Ian Carrico, the pastor of Beulah Baptist Church in far western Kentucky, is about as evangelistic a person as you will ever meet. He may start telling you about Jesus before saying hello. Witnessing is simply in his DNA.
So how has the coronavirus – with social distancing as part of the eventual cure – affecting an outward evangelist like Carrico whose favorite pastime is knocking on doors?
“It’s an interesting time for just about everything that was ‘normal,’’’ he said. “Evangelism is included. With social distancing and social limitations being a standard, there are a few things I’m seeking to practice.”
Here are some tips from a Facebook conversation with Carrico.
--Be sure to carry gospel tracts, he said. “If there is an opportunity, seek to be ready to share. This can be a little frustrating when you don’t get out much!” Carrico said it was important to balance the desire to be wise and a good steward with the information being gathered about the virus and not sharing germs, of course, is vital. “Buy by carrying tracts, I’m reminded of what we are to be about. And, if God provides that opportunity, there you go.”
--Utilize technology. Carrico said he’d be the first to admit that sitting down in front of a smartphone or a computer and recording a message isn’t in his comfort zone. “I feel awkward and probably look that way! However, the power is not in me, it’s in the message of the gospel. And praise God for that as I listen to myself clunk around in a gospel presentation.”
He said this week he received a text message from someone who “listened to my story” through an audio recording he did for ReachKY last fall. “With people at home or isolated, maybe they are searching for more of these things? With limitations and a majority of our population online, I was encouraged that something done last fall is still working – ONLINE!”
With that line of thinking, Carrico said it seems at least more and more are watching church services online so, to that end, he made sure to include a gospel presentation in his sermon and invited people to be saved.
“I’ll continue to use that platform as we engage exclusively online these next several weeks,” he said.
Carrico recorded a demonstration of the 3 Circles gospel presentation for his Wednesday night service. It included him explaining what each drawing in the 3 Circles represented. “Again, I’m not real tech savvy but I limped through it and hope it can engage people,” he said.
Several have already shared it, he said, from his Facebook page and on YouTube.
“Winning souls will look a little different, but God is still the same God and His message is the same,” he said. “I believe it’s a super way to practice soul-winning in our day and I do believe the Apostle Paul would utilize it as much as possible.”
--Lastly, Carrico said he is putting evangelism in front of his congregation and asks them to be evangelists.
“From my experience, it takes continual reminders and I think people appreciate that. During these days of coronavirus, it’s important to focus on the answer instead of being stressed over the problem. The gospel is the answer and being ready to share it helps our focus.”