Backing the Right Horse!

by Adrian Bates, CEO CMI-NZ

October 6, 2001 (minor updates 10 Aug 2006)

Salespeople know the key to a sale is offering what the customer wants! I can best illustrate this with what ‘John’ told me recently. I was talking to him as he was getting some of our creation books for non-Christian friends. Now this wasn’t the first time he had been in recently so I asked, ‘How did you get interested in the ministry?’

‘It started,’ he said, ‘when my wife got me to agree to get our young daughter christened. The pastor agreed—so long as we, the parents, did some lessons to learn what it was about. After each lesson he would invite me to come to church. I would say ‘sure’, to him but ‘no way’ to my wife later.

‘Well, one Sunday my wife came home from church and said, ‘Next week they’ve got a guy coming who is going to talk about dinosaurs.’ I pricked up my ears at that. I was actually interested—but I said, ‘No, I’ve got to help Dad with the race-horse.’ So, next Sunday saw me out on the track as usual with my father’s trotter. But, while we were watching, the horse suddenly broke down. It was a bit of a mystery but the result was I got home in time to go and ‘hear about dinosaurs’ at church.

‘The speaker was from [Creation Ministries International] and he spoke about creation, evolution—and dinosaurs! For the first time I realized that these Bible stories were fact, not fiction. I had an uncomfortable feeling about some of the stuff the pastor had shared. Things I had fobbed off as ‘religion’ started to really get under my skin!

‘That was the breakthrough. The penny dropped, as I realized Genesis was real history. Not long after this I accepted Jesus as Lord of creation, Lord of Heaven and Earth, and Lord and Savior of my life.’ I was fascinated to hear John’s story. His church ‘backed the right horse’ in focusing on the Biblical account of our true origins. Creation evangelism is often the key to reaching those who are ‘bullet proofed against "religion."’

But how come an CMI speaker ‘happened’ to visit that church? It happened because someone in the church organized the visit—someone like ‘Tania’, whom I met a couple of weeks ago. She was brought to the Lord through an initial interest in creation materials. In her own words, ‘I am passionate about this work.’ She approached her church to see if a CMI speaker could attend. Her prayer and action resulted in CMI being invited along! As a ministry, CMI places a priority on responding to church invitations. We see this as a strategic way we can assist local churches to penetrate the community. We hear so many stories of how the magazines and books are reaching non-Christians via church members. Why not give some thought and prayer to approaching your church leadership about inviting an CMI speaker along? Or if you are a church leader we would love to respond to your invitation.

Published: 3 February 2006