HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsA decade of soul winning

A decade of soul winning

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This year marks the 10th year that Jesus for Africa Evangelistic Ministries (JFAEM) has been in existence as an interdenominational body for the sole purpose of evangelism.

Opinion by Pastor Erasmus Makrimayi

Pioneered by Evangelst Paul and Winne Saungweme, and administered by a board of trustees, the ministry has taken the Gospel of Christ to all corners of Zimbabwe.

Over the years the ministry has remained committed to its calling of evangelism. With the massive crowds that attend its crusades one would suppose the ministry should metastasise into a church.

Over the years, we have seen thousands of so called interdenominational endeavours culminating in the formation of churches. I don’t seek to belittle, despise or question the legitimacy of the calling on any ministry which rode on the wave of succes of interdenominational gatherings and became a church. If it was the calling and mandate of God, then it is fine with me.

Since 2003, JFAEM has seen more than six hundred thousand souls giving their lives to Christ in Zimbabwe. Over 2,5 million people have attended over 80 crusades organised by the ministry. Buoyed by the acceptance of Jesus by these numbers, the ministry has remained committed to, and focussed on its mandate to bring people to Christ.

Over this period, many church groups and denominations have been formed.

The question many would want answered is why JFAEM has not capitalised on these numbers and formed a church which would probably be one of the largest churches in Zimbabwe.

Evangelist Paul Saungweme had this to say, “Our purpose is soul-winning and we are driven by what God called us to do and we will stick to that. We work with the churches to evangelise so that those won to Christ get a home to belong to. After we do our part we don’t leave the souls hanging, but we hand them over to the churches so that they are nurtured and nourished. In that way our work will not be in vain.

The ministry is not there to fight or compete with any church, but rather complement the work of the churches by bringing in people from the world.”

I encourage churches to tap into these efforts and grow their numbers. Sometimes we sit in our churches and use pulpits to attack each other for purposes of winning the hearts of other Christians with a view to win them to our churches as opposed to winning them to Christ. Let’s not fight each other, but fight the devil.

Of the 13 million people in Zimbabwe, there is still so much work to save the lost souls. A million-member church is still possible out of those that are not yet church members. If we are preaching the same Gospel of Christ, let us stand together. Let us follow Jesus’ teaching. Luke 9:49-50 clarifies, “And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” There is no need to be jealousy of each other.

I caught up with the secretary-general of the board of trustees of JFAEM, David Chiveso to find out how churches can benefit from their work. He had this to say,“We work with all Bible-based churches to hold open air crusades. After the crusades all those that receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour are handed over to the local churches and we move on to other areas.”

He said anyone who feels lost souls should be saved can join JFAEM as a partner and support the ministry in any of the following ways;- prayer, material or financial resources or through any gift that the Lord has endowed them with and avail themselves for the execution of the mandate of the ministry.

Chiweso called on the ordinary people, corporates and business people to support the ministry saying, “Taking the Gospel to the people is free of charge, but the process of conveying it attracts costs for such things as sound equipment, lighting, transport, food, etc.”

As they celebrate 10 years of evangelism, they have seen communities changing and people leading purposeful lives through the power of the Gospel of Christ. In some areas crime rates have fallen and many social ills eradicated.

As you read this, if you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, this is the opportunity to do so. Repent of your sins and accept Jesus and He will save you. Have a relationship with God, you are going somewhere.

Feedback: pastor@newgatechapel.org
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