WINSLOW, Ariz. (BNc) — Many Facebook Christians know Dave Hart. Dave is a prodigious poster of articles and Christian content on the site. He has preached full-time with the Winslow congregation for 10 years.
But there’s more to Dave than meets the eye.
Earlier today he posted a status asking for evangelism ideas.
“I have tried many different things over the years with some success, including using Facebook, but I have to say the one that has worked best for me over and over again in getting people to come to worship and to be saved is to spend a lot of time in the gym meeting and talking with people there,” he wrote.
BNc asked Dave about his gym experience. The text below is his story of weight-lifting evangelism.
There have been so many people I have been able to reach for the Lord in the gym over the years, but here are three quick ones.
I had just started to train at a new gym (real weight lifters train, not work out), and the church was going to have a friend’s day soon. So I gave the owner an invitation card, she was a power lifter with several tats over her body and not large, but muscles everywhere.
This was a new work I had just gone to and the church was mostly older people. Well, she and her daughter came, and everyone treated them great. They were both soon baptized, and she started to bring many people from the gym with her to church.
Another one I got to come was a young man who wanted to be a power lifter, something I had done and coached for many years. I was able to help him to become a national champion, but, much greater, I was able to baptize him and later his parents. He also took many flyers and information and put them up on the gym walls wherever he went to train that told about the church. He helped me often talk with others in the gym about the Lord, also.
There are so many others I could tell you about but this will be the last one. He was a huge man, over 20-inch arms. He worked as a bouncer and came to the gym one day with his hand bandaged up. I asked him if he had to fight the previous night, but he said no, he was having problems with his girl and he punched a coke machine.
We made small talk for a few minutes, then out of the blue he said, “All I want to know is, if I die today, if I would go to heaven.”
I told him he could know for sure. Less than an hour later, we were at the church building, both of us in our gym clothes going down into the water.
After he came up, he gave me the biggest hug, and he started to cry for a very long time. I gave him a towel to dry off, but he refused it, he wanted the water to stay on him as long as it would.
He quit working at the bar and was proud to start wearing cut-off shirts with Christian sayings on them everywhere he went.
To reach people in the gym, as with anywhere, means you must be willing to spend a lot of time there, and to work out a lot to earn the respect of the other members.
As Paul said, I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
Dave can be found on Facebook at this link.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He enjoys his new home office. http://randal.us