Recently, my family made our annual pilgrimage to the home of Wilma Bates (widow of the late Bobby Bates, author of Back to the Bible). This is one of our most anticipated trips each year. Although we are not going hiking or sight-seeing, we have some of our most joyous memories in her home. Each time we visit, I spend time reading through the notes of Bobby Bates. He has binders of handwritten and typed notes about every aspect of soul winning. Last week I found his notes on persuasion. I want to share part of this treasure with you.
Is it Wrong to Persuade?
- People use it when applying for jobs.
- Men use it when courting.
- Parents use it when trying to get children to make good grades.
- Naaman’s servants used it (2 Kings 5:13).
- Peter used it (Acts 2:40).
- Paul used it (2 Corinthians 5:11).
- It is being persistent.
- It is continuing to work with a sinner until he understands the full import of the gospel.
- It is helping the sinner to feel about the Lord the way we do.
- It is helping the sinner make a wise decision.
- It is exciting the sinner’s emotions to do what he knows is right.
- It is helping the sinner to understand the urgency of responding.
- It is helping the sinner realize the uncertainty of life on earth.
- It is convincing the sinner that he has a desperate need.
- It is not manipulation. Manipulation is using unfair or insidious means to accomplish one’s own purpose.
- It is not force or coercion.
- It is not “hard-selling.”
- It is not out-talking the other person.
- It is not convincing someone to get something he does not need.
- It is not badgering.
Forestburg church of Christ, Texas: We welcome the Forestburg church of Christ to the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. Their preacher Mark Lindsey, along with his family, drives an hour twice a week to serve this congregation. They are small and although in a rural area, they have a core group of Christians committed to growth. Please pray for them.
Caddo Mills church of Christ, Texas: We welcome the Caddo Mills church of Christ to the House to House/Heart to Heart School of Evangelism. Their preacher is Jason Sparks. He reported after his sermon on Sunday, “I preached for about an hour and did not even realize it. There were a few tears and lots of excitement!” Caddo Mills has a lot of potential. They have a great facility, a good location, and a talented membership. Please pray for them.
North Jefferson church of Christ: Garth (elder) reports, “Good morning, brother. My wife and I just worshiped with the Caddo Mills church of Christ. Just missed you and your family! Jason did a wonderful job introducing what their future evangelistic outlook would be. Well, I just could not contain myself and asked if I could address the 70 in attendance. I reported on what has occurred in our congregation in the last four months. Told them to just do it! Thanks brother. Thank your whole family. On a side note, my wife Kris and I are beginning another study with a couple.”
Bryan-College Station (BCS) church of Christ, Texas: Kyle Mangen (deacon) reported, “Hey brother! Hope all is well. Very encouraged by your posts and the work that is being done through the school! We have had five baptisms thus far this year. We have at least 5-6 ongoing studies currently (that I am aware of; there may be more). Things at BCS are good. The elders and deacons are going to teach BTTB due to overlap of us all teaching the adult classes at different times. We are going to utilize it as a fundamentals class and have some of our weaker members attend also. We do have numerous ongoing studies at the congregation, which is encouraging. Several good prospects and hot studies are ongoing. We will continue praying for you all and your work!”
Paris church of Christ, Tennessee: Please welcome this congregation in HTHSOE as they are completing digital and virtual training. G. Clay Leonard (preacher) reported, “We have been going through the evangelism seminar DVDs in our Wednesday night class. We watched the session on Method and discussed it in the class. Kaylea Cramer has been attending for some time, but we knew she was not a member of the Lord’s church. After hearing the discussion of the third booklet, she raised her hand and said she needed to be baptized. She had basically gone through the study while we were learning how to lead it!”
Hatler’s Chapel church of Christ, Tennessee: Michael Turbeville (elder) reports, “Here is a partial list of what we have done since the seminar:
- 20+ cards sent to visitors, sick and move ins.
- 150 HTH handled out with invitation to VBS in our community.
- 22 children from the community visited, along with children from our congregation.
- Two adults from denominations attended and invited to study . . . no interest so far.
- Five Bible studies carried out, with one still in study.
- We have studied the Back to the Bible 3-part series of personal work, the Does It Matter study guide, a class study in Bates, “Fishers of Men” and “Spiritual growth” workbooks.
- In our Sunday evening meetings, we are studying the Old Testament Simplified and we will follow up with New Testament Simplified.”
Please pray that we work together in this, and that we can change our mindset. Thank you for all you do to help the brotherhood change, and we are blessed to have so many simple resources at hand.”
