story, perhaps one you have heard, about a man who withheld affection from babies. It is said that while caregivers were allowed to feed the babies, change their diapers, and so forth, they were not allowed to give any affectionate touch. The result? Starved of love, the babies began to die, and the experiment was called off.
Or was it?
With the rise in social media, personal, face-to-face interaction is no longer as necessary. In today’s innovative society, people wonder whether literature evangelism works anymore. The above statistics clearly say that yes, literature evangelism is still an effective means of communicating the gospel. But the next question is, Do people actually read the books they buy? Are their lives really impacted by a knock on their door? This is where the statistics fall and daily testimonies take their stand.
May* is a Pentecostal woman who had received an invitation to a Revelation seminar in her mailbox. As a godly woman who wanted to learn more about God she decided to check it out. So she came the first night. But then her friends couldn’t bring her anymore and she didn’t push them to make the effort. A number of days passed when one evening she heard a knock at the door. It was Marilyn Matau, a SOULS Northwest student from Hawaii.
Not seeming much interested in the books, Marilyn handed her a flyer to the Revelation seminar before leaving. Immediately her face lit up. “You’re a Seventh-day Adventist!” Though not Adventist herself, May enjoyed studying prophecy and had questions about the Sabbath. After a quick 30-minute introduction to honoring the Seventh-day Sabbath and a decision to get a book on the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, Marilyn invited May to return to the seminar, even offering a ride as needed. The next day, Leticia was at the meetings. And the next. And at church on Sabbath!
It is not often that colporteurs see how one life can change simply by a knock at the door, a book left behind, or by handing out a flyer. As social media interaction has increased and personal contact has decreased, it is even more important to conduct our evangelism efforts in a personal way. When a mailed flyer is no longer speaking loudly enough, a personal re-invitation with the same flyer will do the job.
People are spiritually dying for lack of personal contact. It’s time to end the experiment. Will you be the face of Jesus for someone today?
By Christine Carter, Women's Dean