Ray Vaughn doesn't wait for people who are far from God to visit church. He goes to them.
He doesn't invite them to church. He invites them to meet Jesus.
He goes to them and meets them in an environment where they are comfortable.
In Matthew 10 and Luke 10 Jesus sent his disciples out two by two to prepare for his coming. He sent them out to look for "people of peace" — people who were spiritually open to the gospel.
What does that look like for Ray?
Ray's aim in prayer walking is to find responsive people.
Practically that means he pairs up with someone and goes out into neighbourhoods and apartment complexes to walk, and pray, and speak to people.
Ray has made a commitment that no matter who he meets his is going to ask if he can pray for them. No matter if they look busy or uninterested, angry or mean.
He’s going to ask anybody and everybody if they can pray for them.
Coming out of the prayer Ray asks, “I’m curious, do you feel near or far from God?”
Then he lets them tell their story.
Then he asks them, "Would you like to be close to God?"
If the answer is yes, Ray asks, "Can I share with you how you can be near to God?"
What Ray does:
- Walk and pray in the community.
- Ask anyone and everyone, "Can I pray for you?"
- Ask, "Are you near or far from God?"
- Listen to their story.
- Ask, "If you have a minute, can I share with you how to be near to God?"
- Draw a simple gospel outline and explain it.
- Ray asks, "Can we visit you in your home and look at stories in the Bible of people who were far from God and came near to God?"
- If he can, Ray gets specific details on when and where they can meet. He also asks if the person has anyone else they could invite.
Ray draws a simple gospel outline on a 3x5 card and explains how they can be near to God (see the image above).
He paraphrases four versus (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9) and draws the Bridge illustration.
If they are open but not ready to receive Christ, Ray asks if he can visit them in their home and look at a story in the Bible about someone who was far from God and came near to God.
The aim is to take open people to stories about Jesus in the Bible — specifically the stories of people’s interactions with Jesus who were once far and came near.
If they are open he gets when can we meet, where can we meet, who can you invite. He tries to get as detailed as possible. The aim is to meet in or near their home. They want to be the church and bring the church to them.
Ray says, you want to meet the people in their world — with their family and friends.
If someone comes to faith on the spot, Ray asks if he can meet with them in their home and help them begin living a life that is near to God. He takes them through some basic stories from the Gospels that illustrate how to be a disciple of Jesus.
Want to learn more about what Ray does? Listen to the podcast interview and download Ray's resources.