Read more of Allen and Blake's story below about their obedience to go out and share the Gospel.
It started with two guys sharing their convictions about being intentional in sharing the Gospel. That's what led Allen and Blake to Smith Park encountering a homeless man and then to their own neighborhood to share about Jesus.
"God began to come at me from different directions on the importance of being prepared to share the Gospel," Blake said. He'd experienced this on a mission trip to Honduras and then encouraged the guys in his small group to do the same. "It didn't sit well with me that I had asked the guys in my small group to share but not sharing myself." Blake realized he needed accountability and share what God was putting on his heart. That's when he called his friend Allen to have lunch.
Blake called Allen and said he has something the Spirit was telling him to do. He shared what God told him and that he wanted to go downtown to Smith Park to share. "I felt God calling me to do something more," Allen said, "I just didn't know how it was going to play out." They decided the following Saturday to go out and look for opportunities to engage people. Some people rejected them and some were receptive. But they both had an encounter they knew was orchestrated by God.
"I was walking and praying that if there was someone God had me to share with that He would send him," said Allen. "Right at that moment a guy walked up and said, 'Excuse me, do you believe in helping people who are in need?' Allen didn't have any money to give him but God had already given him the thing he needed to share. "I woke up that morning and put shorts on that I normally don't wear a belt with but I did that morning." The man noticed Allen's shoes and said he had the same pair someone had given to him, but he was using his shoelace as a belt. At that moment, Allen knew God had prompted him to put on his belt for this moment. Allen gave him his belt and the man said he must have been a preacher. Allen stated, "No, I am just a follower of Christ."
While Blake was walking in the park, he saw a man and was praying on how to approach him. Then suddenly the guy turned around and asked, "Who is that?" Blake said, "He started walking towards me. I asked him why he turned around and he said because you called me. But I hadn't said anything." Blake noticed he had a Bible in his hand, and the man told him he had just been saved. "I asked him what his favorite Bible study was," Blake said, "and he opened up to Luke 10 about God sending out two-by-two and how the laborers are few." In that moment, God was confirming what He had put on Blake's heart. He also noticed the man was carrying a belt.
They both feel the need for going out in sharing but God pressed it on their hearts to do this in their own backyard so they called two other friends and went out into the Dogwood area. Blake and another friend went to Lowe's and Blake had the opportunity to share his testimony with him. He asked him if he could pray for him and the man started crying. "It revealed that there are so many people around us who have broken hearts and spiritual needs," Blake said. "It's encouraging to see that we could impact him and share the Gospel of Jesus."
Allen and another friend went around back to Georgia Blue and talked to some of the workers there. They asked them what their beliefs were and started talking about their faith. "We set us up to be the awkward guys who came up and started talking about faith," said Allen. When their waiter came up to them, he said the workers were talking about them, and it gave them the opportunity to share Jesus with their waiter and invite him to church. "There are people everywhere we go who don't know Jesus," Allen said. But he knows Jesus calls believers to share. "It's about the Great Commission, Matthew 28:19. It's all obedience."
These guys have a heart to be like Jesus in Luke 19:10, to seek and save the lost. "If we want to be like Jesus we need to seek the lost and tell them about Jesus," Blake stated. "It's about looking like Him."
— Allen Blanks and Blake Palmer, Pinelake Reservoir