“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)
For your inspiration this week I would like to pass on a story that was sent to me by one of our members. As God draws people to himself, many times he uses a number of Christians whose witness forms links in a chain that draws a person to accept Christ. In reading this story, Hubert was gifted in playing the role of the final link of the chain. My encouragement to you is to not worry about being the final link – that is up to God. Just be willing to share the reason for the hope you have in Christ and form a link of witness to someone in your social circle.
His name is Hubert Mitchell. He was without question one of the most awesome and formidable men I will ever know. The day I met him, the two things that stood out the most were his booming voice and the fact that he had no inhibitions.
Hubert was a missionary whose calling was to places where no one had ever heard of the gospel, and further, to go into the depths of the worst jungles on the earth and preach to tribes that did not even know there was a God. He went to the wild Kubu tribe in Sumatra when it was almost impossible to get to that isolated and forsaken island.
Some of the stories Hubert told defied belief, but my purpose for meeting him had nothing to do with his work as a missionary. His reputation, as far as I knew, lay in the fact that he was known to be one of the most effective personal soul winners.
I met Hubert when he was old. In Hubert’s declining years, he had moved out of the jungles of Sumatra to the jungle of downtown Chicago. Hubert met with groups of businessmen once a week in Chicago’s Loop and set up an incredible witness to those men. It was a gathering of some of the most influential men in Chicago. Hubert treated that area as if it were the center of a country village and he a country pastor.
I flew from Texas to Chicago to meet Hubert. I was a young man looking for anyone who could teach me an effective way to speak to others about Christ. Up until then, I did not know how to lead others to Christ — nor did anyone else I knew.
Hubert met me at O’Hare Airport. He had agreed to take me with him as he went door-to-door. (I did not know what “door-to-door” meant to this man!)
Hubert parked his car downtown when we left the airport and asked, “Do you want to start right now?”
He looked at the dozen skyscrapers which surrounded us on every side. After a moment he announced, “I have never been in this one.”
Hubert had picked one of the tallest buildings I had ever seen. To my chagrin, when we entered the elevator, Hubert pressed the button to the highest floor. The elevator door opened to the receptionist of the president and owner of said skyscraper.
“Good evening. I am a Christian minister, and I meet each week with men who work in the Loop. I would like to have a word of prayer with the president.”
The receptionist and I were tied as to which of us was more dumbfounded. Still startled, she pressed a button on the phone and said, “Sir, there is a man here who wants to pray with you.”
The reply from the intercom was instant! “Send him in.”
Bold as brass, Hubert started around the desk of the receptionist, who caught up with Hubert and escorted him to the office of the president.
I, in turn, was apoplectic.
As I staggered to a chair, my entire world as a personal evangelist changed forever. About half an hour later, Hubert returned. He thanked the receptionist and turned to me, “He will be with us in our next meeting.”
I was too stupefied to say anything.
Everything I had been taught and read about witnessing died that night. Hubert did not have any particular “way.” He lived with the expectation that the people he spoke to wanted to receive Christ as their Savior. Hubert had only one subject — to talk about Christ.
After witnessing to the gentleman who owned the skyscraper, Hubert drove us to a neighborhood where he would go door-to-door with the expectation that some of the people would invite us into their living rooms.
“My name is Hubert Mitchell and I am a Christian. I would like to come in and have prayer with you and your family.”
Sure enough, they opened the door. We went in and I watched Hubert Mitchell lead a man to Christ.
Hubert always talked about Jesus. He did not quote Scripture; he just kept on the subject of Jesus. You could not get him off the subject of Jesus Christ. From Hubert, I learned one of the most valuable things I have ever learned throughout my entire life. It is not logic nor reasoning; it is not verses of Scripture to put down arguments, for no argument ever came up.
The most powerful thing in this universe in leading other people to the Lord is the Lord Himself.
You could tell that Hubert was a man full of Christ; no one needed to tell you. Out of his Christ-centered life and his Christ-centered witness, Hubert had loosed the secret of soul winning: that is, to present Christ.
I was twenty-four. Something had changed in my life forever: It is Christ, it is Christ, in all things it is Christ. Never an it, but a who.
Today I often quote, “In every man, there is a God-shaped vacuum that nothing can fill except Jesus Christ.”
I left Chicago a different man. Back in Texas, I found witnessing to others a delight and a joy. Fellow pastors asked me to come to their churches to help them win others to Christ. Eventually I wrote Here’s How to Win Souls. Soon I was holding county-wide, weeklong meetings for training others in personal evangelism. Then came city-wide campaigns in door-to-door evangelism.
And the genesis of all this: “Good afternoon. My name is Hubert Mitchell. I would like a prayer with the president of your company.”
Excerpted with permission from Stories I Love to Tell by Gene Edwards, copyright Gene Edwards.
John Wiseman – Corpath Business Forums – www.corpath.ca