Reaching People Who Are “Down and Out”
Every spring and summer, John Lee walks the streets surrounding his church in Auburn, Me.
He and others from the church walk in pairs, handing out Today devotions and other Christian literature as they share their faith with people they meet.
Today is a daily devotional guide produced by ReFrame Ministries with support from ministry shares. It is available to anyone interested in refreshing their spirit, refocusing their life, and renewing their faith.
Printed copies of Today are a common sight in Lee’s community, delivered to several churches and businesses in the area. And Lee receives one of the largest orders in the area.
“The devotions are a great conversation starter,” he says. “When we walk along the streets, we say we’re Christians and that we’re handing out this devotional booklet. As people look it over, we begin to talk about where they stand in their faith.”
As a result of this ministry, Lee has a growing list of people who want to receive the Today devotions from him regularly.
“It’s almost like having a paper route,” he laughed.
2023 marks Lee’s seventh year leading a street evangelism team from his church. This year he and six other members walked throughout their church neighborhood every other Saturday, from March through September.
“A lot of the city streets are well-populated on Saturday afternoons,” said Lee. “Many of the people are ‘down and out’ because of drugs and prostitution, but those who want to talk to us are ready to make a change in their life.”
Some of the conversations can last hours, while others may be just a few seconds long.
“In cases when people are more dismissive, we simply say, ‘Know that Jesus loves you dearly, and have a good day,’” Lee said. They also hand out the Today devotions to anyone who is interested.
By God’s grace, about 100 people have accepted Christ during or as a result of these conversations. Some have also accepted Lee’s invitation to attend church.
“We always ask God to bring us the people whom he wants us to talk to,” Lee said, “and most of the time, we can see that he has done just that.”
This fall, CRC News is sharing stories that demonstrate the impact of ministry shares. To learn more, visit crcna.org/ministryshares or invite Jeff Bolt (U.S.) or Roshani Morton (Canada) to speak to your council, congregation, or classis.