How 'Outflow' changed how I think about personal evangelism

Howard Webb, Love Your Neighbour Network

14 April 2009

There are a number of churches in the Wellington area which either have done or are planning to do the five-week 'Outflow' church course. The following encouraging story was forwarded to us from such a church, upon condition of anonymity for the writer.  

outflow.jpg“When the Outflow series started it didn't look as if I was going to be in any place to be 'out-flowing', in fact I felt really dry. But, we have followed the DVD at home group and I have read the book and things haven't been as dry as I thought.

Reading the book was such a relief to me, I read Christian books and usually feel quite overwhelmed by my inability to do more, but this book was telling me that I could do this in all the places I was already in. Thank goodness I didn't need to fit something else in to my already busy week!

I've always recognised the school gate and swimming lessons as a great chance to talk. Outflow has really made me acknowledge this as a crucial part of my week. I walk to school and go to the pool praying that God will give me the wisdom and insight to talk meaningfully with someone. I will never again go with a book to read to a swimming lesson, what a wasted opportunity and the school gate is a great place to build relationships. I have developed some real relationships at swimming lessons and school where I have talked about my faith, and who knows where they will end- only God does!

I always feel guilty about not being organised, A fortnightly shop on the internet would save me so much time, with just the right groceries delivered to my door! Outflow has removed my guilt - it is a blessing that I go to New World every day - I will be using it as an opportunity to get to know the staff and be in my community, perhaps a good place for some future outreach?
I have decided to make Friday 'Subway' day - the same staff are on duty every Friday so every Friday I will have the same sandwich and get to know the guys at Petone subway.

I have recently agreed to join an athletics club committee, the first non-churchy committee I've been involved in for many years. I got cold feet a few weeks ago when I heard committee members talk about the benefits for our own kids of being on the committee but Outflow made me realise that this is exactly where I should be. I am prayerfully going to do this with the intention of doing some serious 'out-flowing' with some pretty self-centred people (prayer request!).

I took my Car for its WOF today, two weeks late as usual! I take the cars all over the place for WOF's but today I went for a 'while you wait WOF' with a man that asked about the Alpha sticker in the car and the fact that there was a bible in the boot. I talked to him for longer than he took to check out the car! Our other car also has an overdue WOF and I've arranged to go back tomorrow. If I commit to always get my WOF's done in the same place who knows the conversations I will have.
Outflow has made me realise that I can talk to people about my relationship with Jesus in all the places that I already am! Outflow talks about noticing people and that has made such a difference to me, I don't need to fit anything into my already busy week, I meet more than enough people to witness to, but witnessing on the back of real relationships is so much more meaningful.

I started out thinking there was no way I could outflow because I was feeling so thirsty but even though I have felt quite empty, by showing God's love I have been filled up allowing me to overflow.”

Dave Ping, co-author of Outflow, is touring New Zealand in May, presenting conferences and seminars in Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Wellington and Auckland. To learn more and to register, click here.

Outflow books, Pastor's Kits and Small Group Leaders Kits can be found here.