On the night
Exciting ‘instant feedback’ from CMI activity
Originally published in a CMI newsletter, December 2014
In the last year, CMI speakers globally gave some 1200 presentations at public meetings and (mostly) churches. We have often written about how switching Christians on to the truth and authority of the Bible in this Gospel-foundational area is the ‘key’. Obviously, it is hugely important for Christians to know they can totally trust the Bible. But it is also the most effective way of reaching unbelievers—by arming and equipping ‘God’s army’, the church.
Christians encouraged in the faith are also much more motivated to share it with others. That’s why people very frequently write to us that they trace their conversion to a CMI-equipped believer having shared a Creation magazine, book or DVD with them.
A different focus
But here I want to highlight something other than the testimonies that people write to CMI—namely, speaker reports. You see, straight after each meeting, even the smallest, every CMI speaker submits a brief written report that is circulated globally to all other speakers and events staff. This helps keep the synergy going between our respective offices, but it is also another layer of accountability for our speakers. The reports cover routine issues, as well as highlighting any area in which we could have done better. This includes equipment inadequacies, as well as any communication failures between, for example, those CMI staff organizing the meeting and the host church.
Speakers are also encouraged to report feedback, including any negatives. (Plus the church leadership itself is asked to subsequently return an evaluation form.) Despite our ever-present imperfections and frailties, we believe you will agree that every Christian organisation needs to try to maintain the highest possible standards in areas such as courtesy and grace coupled with professional expertise and effectiveness. This reporting system helps us in those endeavours.
So why mention all this? Because the speaker also reports on what those experiencing the presentation have ‘fed back’ on the night. It always excites me when I see the many heartwarming positives. So I thought I would share some with you, too. I went back to the reports from just the last ten weeks or so (from the date of writing), to choose the ‘top ten’ (all there was room for), since I thought it would excite you too, to see such a batch from a short time. I struggled a bit to choose the ‘best’, but eventually decided to also make sure the selection gave an indication of the many different ‘types’ of feedback. So here they are, trusting they speak for themselves.
As they wrote it
“One man said he was given a copy of the magazine by his Bible study leader and it completely turned him around, cleared up his confusion and strengthened his faith. He now takes the magazine into the local prison and uses it widely in general witnessing.”
“A teenage girl came up to me after the talk and said, ‘I believed in evolution, until tonight!’”
“A pastor involved in church planting called the ministry ‘crucial’, so ‘very, very helpful’, especially in street evangelism among young people. ‘Having answers to their issues is just so important … I’ve been following you guys for years and years and I’m just so grateful for the magazine, and all your stuff.’”
“A young man (in his 20s) … said: 'Wow, that rocked my world and totally answered the questions I had about dinosaurs. The Bible makes much more sense than evolution.’"
“The pastor had been undecided on millions of years. He said he was now seriously challenged by the presentation about ‘death before sin’ and bought a number of books.”
“Another man said to me that today had helped him move from just clinging to faith without understanding to being confident in what he believes.”
“An older man came to me and identified himself as an atheist whose recently converted granddaughter had invited him along to church that morning. He had been brought up with a Christian ethos but didn’t know how to believe it until today. He was quite amazed and challenged by the talk. He subscribed to the magazine as well as purchased quite a deal of material and told me he would be thinking very carefully about his personal response and would seek God, PTL.”
“A special highlight for me was the male 60s guy on the sound-desk—an atheist 5 years ago, he told me, and today ‘everything that he was still wondering about, had been answered—a major milestone day in his faith’—he was really rejoicing, praise the Lord.”
“One of the [CMI volunteers] named Arthur (who attends the church and who was the prime mover lobbying the senior pastor to hold the event) said that during the service the 2IC pastor sent him a text saying, ‘This is sensational Arthur … many lives impacted and trained.’”
“Two people re-committed their lives to Christ at the close of the meeting. One man with a beaming face said to me that he had been a Christian for 22 years and had been searching for teaching like this for years to strengthen his faith.”
I know that some of you, realising how important donations are to maintaining and growing this level of outreach, already support us. I trust you will have been as encouraged as those of us within CMI are to see, in this way, more of what is happening all the time due to your support.
And for those of you who do not yet provide donation support in that way, I trust that you might be moved to realise just how much more could be done if more could catch that vision. Even a small amount each month from many can make a huge difference! Thank you too to those of you who also pray as well as support, knowing that, as Psalm 127:1 puts it: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”
Thank you, and may God bless you.