International (MNN) — Have you ever been talking with someone and suddenly see an open conversational opportunity to share your faith? What happened? Did you get cold feet? If so, you’re not alone.
A study by LifeWay Research in 2012 found that 25 percent of Christians don’t feel comfortable sharing their faith.
That’s why movements like NoPlaceLeft exist. The goal of NoPlaceLeft is to tangibly equip believers to witness the Gospel so there’s “no place left” that hasn’t heard of Christ.
Kevin Maxwell is a missionary with e3 Partners, and the ministry is part of the NoPlaceLeft coalition — along with several other mission groups and individuals. He shares why this ministry is so effective in its outreach model, and the stories he’s seen of lives transformed.
A Harvester’s Personal Story
Maxwell’s experience for 22 years before joining e3 Partners was in various areas of ministry — from Christian education to youth and discipleship pastorates — but he felt like something was missing on the witnessing front.
“Many of those things were all great things that were taking place and ministries I had, but often times we do a lot of concentrating on the teaching aspect of things, sometimes to the exclusion of training in order to lead to obedience [in evangelism].”
Then he noticed e3 Partners’ outreach model and that of other ministries within NoPlaceLeft.
“I was seeing that they were taking a different approach…. They were training individuals, and so they were giving them tools in which they could go out and share the Gospel. They were giving tools that could get you started in the sharing, how to identify who you’re going to witness to, how you’re supposed to witness to them, [and] how you’re supposed to disciple them.”
First 30 Days in the Harvest
From there, Maxwell became an e3 Partner missionary and part of the NoPlaceLeft movement.
“We enter into what is called a first 30 days in the harvest. So that first 30 days when I first got here to South Florida, basically my contact and most of my time was spent out in the harvest. What I mean by that is out in the neighborhoods, out in the parks, out in the streets learning and bonding and identifying the different cultures and segment groups I’ll be ministering with. They want us to do that at the beginning so we can find out what those entry points are and the best way to engage an area, and then we can start openly sharing and we can start fine-tuning the tools we have.
He shares, “Just in the very first week of just going out into the harvest and engaging, I came across some individuals who identified as far from God, and they wanted to get back into God’s design. We use something called the three circles which talks about God’s design, it talks about how there’s brokenness in this world, and then the answer to this brokenness is found in Christ. That’s the Gospel message.
“They accepted Christ, they were baptized, we immediately started to hold ‘commands of Christ discipleship’, which is an early-on discipleship with them as a church, and have continued to do so each week while I’ve been even in these 30 days in the harvest.”
One of the biggest lessons Maxwell has learned while serving in the harvest? “When we go out into those fields and we’re spending time out in that harvest and we really open ourselves up through prayer and through trying to really be visible representations of Christ, which is what an ambassador is,…we see the need that’s out there, that’s going to create (and did create in me) a sense of, ‘I need to be out there, because that’s where the brokenness is.’”
A Domino Effect
The model of NoPlaceLeft looks like a domino effect. When someone leads a friend in the harvest to Christ, that new believer then is encouraged to go and do the same thing in their sphere of influence.
“Throughout that whole process, that discipleship is emphasizing that now they’re ambassadors for Christ who are supposed to go right back out into that harvest, and they’re supposed to be seeding the neighborhoods and their families and their coworkers and whoever they come into contact with, they’re supposed to be seeding that Gospel.”
When we say “harvest”, it can be easy to think of it as a designated mission field “out there” — a big city or an impoverished area. But, really, the “harvest” is everywhere there are lost souls. What makes the difference is how you engage it.
What about you?
If you’d like to find a NoPlaceLeft training near you, click here!
Maxwell says you can also contact e3 Partners. “There are e3 Partners missionaries located all throughout the United States. They will go to your church and help to provide training for the churches that are asking for it, help lead them through these tools, [and] take them out into the harvest so they can actually see that this does bear fruit and it is something they’re being called to.”
Then, pray. “Each day, we set our alarms for Luke 10:2, which is basically calling out individuals into the harvest. So at 10:02 every day, we stop and we pray…for people that would take on that call and to take on that challenge to be those ambassadors of Christ and to help us to work towards NoPlaceLeft. It’s going to take, not a handful of missionaries spread out throughout the world, [but] it’s going to take churches that are coming together, bodies of believers that are coming together that are all working towards this NoPlaceLeft.”
Maxwell adds this final thought: “We live in a society now where sometimes we don’t engage people. We often come home and many times we go inside the house and we close our doors. It’s really, really hard for the Church to be the Church and accomplish that Great Commission that Christ has called us to unless we go out and intentionally engage that harvest.”