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Training your heart to see

Mike Connell

[Jess Hodder] Well we actually go out like onto the streets to take the gospel and the love of God to as many people as we can. We've got an unlimited opportunity out there.

[Pastor Mike Connell] What parts of the city have you been going out and how often?

[Graham Hodder] Oh right. Initially we started to just go out on a Saturday night. We felt that that was plenty enough for us and we went continuously - [sorry Midi. 00.05.23] Oh thanks Lyn, yeah. Oh yes, we went continuously every Saturday night and then we thought this is not enough, so we went also on Sunday night. Then we felt after about a year and a half that this was not enough, so we'll be going to town anyway on a Thursday night because that's our date night. We always go out and have a meal together and we thought well we're in town, we'll go out and we'll just keep on going out into the street and share. So we go out three nights a week now onto the street to share with people.

[Jess Hodder] Most times there's more people than what we could actually speak to on one night each and we just felt really - thought the ones that we couldn't actually speak to because there just wasn't enough of us...

[Graham Hodder] Yeah.

[Jess Hodder] ...so that's been a real challenge, yeah.

[Pastor Mike Connell] How have you gone about preparing to go out and do this? What have you done?

[Graham Hodder] Well I think it's a matter of if you sense that God has given you a call to do something you'll pour your heart and soul into it, whatever it might be. And with this the strength has come on greater and greater. There is an anointing our lives, we know that, because we are never so happy as when we're down on the street talking to people. We've got one joy. We've got one love and we've got one passion and that is to live our lives for the Lord Jesus Christ, daily to walk with Him and to share with as many as we can about His love. And this is fulfilled as we go out onto the streets.

[Pastor Mike Connell] How do you go about approaching people? What do you do when you're out there, once you're out on the streets and part of the city?

[Graham Hodder] I think this is one of the things that puts most people off from wanting to even to think to go out to evangelise or to share the gospel, the reason being that to approach somebody is very scary. Like someone walking along the street, their mind is probably not even thinking of anything like God and yet somehow you've got to within the space of a few seconds initiate a conversation. How do you do it? Well on this program in the [ISOM 00.07.54] course that we had, they had a little million dollar note. Many have probably seen it. It's a million dollar New Zealand note which of course is a genuine fake and [laughter] so on the back there is some information which I'll read out. But basically how we do it, it is very, very simple and within the space of five to 10 seconds you can establish a conversation on spiritual things inoffensively. I mean that is very important.

We don't like to get into people's face and just sort of get right in front of them. That's not the way we operate. Basically what we do is as we're walking along someone will come walking towards us and Jess might say if it's a lady, Jess might say oh good evening, did you get one of these? And of course most of the time they haven't and they take it off us and they say well what is it? We say well that's a million dollar note but it's a little Christian pamphlet, because on the back there's a million dollar question: hence it's called a million dollar note. The question is when you die where do you think you're going to go, to heaven or to hell? And there's about a two second silence when they're trying to digest that [laughter] and then suddenly you see their faces and you can tell which way the conversation is going to go by the way they reply.

Some people say well I don't believe that a loving God is going to send people to hell. And we say well of course He wouldn't, but it's people who send themselves to hell. But other people will say well how can we know? Other people say well I'm not even interested and they just give it back to us and walk off, they're gone. Okay, fair enough, we just say God bless you, have a nice evening. But then it enters straight away if people say well I'd like to know. One of our questions is well what do you think of Jesus? And on one occasion we said this to a gentleman who was with his children. He'd been playing with them and his wife and so on and he came over and sat at the same table as us. Straight away he said I think Jesus is the most wonderful person that ever lived, and I said do you believe in Him? Are you a Christian? He said no, I'm not, so we were able to share what it was to be a Christian by having our faith in Jesus.