The Evangelistic Outreach Ministry began in 2005. It was first presented to the church by a former Jehovah’s Witness who had joined the Stratford Presbyterian Church, Mr. Ernest Zenone, Sr. At the age of five he became involved in public witnessing as a Jehovah’s Witness handing out tracts. Even at such a young age he had no fear of doing this! Once the Lord saved him he was very disappointed to see so few churches engaged in door-to-door evangelism. With this burden on his heart he had an earnest desire to begin an outreach program at the church. Mr. Zenone presented a plan for an Evangelistic Outreach to the Session and the ministry was under way!
The Outreach Ministry’s goal is to reach the lost for Christ. In Acts 1:8, the Lord Jesus tells his followers, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me……”; and this Gospel was to start at Jerusalem and spread throughout all the world! With this mandate in mind, Elder Zenone began training church members in door to door witnessing, meeting on Saturdays for "mock" training sessions and then going out into the surrounding neighborhood. A very important question would be presented to the homeowner about his or her eternal destination, and the gospel, the “good news” of Christ, would then be shared. Gospel pamphlets were handed out along with our church’s contact information. The team wore T-shirts with Scripture texts and our church’s address. It was a blessed experience for all.
Presently, the Outreach Ministry has expanded and a team goes to the Lindenwold Train Station, which is near our church, usually twice a month. We share the gospel by passing out tracts and telling the "good news" to those we meet. Many people just want a listening ear and we provide that for them. If someone is desirous of prayer, we pray for him right then and there; but we have also met Christians who want prayer as well. People are encouraged and very thankful for the concern we show them. Yes, the T-shirts are still worn and they have become a witnessing tool in themselves.
A growing church needs to have members who will be proactive in witnessing. Every Christian is called to witness and share the gospel. This is one way that the Lord, in His time and according to His will, adds "such as should be saved" to the church. The Outreach Ministry at Stratford Presbyterian Church has a burden to obey Christ and to be His witnesses. Please pray that the Lord will soften the hearts of those we meet and that He will use our witness for His glory!