When I started EvanTell in 1973, I led weeklong crusades. I loved every moment of them and was usually on the road every other week. For years, until our son came along, Tammy traveled with me. As a talented soloist, she sang each night before my message. Did the Lord ever use those events! It was not uncommon for the church to be filled by closing night. Even now as I travel, I have the privilege of meeting so many who were saved during those weeklong crusades.
After 20 years, though, I noticed two things: (1) it was hard to get people out to a church, and (2) it was hard getting them out during the week. Times have dramatically changed. Convinced the message never changes but the methods should, my staff transitioned our delivery to an event called Operation Friendship.
This was an outreach hosted in a restaurant in which I gave an after-dinner message such as, “If God Had Five Minutes to Talk to You, What We Like to Tell You?” Believers brought non-Christian guests with them. One man even brought 21 non-Christian guests!
Sometimes I did as many as 20 Operation Friendships per year. Each Saturday night outreach was accompanied by a Sunday morning evangelistic service and a one-hour training seminar in evangelism. I did these through 2009 and thoroughly enjoyed them.
In 2009, someone challenged me, “Why aren’t you speaking at Wild Game Feasts?” I responded, “Because I have no burden for Christian hunters.” All of the Wild Game Feast events I had heard of did them for the men within the church.
But why not devise Wild Game Feasts for non-Christians? The Lord kept that burden on my heart, so with help of our staff, I developed our Wild Game Feast outreach events targeted toward unbelievers. It has now become our most effective outreach, averaging 50 -70% unbelievers in attendance. As with other outreaches, each Wild Game Feast event is accompanied by a Sunday morning evangelistic service and a one-hour training seminar in evangelism.
We never change our message—Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. But we use whatever method is effective in our day to deliver that message.
As 2017 comes to an end, would you consider a gift to help EvanTell continue to reach more people for Christ through our outreach events and materials? Your generosity helps us expand our resources.