Frequently Asked Questions
Check Back Soon For More Frequently Asked Questions...we update this section often!
Q1. Where can I find a good church?
Answer: There are a few ways to find a good church. First, if you're in the Dallas area I highly recommend the church that I attend...Heritage Grace Community Church (HGCC) in Frisco, Texas. Heritage Grace is comprised of a people devoted to the Scriptures and committed to live for the glory of God. Where other churches have emphasized church growth, and seeker sensitive presentations of the gospel, HGCC desires to strike at something more biblical and historic.
If you're not in Dallas, I'd recommend visiting 9Marks, which has a church finder. Type in your zip code, and see which churches are near you. The churches listed on 9Marks subscribe to good doctrine.
In addition to that, The Master's Seminary posts a map where you can find Master's graduates that are pastoring churches in your area. Just because a pastor graduated from Master's doesn't mean he's solid, but chances are good that he is. At the very least you'll know he received solid Biblical training and the church where he serves would be a good one to check out.
Q2. What are my free speech rights when I'm on the streets?
Answer: I recommend visiting the School Of Biblical Evangelism for helpful information on this. Also, check out FreeSpeechRights.com for very helpful information. And for additional information, I suggest visiting The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) website. The (ACLJ) specializes in constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C. You can visit their link which addresses "The Legal Rights of Bringing the Gospel to the Streets", simply click HERE for more information.
Q3. When it comes to video taping, do you need obtain a waiver or permission from people to do so?
I typically don’t use a waiver, but instead I ask the individual(s), on film, “Do I have your permission to use your person, your voice, your image for all media purposes.” Make sure to have them state their name and give permission on camera. That usually does it….but if you would like to see an example of a film release, please send an email to: email [at] fishwithtrish.com and in the subject line put "permission to film".
Q4. What is biblical repentance?
Repentance comes from the Greek word "metanoia" it has embedded in it the idea of "turning away" from sin. Changing your mind about sin.
Biblical repentance is when an individual recognizes that they have sinned before a Holy God. They turn from their sins (forsaking them) and put their faith in Christ (the only One who is able to save them).
Here's another way to put it...Biblical repentance is a total about faceturning away from sin and self and unto God (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:9). I like what John MacArthur has to say about it, "That is no more a result of human effort than faith itself. Nor is it in any sense a pre-salvation work required to prepare a sinner for salvation. Real repentance is inseparable from faith and, like faith, is the work of God in a human heart. It is the response God inevitably generates in the heart of one He is redeeming."
You might be encouraged by these links as well:
Q5. Where can I find tracts in different translations?
Visit Living Waters, click on "Store" then "Tracts". They have several in Spanish and one international tract that is very effective.
Also, the three links (below) are helpful websites with FREE translations which have been created by the Living Waters Publications Volunteer Translation Project Team.
Wonderful websites in different languages:
Q6. Where can I purchase a good "tract handbag"?
"Ross - Dress for Less" is a good place to find handbags. That's where I buy most of mine. Ross is inexpensive and they have a fairly large varity to dig through. You might also want to try "Burlington Coat Factory". And "Marshall's" has a decent selection but they are a bit pricey.
If you've found a good place to shop for handbags - that don't cost an arm and a leg - I want to hear from you! Email me at email [at] fishwithtrish.com and put "good handbag store" in the subject line.
The "Fish With Trish Store" is up and running. We offer handbags specifically designed/handmade to fit tracts!
Click HERE to visit the store!
Q7. How many people have you personally lead to Christ? How many decisions have you obtained for Christ?
I'll use the words of my friend Ray Comfort, "I don't keep count and the records are in the Book of Life and we don't have access to it at the moment."
He continues, "The criteria shouldn't be how many "decisions" we obtain, but are we evangelizing biblically? Unbiblical evangelism boasts multitudes of decisions for Jesus, who sit in church without the fruits that accompany salvation."
I'm reminded of what D.L. Moody said, "Is it well to number converts?" Elijah got into trouble by trying to number Israel. It is best to let the Lord keep the record. It makes me creep all over to hear a man tell how many he has converted." (The Gospel Awakening, Moody, 1885)
And Charles Spurgeon in The Soul-Winner, "I am weary of this public braggin, this counting of unhatched chickens, this exhibition of doubtful spoils. Lay aside such numberings of the people, such idle pretence of certifying in a half a minute that which will need the testing of a lifetime."
Q8. How can I know if I'm saved? Sometimes I lack assurance that I'm a Christian. Can you help?
Here are proofs of a genuine work of salvation (you can ask your self these questions):
Are you wrestling with the thoughts that you aren't saved? Do you question whether your faith in God is genuine? Perhaps you feel like you've had a conversion experience in the past but your not sure if you're a true convert. Below are five questions to ask yourself and explanations that provide general proofs of a genuine work of salvation. We hope that these provide helpful insight to you:
- Do I recognize that I am a sinner, and justly condemned by the Law (the 10 commandments)?
