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The Power of a Page
By Dan Vis
October 01, 2018
Comments: 47

Note: The following article was first posted last year by my friend Byard Parks over at GoTential, a ministry committed to helping Christian professionals be salt and light in their work place. And he kindly gave me permission to repost it. Since our focus this month is on ministry, I decided to give it another spin...


"Keep it Simple" is a popular theme of 21st century life. Why? CBS-News reports the average big city dweller is bombarded by over five thousand advertisements daily. That's a lot for the human brain to sort.

As an intentional Christian your aim is to get people to think. How can you get people to think deeply when there is so many distractions?

While living in the Middle East I learned with a friend a method of influence that is both simple and helps others to laser-in on what is important. I share it here for you to consider how you can adapt the method and make it work for you in helping others around you.

One day I was talking to a Muslim friend about the second coming of Jesus. He was interested and I wished he had a Bible--of course he didn't. Truthfully the Bible is big--and frankly not all that simple. So later I simply photocopied a page from the Bible in his language, in this case Matthew 24, and then highlighted a few verses. The next time we were together I pulled out the photocopy and he was happy--because it was simple and easy to read. That photocopy of Jesus' own words was also deeply important. He got to read the Bible and didn't have any of the embarrassment or harassment of actually carrying a big Christian/Jewish book around. That's the method: simply photocopy the Word of God!

Photocopy a Psalm of hope and give it away. Photocopy a page from Ephesians on grace and give it away. Photocopy a parable of Jesus and give it away. Photocopy a chapter on the crucifixion. Photocopy Isaiah 53 and talk about it. There is a lot of conviction power for the Holy Spirit to use in a very small foldable piece of paper.

My Christian co-worker photocopied the first page of Genesis. He liked to leave this on park benches and in public places. For most of the Muslim population living around him--this piece of paper was the very first time they had ever read these stunning words of earth's origin in their entire life. The words were an introduction to a new worldview.

One day while talking with that friend about this very technique, a secular middle-eastern woman came and sat next to us. Busy with our conversation I had set the photocopied piece of paper which was the heart of our conversation, on the seat next to me. The woman wanting to make a place for herself to sit, picked up the piece of paper to move it--but then she began to look at it. It was Genesis 1 and 2. After reading for about five minutes, she was visibly stunned and interrupted our conversation. "This is amazing - what is this?!" she politely asked. We said, "It's the first page of the Old Testament." She said she had never read or touched a Bible before. Because it was just a photocopy--it wasn't intimidating for her. She read it again; then began a very interesting conversation filled with many questions.

In a world with so many well prepared glossy colorful advertisements there is something just plain innocent about a photocopy.

Jesus wrote in the sand to make an unforgettable point. Maybe in a world of relativistic grey a photocopy will help people see God's thoughts in black and white. It is sincere, simple and important.


Take the Next Step

Want some additional ideas for sharing your faith? We've just finished updating our FAST Friends class, and have opened it back up as our featured class for the month of October. Discover simple sharing methods even the most timid person can use!

A must for anyone who is active at FAST! Don't miss out...

Tell Me More...


Comments

So what do you think of this idea? What could be more simple or powerful--than sharing a page of Scripture? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Posted by Dan Vis on 11/11/18
Even more ideas! :)
Posted by Michelle on 11/11/18
Dan, Thanks for moving my message. I also like copying from my personal bible with its own markings... feels personal in some way, maybe not all pages done this way but some. I already do this with texting and sometimes I have my finger pointing to the verse (s) I want to share.
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/11/18
Yes, that would a great idea to try Michelle! (Note I moved your comment here from the other location).
Posted by Michelle on 11/11/18
Thanks Dan. Also, I think that we could print Rev 14, the 3 Angels message, and why not consider stamping it with a follow up church address or link to bible studies.
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/03/18
Glad you like it Reno! I thought it was pretty creative too...
Posted by Reno on 11/03/18
Great idea, simple and practical
Posted by Floride Leonce on 10/12/18

Dan

Yes - that would be a great idea. I could use some.

