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  • Writer's pictureDerek Allen

A Day in the Life of a Miami Church Planter

Some times we all feel the temptation to exaggerate to make something seem more amazing. This is not one of those times.

I have been praying recently that God would give me more opportunities to share the gospel, and I spent some time in prayer about that this morning. Then God did something amazing—He answered my prayer in an overwhelming way. It was the kind of thing God does from time to time to remind us that, “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:14 We ask, and God does, and does, and does until we see how foolish we are for failing to ask more often! That was what today was like.

It started at a local chamber of commerce meeting where I had been asked to give an invocation. Even though it was only a one-minute invocation and prayer, I prayed as much about what to say there as I do for a Sunday message. Since there are many Jewish people who attend that meeting, I deiced to use a passage from the Hebrew Scriptures, and with Passover just around the corner, I read from Exodus 12:21-24 and shared two brief points: God always takes care of His people as they trust Him, and Jesus is the fulfillment of the symbol God gave us in the Passover Lamb. As soon as the meeting ended, a lady came to me in tears. She told me that she was a Christian but that she had drifted away from God. She asked me to pray with her as she renewed her commitment to the Lord. It was amazing!

I left that meeting and went to a college campus to host a booth for C2 Church for a spring event. Almost immediately, a young man came up to the booth and asked what kind of church we were. I responded with my typical answer “We are a Jesus church.” “Ok, but what denomination?” he asked. When I told him we are a Southern Baptist Church, he surprised me by saying, “Oh. Well, I know more about what your church believes that you do.” I caught these words before they crossed my lips, “Well, that’s quite an assumption,” and opted instead for, “That’s interesting. Tell me about it.” The young man shared a few thoughts that had very little to do with the gospel or Baptist doctrine, and when he was finished, I asked, “Do you mind if I share with you what we actually believe?” He listened closely as I explained the gospel using a Three Circle booklet. I could tell he was impacted, but he eventually cut off the conversation and moved on to another booth. I put the booklet in his hand and prayed the Lord would water that seed.

After the flow of students slowed down, I started praying about how to start up a conversation with the men from the local Mosque who had set up a booth a few spots down from me. I walked over and offered them one of the bottles of water we were giving away, and that did the trick. The conversation, thanks to my accent, eventually turned to where I was from. When the three men, who were all born in Africa, heard I was from Alabama, they got excited, “Do you know Bo Jackson and Frank Thomas?” These men had recently watched an ESPN 30 for 30 about those two great Auburn athletes. I was sad to report that I did not know either Bo Jackson or Frank Thomas, but that opened the door for a conversation that eventually turned to spiritual matters. I was able to share the entire gospel with them, and although they were not ready to follow Jesus, they thanked me for my kindness and the message.

Today was a day in which I got to share the gospel with a follower of Christ who had drifted away, a skeptical college student, and three Muslim men. Not every day in church planting is like this one, but there are so many opportunities to share the gospel in a city like Miami, and I look forward to finding more of those. The truth is, there are many opportunities in your city too. You might miss them if you aren’t looking for them and praying about them, but they are there. May the Lord lead you to those who need Him.

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