We are often asked how to reach a person with the gospel who seems unreachable, and often it’s the person’s lifestyle that causes believers to wonder how God could possible break through that barrier. We have to remind ourselves that only Jesus satisfies. And even when someone is convinced that the lifestyle they have chosen is acceptable, God is able to break down that wall and draw sinners to Himself.
Somewhere in Kristy’s description of herself would have come the word basketball! Her identity was wrapped up in something she could do – and do quite well! She received a basketball scholarship, graduated and eventually became the coach of a prestigious high school in SC. But after 3 great years of coaching, one year with less than stellar results caused Kristy to lose her job – and that loss was devastating. She was now, in her words, a “fired basketball coach.” This was step one in a series of crises. She suffered the loss of twins, the emotional detachment of her partner and the loss of her dearly loved and only grandmother. The result? Kristy felt truly alone and depressed.
God often uses crises to drive us to the cross, and that is exactly what happened. He drew Kristy to Graceview where she would find hope and healing in a relationship with Jesus. A friend invited Kristy to Graceview Church in Anderson, SC where she found loving believers who, one after another, introduced themselves, spent time with her and showed the genuine love of Christ. On her 3rd visit, God prompted Kristy to ask Deanna, the pastor’s wife, for a meeting. She wanted to learn more about God. Deanna took time, listened and eventually asked Kristy about her relationship with God. Deanna used the Exchange to share the gospel with Kristy. The message of the cross was the tipping point. When Kristy wrote her name above the list of sins, Jesus’ name above the holy/righteous record and then switched records, the vivid image of what Jesus did in taking her sins upon Himself changed her life. That was June 6, 2018.
Kristy and Deanna were in weekly discipleship Bible study when God began convicting her about her lifestyle. When she brought this problem to Deanna, Deanna took her straight to the Word where she learned that “God is the only One Who can change someone.” And He is changing Kristy. From turning her back on her unsaved lifestyle to participating in a church mission trip, God is changing and using Kristy. She and Deanna are co-teaching community Bible studies on sexuality – a much needed resource in our communities. She is memorizing the Word and daily searching for opportunities to build His Kingdom. A highlight of her life was seeing her oldest son put his faith in Jesus just a little over a year after her salvation.
Kristy is another trophy of God’s grace and a reminder to all of us that our God is mighty. He changes people! May we share our faith boldly with grace!
Obstacles often freeze us into inactivity. Let’s look at the elements of Kristy’s conversion that help us overcome obstacles and reach friends with the gospel.
- Let’s share our churches with our friends!
- Genuinely welcome guests and take time to get to know them.
- Never judge people and relegate them to the “they’ll never get saved” corner.
- Know the gospel well so that you can seize gospel opportunities as Deanna did.
- Take time to listen and learn needs.
- Deanna not only led Kristy to Christ, she is discipling and helping Kristy use her life experiences to help others who face similar struggles. Praise God for Kristy’s dedication to help women and men in her community learn what God has to say about sexuality and find satisfaction in Him.