Posted by Dan Vis on 10/09/18
You're very welcome Floride! We should create some little printable tracts with favorite passages and put them somewhere on FAST. Would be a nice thing to make available...
Posted by Floride Leonce on 10/09/18

Hello Dan!
That's a very clever way to share the Word! I think I will try to do that right away. With prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit, people will get to know the truth and stand for Jesus.

Thank you so much for sharing that post, Dan!

Posted by Dan Vis on 10/05/18

Edil, I can relate--but the reason we reverence the Bible is partly because it is so powerful! In some ways, that's even more reason to want to unleash that power. II Thessalonians 3:1Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:.

This post makes me think of the Waldenses who would hide short passages of Scripture in the lining of their clothes and give them out or sell them as they had opportunity. Then replenish them by rewriting them from memory (of course). Those seeds spread through Europe and led to the Protestant Reformation. Amazing the power of a scrap of paper, when it has God's Word on it.

All the best in using and sharing this method...

Posted by Edil Gordon on 10/04/18
I grew up reading the bible and handling it with reverence and respect, so it's hard for me to look at it from this perspective;but it's very interesting g the reaction the photocopy has engendered.I will definitely use this method and tell my church about it, I know I will get a few looks but we will pray about it and ask God to guide the pages to the hearts he wants to open, and of course it does not cost much for the paper only the message, thanks!
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/02/18

Loved your introduction David: indescribable yet inscribable. That's definitely a keeper!

And sounds like you've really turned your uber car into a ministry mobile. :) Keep up the good work my friend!

Posted by David Grabe on 10/02/18

Good Morning, every one of my FAST Friends, in the Indescribable(Genesis 32:29And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.)-yet inscribable (II Corinthians 3:2,3Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.) Name of Jesus Christ our Lord & Saviour!


Thank you so much, Pastor Dan, for this MM re: "The Power of a Page". What a terrific method to use for reaching out to others. I will begin trying this out! I just began driving for Uber here in El Paso, and the Lord has provided "a great door and effectual is opened to me" (I Corinthians 16:9For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.)
It has become a separate ministry for me to reach others!

My door pockets are stocked with tracts(Signs mags, Bible studies STeps to Christ, etc.). But now with this great idea, I am going to make copies of key portions of the Holy Scriptures & place them in my car for my riders to peruse & use for introducing them to Christ!

Thank you again, for this wonderful idea!


"The Lord direct our hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ." II Thessalonians 3:5And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

Posted by Dan Vis on 10/02/18
I agree Barbara! We do need to get out of the way more and let God's Word speak for itself. :)
Posted by Barbara Davis on 10/02/18
This is perfect. Thank you. I have tried using small tracts, but have wanted God’s word to be there for the Holy Spirit to work through to speak to each person’s personal needs, rather than “predigested” topical discussions, which may miss the very helps that come from God’s voice alone. This is going to be easier. Also, depending on the Holy Spirit to direct on which passage to share will bring results: the promise is that His word will not return to Him void. Let’s face it, we tend to talk too much and get in the way of letting people hear what the word says.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/01/18
What a nice idea Carole. So glad you could do that, and that this article sparked some memories!
Posted by Carole Bliss on 10/01/18

I really liked this message. I can relate to it.
I used to work in Medical Records at one of our hospitals.
I copied the 23rd Psalm, and would put copies in the patients record, when they came to pick it up.
We had a lot of material to hand out.
I loved that about my job.
I am going to make more copies, and start placing them about again!
Thanks for the reminder!

Blessings,
Carole

Posted by Dan Vis on 10/01/18
That's what I like most about this approach--simple and straightforward. :) Thanks for the feedback everyone!
Posted by Jacqueline on 10/01/18
I will try it
Posted by Diana David on 10/01/18
It's certainly something simple and easy to do. Can keep a small collection of passages for different circumstances on hand when traveling
Posted by Robyn Pearl Hattingh on 12/16/17
Havent ever thought of this.its so simple yet so effective.definitely going to try it.Thank you!God bless you!
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/15/17
Interesting quote Wayne! A good confirmation of this approach...
Posted by Wayne E Smith on 12/12/17
"There is work for all to do in order that the simple truths of the Word of God may be made known. The words of Scripture should be printed and published just as they read. It would be well if the nineteenth and the greater portion of the twentieth chapters of Exodus, with verses twelve to eighteen of the thirty-first chapter, were printed just as they stand. Crowd these truths into small books and pamphlets, and let the word of God speak to the people. When a discourse concerning the law is preached that is right to the point, if you have any means of doing so, get it into a printed leaflet. Then when those who plead for Sunday laws meet you, place these leaflets in their hands. Tell them that you have no discussion over the Sunday question; for you have a plain “Thus saith the Lord” for the keeping of the seventh day." { RH March 26, 1908, par. 9
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/10/17

Yes, great passages, John!

Glad you enjoyed this Linda & Linda! Wish I had thought of it...

Posted by Linda Gerace on 12/05/17
This is a great idea, and I, too, was reminded of the Waldensians as I read this.
Posted by Linda Elliott on 12/04/17
Mind blowing! I love this idea. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Posted by John Gilmore on 12/03/17
Noticing a moment ago, from the Breakout Challenge popular verses list, Psalm 23 and Psalm 1 had all verses close to the top of the list, that makes me wonder if those would also be great pages to copy for discussion starters with strangers.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/02/17

Yes, I liked this idea for exactly those reasons, John!

And that's an even more interesting idea Christine! With the holidays coming gift wrapping can be something else entirely... :)

Posted by Christine on 12/02/17

Wow Dan another fascinating story! I guess this is what we can truly call 'Upcycling'! I'm now looking at paper wrapping in a whole new way for sure.. and at my photocopier/printer too!

As you say John the printed page is one of many ways, and non-threatening, God wooing the reader gently. It reminds me of a community trend where people leave a book somewhere (in a park, on the train, at a cafe..) for someone else to read who will pass it on. It is called Book Crossing. A bit like the message in a bottle on the ocean.

Posted by Dan Vis on 12/02/17
Christine, that reminds me of the story I was told about how the Adventist church in Brazil got started. Some missionaries sent a bunch of tracts to a town there. No one wanted them, so a soap maker took them and used them to wrap the bars of soap he sold. Similar to the shoemaker, people started reading them, and before long a church organized itself. I actually visited the very first church in Brazil--still operating. The second oldest church in South America. Amazing story...
Posted by Christine on 12/02/17

Hey Merilyn that Preview button is like a photocopy of a page of the Bible, it gives a 'preview' of the Bible. ;-)

What a wonderful idea! Thanks Dan for passing it on.
It reminds me of a story about a whole new church that was established thanks to a... shoemaker. He used to wrap the repaired shoes with old Christian reviews. Soon a few customers were asking for some more about what they had read! The shoemaker then passed on more literature and later gave Bible studies. Fascinating how God uses simple ways!

Posted by Dan Vis on 11/30/17
Glad you like the idea and the button Merilyn. :)
Posted by Merilyn Aveling-Rowe on 11/30/17
Wow I love this too. I love the illustration of Jesus writing in the sand - nothing fancy there. But powerful. I'm thrilled with this idea. It's an "entering wedge" It's sowing the true seed. Somewhere I've read that this work will be done simply and effectively. THANKS for sharing this.    I've always been reluctant to hand out a book - depending on the situation of course - but this is non threatening - simple and allowing the word to preach into the heart - not me!                 
Hey, wheeeeeee, we have a "preview" button now!!
Well done Dan
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/28/17

Glad everyone liked this. I knew I had to post it as soon as I received it in my inbox! If you get a chance, go over to Gotential and give Byard a big thank you for writing it and allowing us to repost!

