Several local churches have adopted zip codes in Spokane County to take part in Saturate USA’s vision to re-evangelize America with the Gospel.
“Saturate is about one thing and one thing only—making the Good News of Jesus known to all,” explained Saturate Cities Projects Director Brian Considine.
Saturate USA’s local campaign, Saturate Spokane, kicks off Saturday, Sept. 22.
Local churches provide the hands and feet, and the Saturate USA team sends the materials to the churches, at no cost, which include “door hangers, multi-language “Jesus” DVDs, Gospel tracts, and adopted area maps,” according to the Spokane Saturate website.
So far about 72 percent of Spokane County’s 202,171 homes have been adopted by local churches, including, but not limited to, Chattaroy Community Church, The Vine Community, Lidgerwood Presbyterian Church, South Hill Bible Church, Central Seventh Day Adventist Church and Pilgrim Slavic Baptist Church.
“If a church is willing to make Jesus known, we welcome their participation,” Considine explained. “We might ask what is the Good News? The simple answer is found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. That is the essentials of the faith.”
Part of these verses state, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (NIV).
Saturate USA was born out of a vision Christ for All Peoples President Phil Cohn had to reach the nation for Jesus. At a donor meeting at Lake Tahoe in late October 2017, Cohn was approached by a group of patrons familiar with the ministry he had started in 2007. They, too, believed it was time to evangelize America again with the Good News of Jesus Christ and so fully funded a ministry to reach 60 million U.S. households by 2020.
To date, 33 states have been saturating, including 17 city-wide projects, of which Spokane is one.
Worship Pastor Brad Pearson is executing Spokane’s South Hill Bible Church’s Pastor John Underhill’s vision to blanket the zip code in which their church resides.
“Basically, what we are doing is we’re going out there scattering seeds,” Pearson explained.
Pearson hopes that through this campaign, the community will be prompted to make a personal connection with South Hill Bible Church, so that the Gospel will be shared with them.
Included in each of their packets is a modest post card that says to their neighbors, “We want you here.”
The vision keeps expanding, too. Spokane’s neighbors in Idaho have already started their own Saturate USA ministry in Coeur D’Alene.
Candlelight Christian Fellowship’s members handed out 4,000 bags to their neighbors in 45 minutes on Aug. 25, and the results were more than they imagined.
That next Sunday, the church, located north of downtown Coeur D’Alene, had so many visitors they ran out of their visitor packets, something that Pastor Paul Van Noy doesn’t remember ever happening in the past.
“This has been really good for the body and really good for the community,” said Van Noy. “Only God knows the overall spiritual results.”
This reinforces Considine’s point that the secondary focus for Saturate USA is as much for the Christian community as it is for those who currently do not follow Christ because it is also set up to support Christians with Jesus’ command to his followers to go make disciples of all peoples everywhere.
“It’s about getting the church outside the walls of the church,” said Considine. “Christians need to move from the current paradigm of people coming to the church to the church going to the people, because that’s the model Jesus set up.”
A 2018 Barna study showed more Christians today believe sharing their faith is optional compared to when the study was originally done in 1993.
According to an article about the study’s new findings on Barna’s website, “The most dramatic divergence over time is on the statement, ‘Every Christian has a responsibility to share their faith.’ In 1993, nine out of 10 Christians who had shared their faith agreed (89%). Today, just two-thirds say so (64%)—a 25-point drop.”
If you would have asked Van Noy before he was introduced to Saturate USA if America already knew the Gospel, he would have said yes. But a recent event at his grandson’s school corrected him.
One day, as he was waiting to share lunch with his grandson at school, a group of kindergarteners sat down next to him and started up a conversation with him.
One of the girls sitting across Van Noy said that her grandma died. He saw this girl was hurting and asked her if she thought her grandma was in Heaven? To which the little girl replied, “What is Heaven?”
At the end of their conversation, he prayed with this little girl, and as she was leaving, she said, “Hey mister. I want you to know that what you shared with me has changed my life.”
About two weeks after this encounter, he got a call about Saturate USA, asking him if he’d like to learn more about it and how his church could get involved.
While he is not a huge fan of the film provided in the packets because it’s dated (the film was released in 1979), he said Saturate USA and the materials they provide are giving his church an opportunity to offer their community hope through the Gospel message.
The hope they want to share is summed up on the postcard in their Saturate packets: “Our prayer is that you might receive and enjoy this simple gift as a gesture of love to you—our neighbor. May the Love of God bring peace to you by grace alone, in Jesus Christ alone, through faith in Him alone.”
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