André Bay serves as Pastor/Elder at Shore Baptist Church in Auckland. He studied at the London Theological Seminary and has served as missionary, church planter and pastor in Russia, South Africa and Germany since 1993.
André has graciously offered his time to answer some questions about himself and what he’ll be speaking about at this year’s North Island STAND conference.
1. Briefly share with us how you became a Christian.
Like so many Afrikaans speaking South Africans, I grew up in the Dutch Reformed church and from the moment I could read I attended Sunday School. I was taught the Heidelberg Catechism and at home loved reading my Bible. I actually don’t remember a time in my life where I did not have some relationship with Christ. It always grew and when I reached my teenage years, the realisation of me being a sinner became so much more intense as my understanding of the holiness of God grew. That period of my Christian life saw me moving closer to the Lord in obedience and love for Him.
2. Why do you think what you’re teaching on is an important topic?
To evangelise is a command given to all Christians and most Christians find it very difficult to do. So, as we are asked to make disciples of all men, we need to help one another to obey Christ in this simple task as well.
3. What do you hope will be filling people’s minds and hearts as they walk away from your message(s)?
I hope to communicate the glory of the gospel and that motivates us to share our faith. I also hope to give some practical tips as to how we can overcome our fears in evangelism.
4. Is there any passage of Scripture that sums up what you’ll be sharing?
The New Testament, with references to the OT! 2 Corinthians 5:16 onwards is quite helpful:
“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
5. Can you expound on one point that you’ll be making in your message?
We’ll be looking at some of the obstacles we face in evangelism:
- Fear of man
- A hostile world
- Not knowing the gospel
- Unfair expectations from others (Are we all supposed to be street preachers, door-to-door evangelists?)
- Prayerlessness (Acts 1). This needs to be hugely emphasised!
6. How has what you’re going to speak on affected your own life?
Throughout my whole life I have been schooled in various areas of evangelism and it pretty much defines my ministry. It is not only a doctrine I have learnt, but became the very life-blood of my Christian walk.
7. Can you recommend any books, articles, websites, or materials on this topic?
The Gospels and Acts as examples in the lives of Jesus and the disciples.
There are several other helpful books:
- The Soul-Winner – Charles Spurgeon
- The Cross: God’s Way of Salvation – Martin Lloyd Jones
- What Is Faith? – J. Gresham Machen
- The Gospel and Personal Evangelism – Mark Dever
- God is the Gospel – John Piper
- Let The Nations Be Glad! – John Piper
- The Master Plan for Evangelism – Robert E Coleman and Billy Graham
- Ultimate Questions – John Blanchard
8. What would you say to someone who is trying to decide whether or not to come to the North Island STAND Conference?
STAND is a conference solidly focused on the Word of God and how that ultimate authority works out in our lives to glorify Christ. It’s not a self-help conference, but an opportunity to listen to what the Word of God says and how that changes our lives.
Join André and others in rejoicing in the transforming power of the Gospel. For more details and to register for STAND 2015, visit: http://www.standforthegospel.org/conference/stand-2015/.