Pitts Baptist hosts evangelism training
    October 11 2011 by Tara Willis, Special to the Recorder

    When was the last time you heard an 8-year-old say, “Why does tomorrow night’s service have to be shorter?”

    Brianna Arrowood was overheard wishing that evangelism training could last longer at the “Every Believer a Witness” series at Pitts Baptist Church in Concord.

    Brianna and her mom, Hannah, were among hundreds who recently learned biblically-based, practical, and sometimes hilarious ways to approach people with the gospel in their day-to-day lives.

    The life-changing seminar was taught by Dennis Nunn, founder of Living the New Life Ministries, and native of Charlotte’s Derita Community. Dennis has identified four major reasons believers don’t regularly share the gospel:  apathy, ignorance, fear and powerlessness. With boundless energy and enthusiasm, he motivated listeners with practical methods to begin conversations about Jesus without fear. Attendees left empowered to share the story of how the gospel changed their lives.

    “The beauty of the conference is the way it instilled a new mindset for evangelism,” said Pastor Scott Davis. “We have to get back to fulfilling the Great Commission. At church we are often so busy, so caught up in good things, that we neglect the best thing. Dennis taught the church to not be so focused on technique, but on actually doing something. Spiritual leaders or children can use these methods which are simple and transferrable.”

    During the first of four evening sessions, Dennis provided a simple, biblical model and walked attendees through the composition of their own story of how Jesus came into their lives. He encouraged people to go out the following day and simply ask someone they encountered, “Can I read you my story?”

    Photo by Jonathan Turner

    Dennis Nunn, founder of Living the New Life Ministries, drew a crowd at Pitts Baptist Church in Concord during his “Every Believer a Witness” series.

    Attendees came back the following night amazed at people’s responses to their non-threatening approach. On the second evening of the conference, Dennis reminded attendees their responsibility is to simply share the gospel and that God will change hearts.

    Even though we should expect to face some opposition, there is no pressure to perform; God simply wants us to share what He has done for us. Using dozens of examples from his own life, Dennis spent the next session presenting many practical, intentional ways to share your testimony. He gave examples of entertaining and relaxed conversations he has instigated with co-workers, hotel employees, servers, neighbors, friends and family. He taught how to listen for openings to share the gospel and provided tips on how to discuss faith in everyday life.

    Davis is thrilled by the interest so many have shown. He said, “The evidence that people were motivated was the great attendance each night.”

    The conference was well attended by all ages, and the students of the church were especially engaged. One seventh-grader shared his story with nine classmates. Gary Cline, a Sunday School teacher, had the opportunity to hear Nunn train members of Mount Vernon Baptist in Boone last year, and was anxious to invite him to Concord. Cline has found that the training has helped him look for daily opportunities to share Jesus, and he loves finding ways to connect with people.

    Nunn developed the “Every Believer A Witness” training seminar seven years ago to help create and maintain a culture of witnessing and evangelism. He realized that 90 percent of Sunday morning “pew-sitters” were not sharing their faith, and he never met a pastor who was satisfied with his evangelism program. He claims, “We will never get the majority of our people witnessing, and we will never fulfill the Great Commission, until our people come to see evangelism as best done in a conversation rather than a presentation.”

    With his winsome personality and contagious enthusiasm, Dennis teaches people how to start faith-based conversations every day. Pastor Davis noticed that sharing the gospel is just “part of Dennis’ DNA.”

    Nunn serves as a supportive coach to everyone he encounters, modeling the principles he teaches. He traveled to the Eastern European country of Moldova last year, and shared with 400 pastors who are now very anxious to hear the full “Every Believer a Witness” seminar. As a result, Nunn’s materials are being translated into Russian.

    In November, Moldovan Pastor Victor Mirza will travel to the United States to spend a week with Nunn, then return home to teach fellow pastors. Visit livingthenewlife.org to learn more. The training can be taught by a church’s senior pastor over six Sunday mornings, or can be taught by Nunn in the Sunday through Wednesday “revival” format.

    Members of Pitts Baptist have found that sharing the gospel is easy, based on Nunn’s assertion that “everybody loves a story.” Simply consider what your life was like before you met Jesus, how you came to accept the gospel, and what Jesus Christ has done in your life since.

    (EDITOR’S NOTE – Tara Willis is a freelance writer from Charlotte and member of Hickory Grove Baptist Church.)
    10/11/2011 8:56:00 AM by Tara Willis, Special to the Recorder | with 0 comments

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