Over the last three years I have considered myself very blessed to be a part of this congregation.  When I speak to other preachers and elders across the country about the work here in Grinnell, they also have the same sentiment about the work that is going on here in Grinnell.  I cannot testify to what you have done before I was here.  I cannot testify to what you did when you didnít have a preacher.  I cannot testify to the works you accomplished when you did have a full time preacher.  What I can testify to is your labors over the last three years.  You have never failed to invite your friends, neighbors, family, etc to the gospel meeting.  I have been a part of bigger churches that have seen fewer visitors than what we have here during a gospel meeting.  However, we cannot sit upon the accomplishments of our past and think that we have done all that is needed. 
Challenge #1: The gospel meeting with Matthew Allen is just one month away.  With spring break falling between now and then, this month is going to fly by before we know it.  Therefore, I again wish to issue you the challenge that I have issued before each gospel meeting.  I encourage you to invite one person to the gospel meeting each week between now and the end of the gospel meeting.  If we can accomplish this, we should have invited more than 100 people to the meeting.  If past experiences teach us anything, by inviting this many people we ought to have a really good crowd here at our next meeting.  Based upon the subject matter of this gospel meeting, we have a real opportunity here to reach out into our community.  Brother Allen is not going to be preaching lessons that are just good for Christians to here.  He is preaching lessons that are good for all to hear.  He will be addressing our relationship with God.  He will be addressing our relationship with Christ.  He will be addressing principles that we in some way will be covering this month in these special lessons on the cross.  (Which I am convinced are a good lead into this gospel meeting).  The alien sinner needs to know who God is, why God created him, and why the cross is so important.  The denominational friend will likely benefit from hearing a lesson on our merciful master and the living city.  Challenge #1: Invite at least one person per week leading up to the gospel meeting 
Challenge #2: Be sure to invite early and often.  Those that you invite to the meeting this week would benefit from a reminder (a post card that Pat has printed off) in the mail.  You could even circle lessons that you think this person could really benefit from.  Invite them early so that they have plenty of time to open up their schedule for at least one day of the meeting.  I know that we all can be busy and just as we benefit from getting the dates early so we can free up our schedule, so do the our friends and family.  If you are inviting early and often, they will see how important this meeting is to you.  They will see that this is not just something that you once in a blue moon think about.  They should know Godís people are important to you.  They will see that the sharing of Godís message is important to you.  And chances are good they will not reply with ďI didnít realize it was this week.  Challenge #2: Remind those you invited about the meeting as the dates for the meeting draw near.
Challenge #3:  Attending a gospel meeting will not save a personís soul.  It sure looks nice seeing a full crowd each night of the gospel meeting.  However, many mega churches also have full crowds and that does not mean that they are saved.  Yes, they should be getting the truth about God, Jesus, the church, and salvation when they gather with us, but that does not mean that because they visit they are saved.  We need to be following up with our visitors.  More specifically, if you invited them, it would be good for you to follow up with them.  This is good for a variety of reasons.  It shows your friend/neighbor/coworker that you are interesting in spiritual things beyond the occasional gospel meeting.  They will see that your faith is ďonĒ at all times.  It also allows you to make certain that they did not have any questions about what he or she may have heard during the meeting.  Often times potential converts can be afraid to ask the local preacher, the visiting preacher, or some other ďauthority figure.Ē  In such cases it would be good for you to talk with him/her so that no confusion about how or why things are done will be had.  Finally, it is good because this is where follow up studies are established.  If the personís heart was pricked during the meeting we need to make the most of that window of opportunity.  Study with them.  Share more of the gospel with them.  Impress upon them the need for their salvation according to Godís word (not the traditions of men).  This is where the real benefits of gospel meetings are felt.  Challenge #3: Follow up with those that you invite after the meeting is over.
So there you have it.  Three challenges to help this gospel meeting with Matthew Allen be successful.  Are you willing to accept them?  All of them? -WTK 

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Challenge Accepted?

The Light
Volume 4 Issue 14