About SMSC EvanTell

Mary Margaret Gibson is the Ministry Director of EvanTell's Save the Mother, Save her Child(TM) ministry, (SMSC). SMSC launched nationally in 2009 and provides onsite Instructor-led, and free, online evangelism and discipleship training to pregnancy help centers in the U.S. and internationally. More information about EvanTell is available at http://www.evantell.org.

10 Opportunities to Share Your Testimony

There is a new blog post  on our EvanTell site by Mary Margaret Gibson, SMSC Ministry Director, describing a number of opportunities to share your personal testimony.  If you have not taken EvanTell’s training for How to Create Your Three-Word Testimony, you can download it HERE!

Click HERE for more information about EvanTell’s work with pregnancy centers.

 

Sanctity of Human Life: Wins and Challenges

iStock_000004701536XSmallThis weekend we will provide a short update to a group at church on some of the “Wins and Challenges” that we face in the spiritual conflict over the lives of God’s children, created in His image.  We do this in support of the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, January 15, 2017.    This remembrance centers on the value of the life of every person — unborn, infant, toddler, child, teenager, adult, senior — no matter their age, race, culture, gender, abilities or disabilities, capacity to produce, or physical condition.

Sunday’s handout will have some links, quotes, and images from Focus on the Family, Care Net, and EvanTell and our Save the Mother, Save her Child ministry for over 700 life-affirming pregnancy centers. You can access the handout, which covers a few of the topics, here at wins-and-challenges.  In our 10 minutes to address them, we have two objectives:

 1. Reinforce the truth that the spiritual battle for the lives of God’s children is a battle we can engage in every day on our knees.  Prayer, Scripture, and the gospel are powerful weapons in this battle.   We know that without God’s engagement: 

homeless-personNo homeless person  would receive help from organizations like the Salvation Army.

No prisoner would meet Jesus through a Bible study and learn how to live free, even though incarcerated, through free-on-insideorganizations like Prison Fellowship International.

Mom_NurseNo person facing an unexpected pregnancy would find accurate health information, practical help, the gospel, and the love of an authentic person, at a church or a pregnancy center.  (This link is from the American Association of Pro-Life OB/GYNs and has sub-links to major pregnancy center networks.)

military-familyNo veteran’s family would have a church to back them up when mom or dad is deployed.

No suicidal teen, whose loneliness is so deep that only death seems rational, would find a free Christian counseling center or HOPE LINE  waiting for their call.

glad-to-see-youNo sick, aged, disabled person would receive Biblical hospice care from caregivers who use a Biblical approach to support those who are dying or grieving the loss of a loved one.

 2. We hope to inspire folks to get involved in support of the lives of God’s children in their town. There are so many ways to serve that every Christ-follower, equipped with the gifts God gave him or her can be engaged somewhere! The people of the God of the Bible stand for good and life!  We care about protecting the unborn child of God because He loves them and us.

I pray many will join us, get involved, and encourage their family and friends in the fight for God’s image bearers at every age and stage of life.  Love and serve God among His creation.  Pray. Work. Love. Prop up the good!

————————————-
NOTE:  You can go to this link at Focus on the Family’s “Be a Voice” and get inspiration, free resources, to fight for the lives of the unborn, and register for the Evangelicals for Life Conference.  It’s in Washington, but you can live stream some or all of it at home, in your pregnancy center, church, women’s or men’s group, for your office.

 

And God said, “Where are you?”

Note: Today’s post is the third and final post in a short series on “Authentic Life.” Read Mary Margaret Gibson’s first post here and Dr. Kathy Koch’s second post here.

adam-and-eve

by Mary Margaret Gibson

“And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:8–9)

Of course, God knew where they were.

They were hiding. Since that day, our fear and shame indicate a broken relationship with God caused by a person’s decision to ignore God’s commands. Our Creator made Adam with five deep needs and before that point had satisfied them all:

Security – God was Adam’s security. He made Adam in the “image of God” making it possible for him to have independent thought, emotion, reasoning, and the gift of naming creatures. God gave Adam everything he needed. God saw that Adam would be lonely, so God gave him a companion and helper, Eve (Gen. 2: 18–25).