Have you looked at your self in the mirror God's Law? Have you told a lie, stolen, lusted, coveted? Have you seen your self as utter guilty under God's holy Law?
- Am I depending solely on Jesus Christ crucified for me as my only hope?
Have you resolved that Jesus Christ is the only one that is able to satisfy the wrath of God on your behalf? Have you repented (turned from you sins) and trust in Him so save you?
- Is there present belief in God?
We are never to depend upon a previous testimony of something we did years ago such as pray a prayer or sign a card or walk down an isle for an altar call, we must presently be confessing Jesus Christ as Lord through faith.
- Is there a habitual impenitent sin in your life?
A true Christian will not habitually and impenitently practice a lifestyle of sin. (1 John 1. 5-10). This does not mean that we will ever be sinless, this side of heaven, but that we who are in the light do not seek to remain in darkness.
- Is there observable growth?
There must be an observable growth in the life of the believer. We are called to grow in our salvation in the areas of knowledge, love, grace, and fruit. (John 15; 2 Pet. 3.18). Those who think that nothing more than a mere confession of faith is needed, to prove oneself a Christian, run the danger of self-deception and ultimately lack assurance of their salvation.
- Is there a pursuit for holiness?
A true Christian is not to remain carnal in mind and affections. We are to pursue holiness. A believer in Christ, hungers for righteousness and seeks to be pleasing in obedience to the Father. (Hebrews 12:14). This proof is extremely telling regarding ones salvation as well as their spiritual maturity. Do we love darkness? Do we rejoice in sinfulness? These things are to be rejected by the true child of God.
- Do you hold to the essential doctrines of the Faith? Especially, having to do with the Doctrines of God, Authority, and Salvation?
There are certain doctrines and teachings in Scripture that cannot be breached. The failure to hold to the "Essentials" will result in heresy, false doctrine, and false hope. One of the reformers once said, "If you have the wrong God in the end you meet the Devil". Thus, it is essential that we have the right God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). That we believe in the true identity of Jesus Christ, being fully God and fully man.
We must believe that the Bible is the word of God and the final authority for all of faith and practice. We will have no foundation otherwise. Believing, therefore, that the Bible is inerrant, infallible, and inspired is essential. For without it we would not know God at all. Also, we must believe in a proper view of salvation. In other words, it is by grace through faith that we are saved and not by human works lest we boast in ourselves. (Eph. 2.8; Tit. 3.4-7).
These proofs are never to be mistaken as works. That is, that none of the above mentioned are offered as works which prove that we have earned the right to be saved. Rather, we are saved by nothing more than sovereign grace. Assurance is a miracle of God and it is reserved for the child of God. For the Christian, we have the blessed promise of assurance and that we can know for certain whether we are saved or not.
Also, the link below is of a message adapted from John MacArthur's lesson: "Marks of a True Believer - The Purifying Hope". This might prove to be of help to you:
Below are two powerful verses on assurance that you can take comfort in:
"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5.13).
"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without doubting, for He who promised is faithful." (Heb. 10. 22-23).
Q9. What type of video camera and regular camera do you use when you hit the streets to share your faith?
I have a Sony DSC-H90 digital camera that takes videos and I bought a 32 gig SD card that holds a ton of footage.
The only downside of this camera is that it doesn’t have a microphone jack so that I can put a microphone to interview folks.
Q10. How do you deal with rejection? For example, when someone throws your gospel tract in the trash or doesn't want to hear the Gospel?
My friend Juan came up to me recently and said, "On Black Friday I preached the gospel to a man who was in line waiting for a good deal. I spoke to him for almost 45 minutes and there was a guy in his sleeping bag who looked like he was asleep. When I was done witnessing to the man, the guy in the sleeping bag stood up and said, 'I was listening to every word you said and I want you to talk to me more about Christ!" The next Sunday the man came to our church service. We were all overjoyed!
You just never know who is listening, friends.
It used to really bother me when someone threw my tract in the trash or when they got visible upset at the gospel- well, okay...honestly sometimes it still does bother me - but the next time you get rejected for the Gospel's sake or someone takes your tract and throws it in the trash or you're yelled at, just move on to the next person.
Think about a honey bee. It doesn’t sting the flower when it doesn't have pollen, it just moves on to the next flower to see if it can find pollen there. So when you have a "bad" witnessing encounter take courage friend and don’t get upset and “sting” the individual. Just move on to the next person. Remember not to take it personal. It's the message they are rejecting. Perhaps the Gospel has struck a cord in them. You just never know, do you? There's a saying - if I remember correctly - it goes like this, "the dog that barks the loudest is the one that most likely got hit".
I'm comforted by Jesus' words towards the Christian: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matt 5: 11-12). And 1 Peter 4:14, says, "If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you."
