Let Your Light Shine – Report from Greenville, Ohio

Jesus was the most successful evangelist who ever lived. He is the Master teacher. His model must be our model. His mission is our mission (Luke 19:10). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). This year, many congregations have struggled to keep their light burning during Satan’s Virus (COVID). This has severely affected the ability of the church to reach the lost. Although the fields are “white unto harvest” (John 4:35) these new opportunities are being missed in some places because the lost cannot find a church having Bible study, worship or any evangelistic outreach.

I want to introduce a congregation that is using HTHSOE training to allow the light of Christ to shine brighter now than ever before. The Greenville church of Christ is a small congregation in western Ohio near the Indiana border. John McGiffin is their full-time preacher and his focus is evangelism. Here is a report he recently sent:

When we started there were about 6 to 12 attending on Sunday morning. About a year ago I lost my job. Our minister was moving on and I heard the men say in the meeting we should return all the support we have gotten from other congregations. They said they did not want a preacher but an evangelist. There were several gifted speakers, but they wanted someone to go into the community and work the soil. I simply asked if I could try. I set up a meeting with one of our supporting congregations in Nashville. Two other men and I presented an aggressive growth goal. Although there was some reservation, I encouraged the men to keep our VBS and Gospel meeting this year. I believe that we are a small congregation that does not KNOW it is small because we committed to do one community outreach ministry per month in order to gain 1000 contacts this year. We set a goal for ten Bible studies with community members in hopes that God would add four new members this coming year. I had much push back about the aggressive plan, but the men decided to wait and see.

We started meeting again in May when I took over the duties of an evangelist. In May, we averaged 22 in attendance; in June 32; July 35; August 38; and in September, we broke every attendance record set and averaged 42! Our Gospel Meeting set a record every night; Sunday Morning we had a record-setting 57 in attendance. As a result of the Gospel Meeting, we gained five members that attend on Sunday evenings and Wednesdays.

We have had several ongoing Bible studies using Back to the Bible from Bobby Bates. Most of these have been a result of the community outreach efforts. On September 25, 2020, we baptized Judah and Michelle Gasper, and God added them to the church. This is our third baptism in two months. It is our eleventh baptism in the past year. I have never been so busy. I am fearful as we grow that Satan will rear his head. Much of the grumbling has subsided as folks see the results. Pray for our growth.

Now, more than ever, churches of Christ must be busy going about our Father’s business. This is not the time to shut things down, dim our lights, and wait in fear. Now is the time to allow the light of Christ to burn brighter than ever before. HTHSOE can help you develop targets and provide the tools and training you need to reach the lost. You can enroll individually or congregationally by visiting https://evangelism.housetohouse.com/ If you would like to help support this stateside mission work, please contact the congregation at greenvillecoc@yahoo.com

In His Service,
Rob Whitacre, Director HTHSOE