Friday, November 28, 2008

The Bells Are Ringing

This weekend you will start seeing the familiar red kettles and bell ringers of the Salvation Army outside of everywhere from grocery stores to Wal-Mart and Target. It's the time of year again when we can reach out to those keeping the kettle with the Gospel. They are stationary for hours at a time and usually have little personal contact with shoppers other than a quick greeting as they drop their change into the kettle.

Last year I made it a point to witness to several Keepers of the Bell. My approach was to open with the question "Do you know anything about the history of the Salvation Army?" None of them did.

Then I gave them a short history lesson.

The Salvation Army began in 1865 when William Booth, a London minister, gave up
the comfort of his pulpit and decided to take his message of the Gospel into the
streets where it would reach the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the
destitute. He also ministered to their physical needs of food and clothing.

They always seemed to be pleasantly interested in this information. That's when I would give them a tract and asked if they were Christians. This lead to several good conversations last year and I'm looking forward to many more this year. I found out real fast that here in the southwest, many of the bell keepers are Hispanic and speak only Spanish! I had to brush up quick as well as get ahold of Spanish tracts.

Please pray for those ringing the bell and remember to pass along the best gift of all. The life saving Gospel!