Be encouraged! There's no such thing as a bad witnessing encounter. Every time we share our faith it is a winning situation! We can never loose when we share the Gospel. Either the individual will get saved, or a seed will be planted, or their heart will be hardened (and God is glorified even in this). And if they throw the tract on the ground, another could come by and pick it up. I've watched this happen many times.
Don't ever give up sharing the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is through the foolishness of the preaching of the Gospel that people will be saved. I pray that God will empower you to preach the gospel in 2010 more than you ever have before. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16
Q11. What sort of places do you recommend going to evangelize? (College campuses, the mall, etc.) Do you have any cautions to share?
I love witnessing on college campuses. Well, let’s just put it this way…I’ll witness anywhere. Most students have an opinion on death, the afterlife, Heaven and Hell, etc. so college campuses are very easy places to witness. I enjoy running errands around town because it’s a great way to pass out gospel tracts on the go. If I’m getting gas, I’ll pass out tracts while the gas pump is doing the pumping for me. If I’m going to the store for milk and bread I’ll make sure to hand the cashier and everyone in line a catchy gospel tract.
Sharing my faith often helps me to take my eyes off myself. A passion for the lost will do that to you. One day I was in a rush to leave the house to run errands. I quickly put on some makeup, got dressed, grabbed my car keys and off I was. I passed out several dozen tracts and I even had a good one-to-one talk with someone at the store. I got home and after several hours, looked in the mirror, and to my horror I forgot to put mascara on the other eye...imagine that...a one-eyed mascara monster preaching the Gospel all over town. I'm glad God doesn't look at our outer appearance (1 Sam 16:7). My only word of advice would be too get a good look at yourself in the mirror before you leave. :-)
Q12. In the past, were you ever afraid to share your faith? What changed?
Recently I was on a flight from San Diego Airport to Dallas/Ft. Worth. My seat was in the very back of the plane and it was a full flight. After 2 1/2 hours, we landed and when the pilot turned off the seatbelt sign I was quick to unbuckle and stand up to stretch my legs. I was glad to be home. Several others got up as well. For 5 minutes we stood in silence as we waited for the line to move, which took unusually long. I looked in my purse to dig out tracts to hand them out. But I'd get paralyzed with fear and I quickly shut it. I repeated the same pattern two more times. One guy looked at me strange as if he saw the struggle going on in my mind. Then I was reminded of Judgment Day and thought about everyone in line giving an account to God. It immediately moved me to action. I grabbed my money tracts and began to pass them out, saying "Did you get one?" and to the next person, "Did you get one?" and to the gentleman that helped me with my what probably felt like a 100 pound bag (it was packed with tracts and books), "Here, thanks a million for helping me!" He smiled. They all did.
After over a decade of sharing my faith, I’m still nervous but I let my compassion for the lost swallow my fears. And I remind myself of what the Proverbs say, “The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.” Prov. 29:25. If I meditate long enough on Hell it moves me to action. It moves me to press pass my fears and share my faith.
Q13. I don't want anyone to go to Hell but I feel so tongue tied. What do I do?
I'd encourage you to go to http://www.youtube.com/thewayofthemaster
and keep watching the witnessing clips until it becomes second nature to you.
Also, if you haven't heard "Hell's Best Kept Secret", visit www.livingwaters.com and look for the message on the right hand side. You can't miss it - look for the flames - and it's not a message about Hell. And then listen to "True and False Conversion" which is on the same link right below "Hell's Best Kept Secret".
Q14. I want to share the gospel and still be a biblical woman. How do I do both?
One of the greatest signs of being born again is to have the desire/boldness to speak the Word of God and to tell others about his glorious gospel (Acts 4:31). A biblical woman is a woman that shares the good news of the Gospel with her family members, her children and the lost in general. There is no distinction. You can't be a biblical woman and not talk about the Gospel. The Gospel is at the very center of a biblical woman. Now don't get me wrong, she is not to shirk her responsibilities at home for the sake of "hitting the streets". Her home should be in order - it is her main responsibility to manage (Titus 2:3) - but she can certainly incorporate sharing the good news in various ways without neglecting her duties at home, by: handing out tracts as she runs errands, preaching the gospel to the telemarketer who calls, talking about the Gospel as she rises and walks along the way with her children, joining the church door-to-door evangelism team once a month or the weekly street ministry, visiting old folks at a local retirement facility and sharing the good news, and the list can go on and on. Note: all of this presupposes that your husband is okay with you going out door-to-door, on the streets with a team, etc. If he is not, then honor him. There are plenty of other ways to be a gospel witness (namely, passing out tracts as you go along your way running errands and as you teach your children the ways of God). Remember that Jesus' Great Commission (Matthew. 28:18-20, and Mark. 16:15) to preach the Gospel and make disciples throughout the world was given to the entire church. So, Go! Share your faith one soul at a time.
For more, click HERE.
Q15. What verses should I have memorized for evangelism?
2 Cor. 5.21
1 Cor. 2.2
1 Cor. 15.1-4
Isa 53: 4-6