East Ridge church of Christ, Chattanooga, Tennessee: Charles Cochran (preacher) reports, “We have had an amazing week. We had a baptism of a couple Tuesday night a week ago. He was baptized by one of our men, Donald Payne. His name is Allen Nation. Donald’s daughter, Teryn was restored on Wednesday night. One of our younger ladies, Katelyn Clark, was baptized by Doug McVey this past Sunday. We continue to do compassion cards. I spoke with a lady in Atlanta who receives our cards. She is so encouraged by them, as well as her husband. Their names are Frank and Betty Vinyard. Frank has been restored and there is an ongoing study with Betty. Moreover, Matthew Moses, 14-year-old, studied with McKinley Slatton and she was baptized by Joe Gass. Finally, Steve and Connie Woosley have been studying with a lady renting a house with them using Back to the Bible and she is now coming to church. We continue to take welcome baskets to people. We had a request for a Bible lesson through House to House, Heart to Heart. Other Bible studies are in progress. The Lord is blessing us. God bless your family.”
Lafollette church of Christ, Tennessee: Ben Shaffer (preacher) reports, “On Saturday we had a door knocking day. We focused on areas where we have been sending House 2 House. We had 15 people go out in teams of 2 or 3 and we were able to knock dozens of doors. Our goal was to make contact with the community and set ourselves up for future visits. We wanted to find needs that we could fill. We haven’t tabulated all the information, but we have quite a few new people to add to our compassion card list. We can’t wait to send some love to them and let them know we are praying for their situations. We intend to follow up in person to those a few weeks. Many doors were potentially opened. All of those who participated were encouraged and had a positive experience. We are hopeful that when we go back out in a couple weeks, we may have even more participants. To top it all off there were a few households that said they would like to set up Bible studies. All in all, it was a very productive and uplifting day.
Chase Park church of Christ, Huntsville, Alabama: Pat Cowden (preacher) reports, “We are now two weeks out from our seminar with the Whitacres. Our pulpit minister, Rusty Hills, kicked off our official start by preaching two excellent lessons from John 4 regarding the fields being white for harvest even with an unlikely conversion and an unlikely messenger (the Samaritan Woman). We had over 20 people come to our meeting to prepare for holding personal Bible studies. These have either held personal Bible studies, assisted with personal Bible studies, or are in the process of learning how to assist in personal Bible studies. We have studied twice with all the people we set up studies with, and all eight of them have requested to continue the study. We currently have 23 people on our contact lists, and our entire congregation now has bookmarks to remember the 10 souls they would like to reach (first) with the gospel. Having a congregation this excited about local evangelism is a dream come true for me. #notashamedofthegospel”
Cowetta church of Christ, Oklahoma: Keno Shrum (preacher) reports, “Good afternoon brother, I want to share a compassion card success story. We had a young lady dedicate her life to God a few months ago after going through BTTB. Since that time, she has repeatedly asked her mom to go through BTTB but was always met with rejection. In fact, her mom was not overly thrilled about this young lady’s baptism.
Recently, her mom developed cancer and went through some treatments and at times was near death. The Coweta congregation jumped on this opportunity to mail out compassion cards. To our surprise, this morning, her mother was at church. Afterward, while visiting with her about the incredible improvement in her health, I thought I would try one more time and asked her if she would be interested in going through BTTB. I did not even finish the question and she excitedly said yes, she does very much want to do the study. We are scheduled for Lesson One this coming Thursday.
The most beautiful part of it all was her daughter’s reaction when Jamie told her that her mom wants to do the study. She was almost moved to tears. The takeaway is this: One, compassion cards work! Two, it was through the influence of this new convert, who was only baptized a few months ago, that we are able to sit down with her mom for this study. Her work, persistence, dedication, transformation, and patience led to this moment. I pray she never loses her zeal for God!”
Siwell Road church of Christ, Mississippi: Derek Broome (preacher) reported, “We have several members who have started new studies with friends and family. Cards are being sent out daily. More and more contacts are continually added to our congregational contact list. Everyone is on fire, and we are all working to implement these changes.”
Deerfoot church of Christ, Birmingham, Alabama: Richard Harp (preacher) reports, “I have mentioned the bookmark every week since I introduced it. I will be mentioning it today again. I have a personal example because I have been praying for people on the list. I had a conversation yesterday with one on my list, and we got into a biblical discussion! I thought of the list. The purpose to get to a study. There is one Bible Study still ongoing and a potential one starting soon. Deerfoot members are at Camp Maywood this week, and they are ready with Back to the Bible for campers interested in Christianity. We have implemented the back to the Bible table in the foyer. We are developing the culture of personal evangelism.”
Cordova church of Christ, Memphis, Tennessee: Bruce Hatcher (preacher), reports, “Today was congregational training on book #1 of Back to the Bible and our first official meeting of group #1 of our compassion card groups. The congregation is cooperating well with the changes, and they are feeling more confident to do studies.”