Identity – Adam was God’s friend. Adam walked in the garden God made for him.

Belonging – Adam was a child of God, a member of God’s earthly family.

Purpose – Adam had a grand purpose. He saw every animal God had made and gave a name to each one. He must have done a good job. “Whatever name Adam gave became the creature’s name (Gen. 2:19–20). God approved. It was good!

Competence – God gave Adam the competence to fulfill his purpose to the glory of God.

But, after Adam and Eve defied God’s explicit command, Adam hid.

It was the first time on earth that any person was afraid of God. Until then, Adam knew in his heartand mind that God was “on his side.”

Adam had to leave the garden because separation from God is the penalty for sin (Rom. 6:23). He and Eve had to take up residence in the world, and they took their five core needs with them. Every child born since then inherits the same five core needs and the same inclination to sin (Rom. 3:23). God had us in mind, though. He knew how we would be restored to that wonderful relationship with Himself.

God IS On Your Side!

Recently, EvanTell (all about the gospel) and Dr. Kathy Koch (the core needs expert) launched a unique initiative called Authentic Life: Our Needs – God’s Answers. God is still able and willing to satisfy the five core needs we all struggle to fulfill in our life without Him. He built into us a longing for Himself.

In December, we will launch a seven topic video training module for Authentic Life. (You can read more about it HERE.) We have created “God’s Gift to You!”—featuring a gospel presentation and discipleship materials equipping people to share Authentic Life with the upcoming generation.

In this initiative we teach people their need to trust Jesus as Savior in a fresh way using core needs.

The first missionaries using Authentic Life will be the staff and volunteers of EvanTell’s Save the Mother, Save her Child ministry — Pregnancy Resource Centers helping people with many challenges in life, including unexpected pregnancy. The women and men needing the wide-ranging help of pregnancy centers will hear the hopeful news, “God is on your side! Right now! And so are we.” Many will hear the gospel and trust in Christ as Savior — the hopeless will have hope restored, forever. They will know Authentic Life.

Pray. Pray for God’s Gift to be received.

Why Share the Gospel in Mercy Ministry?

DangerThe world is full of very real dangers  –  violence, poverty, broken relationships, poor health, emotional disturbance, disrupted communities…so many things.  All these things can hurt us and we spend our lives trying to avoid them or change them! But none of those things is as dangerous as failure to trust the only One who can provide our permanent hope and security – Jesus Christ.

The Bible describes the situation:

And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son of God has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”  1 John 5:11-12

One either has eternal life in Jesus, called the Christ (Savior), or eternal life without Christ.  God Himself sends people to be carefully served by us in our ministries and provides the opportunity for us to partner with Him to show people the way to Jesus and eternal LIFE.

StubbornWe can help someone realize that when anyone leaves God out of their worldview, decisions, relationships, and actions it is called “sin” and causes the person to be separated from God, who is holy and cannot tolerate sin. Essentially the person is saying, “I can do this myself.  I don’t need God.”

As a result, the person operates at a terrible disadvantage every day!  He or she faces life without a relationship with the God  of the Bible — from whom all truth and good  comes!  He or she faces eternal life separated from God forever. But God provides a remedy for this condition because He loves each person!

Paid in FullA person can be rescued from this sin condition, and receive God’s gift of relationship and LIFE.  From the moment of decision to trust Christ alone as Savior, a believer is declared forgiven and adopted by God.  Christ, the Son of God, died as the substitute for their sins, rose from the dead, and was seen alive by hundreds of people, proving that death and sin were conquered forever. (2 Cor. 15:1-8)

For those who trust Christ as the One who paid the full penalty for sin, God gives the gift of eternal LIFE in relationship with Himself.  No one earns it.  God gives it once and for all! Eternal life includes all the work of God’s grace day by day, to help the person who has been made new – no longer estranged from God but now adopted by God into His family.

This eternal life gift extends out through all of life on earth as the Holy Spirit gives strength to a believer to resist sin and choose truth.  He provides comfort, teaching, and power as  Christ continues to intercede for the believer, all the way into joyful eternity.

