- Category: About Susan Mulford About Susan Mulford
- Published on Sunday, 31 March 2013 22:41 31 March 2013
- Written by Super User Super User
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The beginning of the road for this concept of object evangelism icebreakers began with a vision from the Lord in March 2002. In this vision I was in the spirit looking at an ocean. The ocean water represented salvation. I saw many Christians deep in the ocean, way out there. They were laughing and playing around, singing, praising and worshipping the Lord and praying a lot for Revival. Then I saw many people waiting on the sandy beach at the edge of the shore. They wanted to come in and learn how to swim too (to be saved or born again), but I could tell that they were afraid. So some of them just waded in the shallow area. In this vision, I could read their thoughts. They wanted someone to help them come into the water to learn how to swim, but not one experienced swimmer would come to the shore to help these beginner swimmers come into the water so they could receive salvation. I kept trying to yell at the swimmers out in the deep: “Hey! There are some who want to be saved on the shore! Go get them!” But they either would not listen or they could not hear me.
I felt God’s heart. He was so grieved. He wanted the experienced swimmers to go to the shore to get the beginner swimmers and bring them out into the ocean so they could learn how to swim. But it was not happening. They would not listen. The swimmers were all stuck out in the deep. They were praying for Revival, but would not do what was necessary for it to happen. They were not witnessing to the lost.
After seeing this vision and praying about it, the Lord convicted me that I was like one of those out in the deep. I know Hebrews12:5-6 says: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens." I thought about why God was chastening me. It is because He loves me. And why was He chastening me regarding witnessing to the lost? Because He loves them too. He loves the lost as much as He loves me. He needs me to have courage and have compassion and witness to them and pull them into His Kingdom. Why? Because He is coming soon.
I also felt convicted that was more focused on my prophetic gift in ministering to Christians (1 Cor. 14:15) than I was in witnessing to the lost. From March 1997 until 2002 I had read literally over 25 books about the prophetic ministry. Then He also comforted me. He was showing me that it is not just me. The whole body of Christ was guilty of not being more active in witnessing to the lost for whatever reason that think they may have. He reminded me that a person can get to heaven without a prophetic word, but they cannot get to heaven without receiving Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. And that no matter what our spiritual giftings are, we are ALL called to be ministers of reconciliation. That means that we are all called to witness to the lost.
In that Vision, I Heard This Prophetic Word:
So this website is a voice of one crying in the wilderness (Isaiah 40:3): “Prepare ye the way of the Lord. Start witnessing. Jesus is coming soon.”
Hearing that prophetic word is useless unless you know how to apply it. So this website is a practical application to help prepare you and train you with the train tracts and get you excited about witnessing and reaching out to the lost. The hardest part about witnessing is just getting started and these train tracts all contain great object evangelism icebreakers to help you resurrect or railroad conversations onto the Gospel track or onto the topic of the Gospel and the unbeliever's need for salvation through Jesus Christ.
Every church wants Revival and yet if we want Revival we have to put our faith into action and go out and do something. We have to do more than just intercede and pray. We also need to start witnessing wherever we go! With every person you meet, you have an opportunity to witness
After seeing this vision of the ocean, I prayed for God to help me become more evangelistic. He answered my prayers. I got my feet wet through doing a lot of street witnessing every weekend outside the bars for a couple of years with Victory Christian Center (Pastors Billy Joe and Sharon Daugherty). Tommy Tenny came to Camp Victory and preached a touching message about how Aaron's staff budded producing blossoms and ripe almonds. I went to the altar and it was there that the Lord put it on my heart so strong to start an outreach at the mall. When I told my present V-12 leader about it, she was not willing, but rather controlling. A year and a half went by. I also learned how to go door-to-door witnessing through Evangelism Explosion. It was not until she was removed and Jonathan Paolercio was put in her place that I was finally able to lead a small evangelism cell group – an “undercover” outreach - at the mall. I say “undercover” because you are not allowed to stand there and hand out tracts like you can out on the streets, but you can talk to people while you are shopping. What better topic to talk about than the Gospel? At the time, I did not feel that this cell group which met Sundays after church was very successful because only a few people would come to the mall with me. I hesitated in filling out the cell group forms (Thanks to Jayne Bowman, Daniel Streeter, Rose Turley and Stan ), but it was at the mall that the Lord birthed in me the vision for object evangelism icebreakers!
