I recently read a small book that has given me hope for evangelism and discipleship in America. The book – God Guides, by Mary Geegh – chronicles her experiences as a missionary to India from 1924 to 1962. While on the mission field, she learned how to have the power of the Holy Spirit in her daily life and in her evangelistic outreach to Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and fellow Christians.

A visiting missionary told her, “The first step is to ‘wait’… ‘be still’… ‘listen’. Then be definite about your sins – daily; with notebook and pencil write down the thing the Holy Spirit speaks to your mind; determine to obey. Then share with others who come to you for help how the power of Christ changes you.”

Mary disciplined herself to this practice, and applied it to every problem she faced. She taught others the same way: to hear from the God Who Speaks. I will leave it to you to get the book and read her stories and the many lessons she learned. My purpose here is to share an epiphany and the hope it has given me for the church in America. I suspect this applies more broadly, and would love to hear from my international readers about this subject.

Mary Geegh’s approach to evangelism was based on a very simple statement made by Jesus during one of His more profound and mysterious messages (perhaps this is why it has been overlooked).

It is written in the prophets, “And they shall all be taught by God.” Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.  John 6:45

I feel the need to encourage you to resist the temptation to dismiss what you are about to read. You may do so for two reasons: it may seem too simple to be important, and/or it may not fit your doctrine or mindset for ministry. There is no danger in giving serious consideration to something that makes us uncomfortable. I too had to press through my initial reservations. If Jesus had not said it Himself, I would have difficulty accepting that:

People hear and learn from the Father before they come to Jesus!

Some may say, “Of course, the Father (or Holy Spirit) must draw them.” This is true; Jesus speaks of it in the previous verse. However, what many have failed to understand (myself included) is the method of that drawing; it is not some mysterious tugging at our heart.

The Father draws the unsaved by speaking to them, and teaching them!!

Individuals with a dead spirit and a heart of stone, without the Holy Spirit within them, and who worship other gods, hear and are taught by the Father… as a preliminary step to them coming to Jesus Christ. This is not a strange interpretation of the verse. The verse would have to be strangely interpreted to say anything else.

Please note: I am not suggesting a replacement for belief in Jesus, repentance, and baptism. The matter at hand is God’s method for drawing people to the Savior and our responsibility to that part of the salvation process. Is this not Biblical prescription? Why is it not being taught and practiced? What are we missing?

Mary Geegh led many Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims to the Father in prayer, where He gave them direction for their personal, family, and business problems. She taught other Christians to do the same. Furthermore, the unsaved went away and applied what they were taught to all of their problems: wait, be still, listen, and obey. Eventually, they became followers of Jesus Christ. They believed, repented, and were baptized into the kingdom of God.

Hope for the Church in America

Over the years, I have had much to say about the issues and challenges we face in the church here in America. It would be impossible to miss my negative and pessimistic attitude. One of my greatest concerns is our replacement of God’s ways with those of man – the adoption of human doctrine over that of Jesus Christ. We continue to look to the world for comfort and security. We have adopted the world’s methods for the advancement of God’s kingdom. Consequently, we have lost the battle for the soul of this country.

But there is always hope for the Body of Christ; for we are not of this world, nor are we bound to its methods. The Father has used God Guides to give me hope (and it is growing). It is a joy to have hope! Let me share it with you.

Hope for evangelists: Evangelism in America suffers from a church divided. Generally speaking, our failure at unity has left the world wondering if He loves them and sent His Son for them (John 17:23). What’s an evangelist to do?

Joining the Father in the way He prescribes is always best (Psalm 37:5). While we still have much work to do in the area of corporate unity, evangelists can leverage God’s method for personal evangelism found in John 6:45. Bringing the lost (and their problems) to the God Who Speaks – prior to “getting them saved” – invites the Father into the process. This is His desire: to be the source and center of the work. Current methods are not producing followers of Jesus Christ because they are cutting the Father out of the process.

The hope for evangelists: We do not have to convince someone to believe in Jesus, say a prayer, and get baptized. We simply need to introduce them to the God Who Speaks – to wait, be still, listen, and obey. Of course, this must be something we practice ourselves.

Hope for disciple makers: People being converted through currently popular, man-imagined methods of evangelism are worse off than before (Matthew 23:15). Left to follow a god of man’s imagination, they resist being made into disciples of Jesus Christ. Though they may have left the broad road, striving to enter through the narrow gate is foreign to them.

Consequently, many converts loiter about outside the gate, unable to enter the kingdom of heaven (Luke 13:23-25). Why? Because they have not heard and learned from the Father. Indeed, the Father has been removed from much of our conversation about salvation and discipleship. Few are aware of His desire to work in them to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

Disciple makers will find hope in the way our Father involves Himself in the work. No longer will we be saddled with determining a convert’s relationship with Jesus Christ. Bringing converts to the Father, in the same way we would an unredeemed soul, is the way to begin making disciples. They will come to Christ in hearing and learning from the Father.

Hope for those that do not hear God speak: Many in the church have given up hearing from God. They have stuffed away their frustration and gotten on with life. Every once in a while, they hear a fellow Christian share about a word God spoke and taught them. Those who are not hearing often reject the testimony or become further convinced that hearing is reserved for the most mature Christian. Both responses are deceptions of the carnal mind, leaving them frustrated and hopeless for faith that comes from the word of God (Romans 10:17).

Those trapped in these lies will find renewed hope in the God Who speaks to and teaches even those who are following other gods. Granted, some will be tempted into deeper discouragement. They need our help; for surely the Father is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). God Guides would encourage them greatly.

Indeed, those who have come to Christ have heard and learned from the Father. The hearing may have been dull and the learning minimal, but either they have heard and learned from the Father, or they have not come to Christ. Perhaps it is time to determine which is the truth, and walk in faith for the truth they know.

Some (perhaps many) will be alarmed at the implications of this. They will be tempted to reject it outright. Encourage them to consider it prayerfully and objectively. John 6:45 may not mean what I think it means, but it must mean something. Ask God to give meaning to it for you and those in your spheres of influence. I am honestly interested in what you (and they) hear and learn.

God bless you with the hope I have found, and the grace to pursue it.

Humbly yours and forever His,


Geegh, M. (2014). God Guides. Zeeland, MI: Mission Partners India