February 14, 2006
In a recent post (Snow and Evangelism), my good friend Mark Dever humbly asked for our prayers. He wrote, "Pray that I be a better, more obedient, more active personal evangelist." My friend, I will pray for you, but first I want to express my gratefulness to God for your compelling example of personal and pastoral evangelism.
Reading your post on evangelism reminded me of when I first had the joy of meeting you. As I arrived at CHBC for our lunch together, I had no idea that God was about to introduce me to someone who would become a close friend and from whom I would learn much. The first lesson I learned from your life was your heart for the lost and your passion to reach them with the gospel.
You asked me that day if we could eat at Subway, and I gladly followed (trying to keep up with you, as I immediately discovered you walk as fast as you talk) on the brief walk to this location. And just before we entered Subway, you informed me that you ate there often–not because of the cuisine, but in order to reach those who worked there with the gospel. I then observed your conversation and interaction with those who served us. As we sat down, I immediately began to draw you out about your heart and strategy for reaching the lost. You told me that you try to frequent the same places when you eat out, run errands etc. for the purpose of sharing the gospel. Since that day, I have followed your example and have shared the gospel with many I have come to know. Whatever heart I have for the lost is the result of your example and influence (second only to that of my very good friend Kenneth Maresco).
And just last week you served me big time once again. On Tuesday you devoted an entire day teaching pastors and future pastors at the Sovereign Grace Pastors’ College. And I was not surprised when I received the following e-mail from Kenneth Maresco (who appropriately led the conference): "Mark Dever opened us up, and no one–and I mean no one–could have done a better job with the theological, historical, gospel-centered view of evangelism he provided." For those wondering, Mark taught the following sessions:
What is Evangelism?
A Biblical Theology of Evangelism and the Evangel
The Pastoral Practice of Evangelism-Personally and in the Pulpit
The Church’s Practice of Evangelism
In my experience both personally and as a pastor, there is no area that is more difficult or challenging than evangelism. So Mark, thanks for your example and teaching. You can’t write your book on evangelism fast enough, and there is no one I would rather write this important and much needed book than you. By the way, where are we in the writing and publishing process of this book that I have been pleading with you to write for years now? I will continue to annoy you until I hold this book in my hands. I need you to write this book. The church needs this book. Please write this book.
I am looking forward to lunch tomorrow, my friend. Let’s go to Subway.