Episode 042

Talking about Faith, Ukraine Invasion, & Evangelism

Mar 1, 2022

Americans are curious about the religious devotion of others and are willing to discuss the topic, but most say they rarely have conversations about faith. The Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary in Lviv, Ukraine, that God is using the resources of the school in western Ukraine to help refugees of the war. And a Facebook Marketplace exchange created a Gospel opportunity for a pastor.

Transcript

Americans open to talk about faith

Americans are curious about the religious devotion of others and are willing to discuss the topic, but most say they rarely have conversations about faith with their Christian friends.

An Evangelism Explosion study conducted by Lifeway Research found Americans are widely receptive to spiritual conversations in a variety of settings.

Half of Americans (51 percent) say they’re curious as to why some people are so devoted to their faith, including 60 percent of the religiously unaffiliated.

Curiosity is also more likely among younger adults. Those 18 to 34 (61 percent) and 35 to 49 (55 percent) are more likely than those 50 to 64 (43 percent) and those 65 and older (40 percent) to say they’re curious about others’ religious devotion.

Amid this curiosity, however, most say their Christian friends don’t often bring up their religious beliefs. Six in 10 (60 percent) Americans say many of their friends who claim to be Christians rarely talk about their faith, including 52 percent of the religiously unaffiliated.

“For Americans with no religious affiliation, faith is not a goal or a destination,” Scott McConnell, director of Lifeway Research, said. “While some have reached a firm conclusion that they are not interested in faith, most are open to hearing about faith when someone can show it matters or when it is shared by someone who matters to them.”

A miracle needed in Ukraine

“We need a miracle from God,” Yaroslav Pyzh, president of the Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary in Lviv, Ukraine, said over the weekend. As he prays for the miracle, Pyzh is serving people and using the resources of the school in western Ukraine to help refugees of the war.

Initially, Pyzh thought he and his wife of 25 years, Nadia, would be safe in Lviv. However, actions of the last three days have shown otherwise, though the city has not been hit directly yet, Pyzh said.

During the first three days of the war, the seminary served almost 250 people through humanitarian aid, offering a place to sleep, food, and counseling services. The seminary staff converted three of their buildings into makeshift dormitories with mattresses and pillows, and are prepared to convert classrooms and office space as sleeping quarters if necessary.

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.

Facebook Marketplace exchange creates Gospel opportunity

When pastor Grant Gaines went to deliver a baby crib his wife had sold on Facebook Marketplace, it led to a surprise evangelism encounter with a young couple.

Gaines, senior pastor of Belle Aire Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn., said he felt prompted to share the Gospel with the couple who purchased the crib after talking briefly with them. He began by offering to give them the crib for free, and then asked if he could share something with them.

Walking them through the 3 Circles evangelism tool, Gaines used it to explain the Gospel to them.

When asked which circle they felt like they were in themselves, the couple admitted they would probably be found within the “brokenness” part of the presentation, trying to find their own way without God.
Gaines led the couple to pray to receive Jesus as Savior right there in their home, and offered them an opportunity for a free Bible and short-term discipleship.

Gaines said he and their church family are following up with the folks.

A good reminder that we have opportunities for Gospel conversations all around us, every day.

Find more stories at BaptistPress.com.

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