At the Mall, God Gave Me the Idea for Object Evangelism
You see, I found that at the mall, people were more relaxed in comparison to the people who were rushing past me to get to a bar. At the mall, I had more time with people to talk to them, especially in the food court where people were eating. But at first, I found it hard to go up and talk to people cold turkey about the Lord. When I went witnessing “door to door”, I just started talking when someone came to the door. But the mall was different. There were no doors to knock on and yet people were everywhere. So first, I had to be led as to who to talk to, but then I wasn’t sure how to get a conversation about the Gospel started. I didn’t know what to say...and then sometimes fear would get in the way. Sigh. So I prayed and asked the Lord for ideas. He answered my prayers.
As I went into the different stores, the Lord would highlight an object to me and then show me something about the object that related to the Bible or reminded me of something about the Gospel that related to that object and voila! God gave me a springboard to bounce the conversation right into the Gospel. Here are a few examples: "This colorful sparkling garment reminds me of what a garment of praise must look like..." or "This cuddly teddy bear reminds me of the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit..." or "This body wash reminds me of a product that keeps me clean for all eternity - His name is Jesus Christ." So over time at the mall, God gave me a lot of great ideas which made witnessing a lot of fun!
As I did my own daily errands, the Lord started expanding my vision beyond the mall and gave me examples of how to transition a conversation onto the Gospel track wherever I went: at Walmart, at the gym, at the park, at the gas station, at the office where I worked, at restaurants, etc. I remembered the examples that God gave me and used them and wrote them down. In this way, the Lord was showing me that Christians may not have time to set aside three hours a week to go “street witnessing” with their church outreach, but they can witness while doing their daily errands or at a sports event or while grocery shopping. They can witness wherever they go. My little mall outreach only lasted 10 months because in February '04 I started working at Oral Roberts Ministries at the Abundant Life Prayer Group and I had to work on Sundays.
Then God incessantly encouraged me to get these ideas published. In the face of a lot of trials, heartbreak and demonic opposition, I did my best to obey God. But I did not have peace in going with a publisher. So I just kept typing up the object evangelism ideas that God gave me. I had over 400 of them. I tried different things and had some setbacks, so I just kept seeking the Lord. I was determined to not quit, but to persevere to the finish.
The 1st Train Tract was for Golf - The PGA Tournament Testimony
To make a long story short, it was in August 2007 when the PGA Golf tournament came to Tulsa that the Lord prompted me to cut and paste and re-format my ideas from "I Want to Witness, But What Do I Say?" Around Golf into a little yellow tract. God gave me favor with the President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and gave me permission to hand out 120 golf tracts at a Golf banquet with three Christian golfers as the keynote speakers. I simply obeyed the Lord. Then two weeks later, the Lord told me to turn all of my ideas into tract form. To tell you the truth, I was not excited. It took a long time - about three hours per tract to get the spacing right - and about five months to convert everything into tract form. It was so much work.
After I got them done, then the Lord prompted me to put the train tracts on a website and sell them for a dollar. Not having the money to pay anyone, I took on the mountainous task of designing and creating my own website with Frontpage 2000. I stood on Phil 4:13 and Matt. 11:28-30 for balance because praying on the phone 40 hours a week and creating a website was indeed a lot of work for me. I learned to be patient and steadfast and to endure. So that is how www.traintracts.com came into being. So, if you see any typos, please let me know. I will not be offended. Just e-mail me. By the grace of God, I am the webmaster.
Train Tracts Gets You Started and Can Be a Complement to Other Methods of Witnessing
I am not saying that other ways of witnessing are wrong or that my way is better. Not at all! In fact, you could use an idea from this website just to springboard the conversation into the Gospel and then use another proven salvation method to explain the Gospel to the unbeliever more fully and pray with them to receive Christ. So the train tracts were written to be a complement to other ways of evangelism, not to compete with them. Object evangelism icebreakers is the revelation that God has shown me and it works very well for this reason: If you do not know how to transition an everyday conversation onto the Gospel track, then no matter what method you use, you will not be talking to them about the Lord because you were never able to get the conversation about the Gospel started.