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Taste of Missions school challenge, Reformation, San Diego, 5&6

My evangelism story

Our church was holding its first Friendship Sunday. We decided to invite families from our son’s baseball team. It was his first year in this league, so we had met these families only a few months earlier.

In the invitation, we stated that “this new circle of people helped us define friendship this summer, so it felt logical to invite you to Friendship Sunday!” That wording helped us get past the awkwardness of inviting our new friends to church.

Families reacted differently. Some had plans at their own churches; others had scheduling conflicts; a few simply weren’t interested in going to church . . . but some said yes! Our group (including our family) filled multiple pews at church that morning! It was awesome to include these friends in our Sunday morning routine, and it led to some special experiences:
  • One of our son’s teammates came to church with us multiple times after that first Sunday. While his attendance faded, we know that seeds were planted, and I remain hopeful that faith will grow in his heart in God’s time.
  • One of the families’ daughters invited our daughter to attend some events at her church. This prompted meaningful conversations about the beliefs and practices of other churches.
  • One of the families came to more services over the next 18 months, learned more about the church, and eventually became members. The morning that eight of their children were baptized was breathtaking! (See picture above.)
Our Friendship Sunday experience with the baseball team led to more spiritual “team” outings for our family. Two of our daughters had their basketball teams come to church with us after a sleepover at our house, providing opportunities for our girls to witness to others. The friends asked questions with genuine sincerity and a desire to learn. Again, seeds were planted.

Evangelism isn’t only a sermon coming from a pulpit. Evangelism can be done with seeds quietly planted at the ball diamond or on the basketball court. Sometimes it is just letting others—including your children—see how you live your life. Our son, who almost eight years ago invited his baseball team to Friendship Sunday, recently asked our pastor if he could keep a Bible study handout about the one true God, noting that he wanted to talk about that with his college roommate. Our daughter, who as a high school freshman took her AAU basketball team to church, recently shared that a guy whom she had invited to visit the college chapel had attended his first Ash Wednesday church service ever.

Weave God’s Word and God’s work into your daily routines. Don’t shy away from the chance to share the “church” part of your life. And then, let God do the rest!

Shelley Storhoff is a member of Good Shepherd, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. To read more about the Friendship Sunday that Shelley references in her story, read Share the gospel by Pastor Collin Vanderhoof.
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