The message of God’s grace to sinful men is not merely a proclamation of eternal condemnation [for those who do not trust in Christ]; it is rather that the chief of sinners may be saved through the Savior that infinite love has provided.” (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, Volume 4, p. 433)

In The Evangelism Study Bible, p. 1176,  there’s a note on 1 John 4:11 that helps us understand why to share the gospel with someone.  It’s entitled, “Love is Putting Somebody Else First.”  It says, “Through His death on the cross and resurrection the third day, Jesus Christ satisfied the wrath of God against our sin.  Now God freely extends eternal life as a gift to all who trust His Son.”  And, “Christians who demonstrate sacrificial love stand out like a lighted billboard on a dark night.  When others notice our love, we have a wonderful opportunity to share the love of Jesus.”

Prepare to help a new Christian to grow in their faith, to learn to pray, to become established in their understanding of Scripture — in short, help them find a home in a church that loves new believers and knows how to help them grow in their spiritual life.

Pray that God will cause  you and partners in your ministry to think of others first and share the gospel.  Be one of those “lighted billboard” people that God will use to both LIVE the gospel through your ministry, and SAY the gospel so it can be heard by a person who does not know Him.

Learn more here: Online evangelism training is available through EvanTell,  24/7, Free Online Evangelism Training.

Immeasurably More Than You Could Ask or Imagine

Guest Blog By:  Melissa Heiland, President, Beautiful Feet International (BFI)

1-Home Melissa (2)Melissa Heiland is the founder and President of Beautiful Feet International, a Master Instructor for EvanTell’s Save the Mother, Save her Child and You Can Tell It!  evangelism training.  She is the founding missionary of
international Centro Prenatal pregnancy centers.  You may discover more about Beautiful Feet International pregnancy centers and ministry here!   We are so grateful to the Lord for our partnership with BFI.

“What began as a dream of opening a single pregnancy center in the small fishing village of Tarcoles, Costa Rica, has grown into a national phenomenon.”

In 2012, we received a call from a former colleague of my husband offering us the use of a house in Costa Rica. Immediately, I knew that God wanted us to start a pregnancy center.

Recently, I conducted a training of 32 Ticas (Costa Rican women) from around the country. We currently have Training Group Centro Prenatal Costa Ricacenters in
Tarcoles
and Jaco on the coast, in Heredia near the capital city, and in Upala on the Nicaraguan border.

We have plans to open 3 more centers in 2016 including one near Talamanca where the indigenous people live. Each of our centers is staffed by Ticas as a volunteer ministry.

WCentro Prenatal Costa Rica, BFIe have seen 100’s of people trust Christ through the ministry of Centro Prenatal in Costa Rica, including moms, dads and grandparents. The clients are discipled using devotionals written specifically for use during pregnancy and baby’s first year.

We have come full cycle as we have 3 former clients who are now serving as volunteers in the ministry.

God has also given us the privilege of opening 2 centers in Mexico and one in Togo, West Africa.

MORE:  Click for Melissa Heiland’s site.   Beautiful Feet International and Centro Prenatal centers in Costa Rica are featured in this article by Mission Network News – “Are Your Feet Beautiful?” by Ruth Kramer, January 2016.  Melissa’s devotionals in both English and Spanish are available here

Finding a Safe Place In a Tough World

SAFE PLACE.JPEGSave the Mother, Save her Child (SMSC) is a community ministry of EvanTell.  For about seven years we’ve been working beside the staffs and volunteers of faith-based pregnancy centers as they minister to women and men facing unexpected pregnancy.

Every family facing unexpected pregnancy needs to find a Safe Place to consider all the decisions they face.  They need a place where they will get wholesome, truthful help.

They need a place where no one will profit from their misery!  They need trustworthy counsel.  They need information not tainted by the profit motive of the culture.  They need serious answers to serious questions that will set their course for the rest of their lives.  They need people who will look at them like a whole person – a multi-dimensional person.

They need a safe place.  

SMSC knows where those safe places are.  We have worked with over 700 pregnancy centers and clinics where a woman, or couple, or entire family, can get help with the physical, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs they have.  She’ll know as soon as she walks in the door that she has found a SAFE PLACE – a place where no one will charge her a penny for the services she receives. .  

Our specialty is the spiritual aspect of life – the spiritual journey where so much of a person’s worldview is formed.  We teach people to listen to the spiritual needs of people who come to them for help.  We teach them to minister to the person right in front of them, not some mythical person!

We teach how to ask questions that help people think about the spiritual part of their lives.  And, we explain how to share the gospel with a person who is willing to hear it, in a clear, simple, relevant way.  Then the person can think about what it would mean to them to have a never-ending relationship with God who loves them.  They can hear about a relationship bought by Jesus through suffering and love, that offers them forgiveness, truth, and the power to live each day.  They’ll know, maybe for the first time, what it means to be loved unconditionally.  They can make their own decision.

Spend a little time on our website.  Take one of the online courses.  Start a trip through our Prepared for Action Bible study.  Read some blog posts!  And, you’ll find we are a Safe Place, too.

If you want to find a Save the Mother, Save her Child trained pregnancy center in your town, send an email to smsc@evantell.org.  Use that same email to ask us questions, or comment on this page.

 

4 Essentials for Follow-Up with New Believers

New believer

There are some wonderful blessings coming from the graceful way you share the gospel!  Many people are trusting Christ as their Savior!

Because you have new believers in Christ in your center all the time, SMSC is planning a special session in the Evangelism: Avenues of Grace track at the Care Net Conference in September.  In this session, we will be presenting ideas from women’s ministry directors in churches, leaders of parachurch ministries, EvanTell, and SMSC pregnancy centers.  We are focused on workable solutions to a very significant question:

How should new believers in Christ receive the discipleship needed for them to go on in maturity with the Lord?

We will present our research in talking with women’s ministry directors from around the country on how their churches respond with new believer discipleship.  We’ll present parachurch concepts that really work – Christian discipleship combined with community support for needy women.  And we’ll discuss together in our highly interactive session what many of you are doing.  Come and bring your ideas and questions.

If you want to make a contribution to our session, please either email us at smsc@evantell.org, or comment!  We’ll contact you!

Here are some ideas from a blog post published on the EvanTell blog site not long ago.  

When Paul left Thessalonica, he did not abandon the new believers but sent Timothy to establish and encourage them in the faith (1 Thess. 3:2). Once people trust Christ, don’t leave them alone! New believers who begin the Christian life are at a critical point. Leaving the old life behind isn’t easy. Though the Holy Spirit provides the power to live victoriously, old patterns, old habits, and old temptations are still there. New believers need mature believers to walk alongside them while they take their first steps on the road to maturity.

Here are four principles for assisting new believers in their initial growth. They take a very real commitment, but the results are eternal.

1.      A commitment to grace—Approach new believers with a gracious attitude born out of understanding where they are and what they need.

a.      New believers need parental attention. Paul considered the new believers as his own, not just God’s children. That attitude  helped him to extend abundant grace.

b.      New believers need a relationship more than materials. Excellent resources exist for new believers, but the most effective resource continues to be a friend. They need someone to help them with many of the simple, basic first steps.

c.       New believers need flexibility. All children grow at different rates. Paul conveyed in 1 Thessalonians 2:11 that he “exhorted, and comforted, and charged” them in the process of spiritual growth. Different personalities, circumstances, and needs require us to be flexible in our approach to discipleship.

2.      A commitment to time and hard work—Walking alongside new believers in their first steps of spiritual growth takes time and hard work. As a bare minimum, new believers need discipleship a minimum of once a week for eight weeks. The first eight weeks are sometimes when new converts face their greatest adjustments, strongest temptations, and biggest doubts. To have a brother or sister in Christ meeting with them makes a marked difference.

3.      A commitment to maturity—The goal should not be merely to get them to church but for new believers to become like Jesus Christ, mature in their attitudes and actions; to serve Christ; and to help others know Him and grow in Him (see Col. 1:28–29).

4.      A commitment to care—The care and concern Paul had for new believers revealed itself in how he shared his very life with them.

When you follow-up with new believers, they are less concerned with how much you know and more concerned with how much you care.

Adapted from the Evangelism Study Bible®