Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 37 : Bring In the Poor | Day 256

Discover Banquet Evangelism!

We had been discussing the matter for several hours. "What is the most effective way to reach a city for Christ?" We evaluated many traditional methods but felt they were lacking in the dynamic that reaches the hearts of people. Finally, we agreed to continue our discussion in the morning.

At the time, I had been in the middle of writing a series of books on the commands of Christ, and the command I was working on that week was "Bring In the Poor." As I meditated on the command that night, I realized that "banquet evangelism" might be our answer! When we got back together, we all agreed to try it.

The very next week, one of the young men who had been part of our discussions received a call from a police officer in Flint, Michigan. The officer explained that each year they try to honor about 100 people in the city who do volunteer work for their department. Usually they meet at a gym and bring in a fast-food meal. He asked if this year they could hold their dinner at our facility in Flint. What a God-arranged opportunity!

We agreed to host the dinner and decided to turn it into a special banquet. The police department was thrilled and very grateful. The event turned out to be more than just a "thank-you meal." The elegance of the banquet and the love with which it was served caused all who attended to rejoice, and we were asked many questions about our ministry and its message.

Effective ministry involves good works that glorify God and cause people to ask us to explain our faith in Christ.

Another man who had participated in the discussions about how to reach a city for Christ contacted the president of the neighborhood association near our Indianapolis Training Center. He offered to host a banquet for as many neighbors as the president would like to invite. She was delighted with the idea, and more than 100 neighbors attended. They all enjoyed it so much that they wanted to repeat it and bring more neighbors. We had been serving in the city of Indianapolis for more than a dozen years, but through those banquets, we had more opportunities to share Christ's love and truth with our immediate neighbors than we had in all of the previous years combined!

God wants us to understand that it is more blessed to give than to receive. (See Acts 20:35.) Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. We can learn humility and God's priorities when we serve others with a heart of mercy and the motive of bringing Him glory.

Could God possibly want you to participate in "banquet evangelism"? What steps could you take to host a banquet in your community? Are there other Christian families whom you could ask to help you? Let's take the initiative to make it happen! It might be the beginning of the most effective ministry you have ever experienced!

“But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:13–14).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard