by Kevin Hester
ST. JOSEPH, MI – These are different times that we are living in. A lot has changed in our country and in the world over the past year. As the world changes our strategies for evangelism must change, too. Like Paul said he became all things to all men, so that he might win some.
Because evangelism has been a big concern and a deep passion of mine, I have had to learn over the years to be adaptable, and to be willing to try many unconventional things in order to open doors to share the message of the gospel with the unsaved. I've tried many different things in my community to share the Gospel. I have used photography, coaching sports teams, community events, and many other means to try and make opportunities to share Christ with individuals.
A few years ago, God opened the door for me to become a part of our local Law Enforcement as a Berrien County Sheriff's Deputy and a St. Joseph Public Safety officer. While the training I must pass periodically are challenging for me, by God's grace I continue to pass them so that I can continue to serve Him as I serve our community.
Because of God's perfect timing, I have been able to be at the right place at just the right time to pull drowning victims from Lake Michigan, to pull an injured person from a devastating car crash, and even talk people out of suicide. Most importantly God has opened doors for me to share the Gospel with many people from officers to convicts. I have even had the privilege of baptizing fellow officers in our beautiful Lake Michigan. I have also become acquainted with judges, attorneys, others working in our criminal justice system, and even those who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law who now watch our sermons online and seek me out for counsel when they face trials in their own lives. It hasn't been easy or comfortable. I have had to overcome my own fear as I navigate the dangers of law enforcement, but I am thankful that God has been able to use me to help others physically and spiritually, and to uphold His law and man’s laws.
Here are some valuable lessons that He has taught me along the way.
With God all things are possible.
He is able to do more than we can think or ask.
We make our own plans, but God is the One who directs our paths.
During these difficult and quickly changing times, it's so important that we remain willing to adapt as our ministry environment changes. We know as the coming of Christ draws nearer and nearer that sharing the Gospel is going to become more challenging, and will require that we are willing to try things that we thought we would never do. We need to be bold with the Gospel, and fearless as it relates to personal safety and comfort.
Most importantly, we must be willing to walk in faith realizing that if we will only make ourselves available in some way, that God will do more than we could ever think or imagine that He would. Whether you are a pastor or a lay worker, please pray and consider how God wants to use you outside of the four walls of your church to reach those in your community with the soul saving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin Hester is the Pastor of The Shore Church in St. Joseph, Michigan. He and his wife Mary reside in St. Joseph and have 8 children, (4 of which are still at home). Kevin is also a Berrien County Sheriff Deputy and St. Joseph Public Safety Officer.