Interesting idea Sherry, to copy a page of the Bible and circle a verse or two and/or annotate with a question or comment. Who can argue with a photocopy of a page from the Bible?

Posted by Gayle Zacharia on 11/28/17
Wow thats Awesome Dan
Thanks for sharing!
Matt 24 sounds really good.
Posted by Sherry Olson on 11/28/17
I've been wanting to share with a friend of mine that believes in the secret rapture, from Scripture, what God teaches about death and the state of the dead, and his second coming (she also believes the dead go to heaven immediately) how cool that I can copy those Scriptures and ask questions on that paper that may cause her to think. I can also attach a prayer for her that is Scriptures asking for wisdom and truth to be given her. Because if it is anything coming from my church, she is polite, but gives no time to it.
Any thoughts on that?
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 11/28/17

Such power in simplicity, Dan - what a marvelous idea! I am going to try it! Thank you for sharing that story. May this Christmas be the time when someone is touched by the beauty of the Scriptures through this method ... this is my prayer for us all. :-)

Clarris Magadza - another good idea!

Posted by Clarris Magadza on 11/27/17
This is so simple and yet it is filled with so much potential to spread the word far and wide. There are places where one cannot freely walk around with, or distribute bibles...
One could even do the same with the children's sabbath school lessons and distribute, or leave lying around in playgrounds etc
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/27/17
Yep! Lot's of fun ideas Qing. I'm reminded of the Waldenses who watered the seeds for the reformation by memorizing various passages of Scripture and then writing them out by hand for people to read--often at risk to their own lives. But the results were amazing!
Posted by Qing Ling on 11/27/17

I love this idea. So simple. As I read, I thought the writer would talk about repeating bible verses from memory to share a thought with someone, but leaving a physical piece of paper with someone gives them something to take home and chew on further after meeting us because WE may have memorized scripture, but THEY haven't.

Growing up, I kind of thought it would be sacrilege to not keep the bible intact as one whole, but photocopying one page is no different to preparing a bible study handout on a section of the bible. It's weird the ideas we come up with about what we can and can't do with the Holy Word.

I think there are many sections of the Bible we could photocopy/with today's digital bibles, actually select the exact section and print that off as one page.

I thought of proverbs 31, bits of the amazing Esther story, 1 John 5, the wisdom in the book of James. ... Definitely something for everyone:)

Posted by Dan Vis on 11/27/17

Joshua, yes of course. Tracts are great! Our old church made lot's of Glow tracts available and we promoted them heavily. But there is something special about the power of the pure Word of God. Somehow I never really thought of this idea. I'm just suggesting we add some photocopied Scripture to our witnessing toolboxes.

Leslie, what a great idea to connect this idea with the upcoming holiday season. Luke 2 is a brilliant idea. :)

If anyone cares to suggest more passages suitable for this kind of outreach, feel free to offer them in the comments below. I think Psalms might be good, the 10 commandments, the sermon on the mount, etc. Probably lot's of great sections would work...

Posted by Juliette on 11/27/17
Amazing idea! I’m going to try this!
Posted by Leslie Caza on 11/27/17
I'm so thankful for this post. The last few days I have been thinking about giving out Luke 2 or Steps to Christ since its the Christmas season. After reading this, I think I'll go with Luke 2 (not that I think it would be wrong to give out Steps to Christ ~ I gave away one yesterday and the woman was very happy to receive it). But a one page photocopy is very likely to be read and easy to share. When I give out a book or a tract, people are more likely to ask "what religion is this?" and reject it, but this is non denominational and absolutely pure. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful in power and simplicity.
Posted by Ann Lavenburg on 11/27/17
I believe a photocopy is a great idea. Even a phamplet or a tract would be offputting in many situations, a photocopy, rarely. I personally posted lots of such things in the library where I worked before retiring. In fact the last show case I did was on Desmond Doss. And I was able to distribute about 20 copies of the Remnant copy of a sharing book in a public high school. The principal even asked for one. The show case had lots of photocopies. I rejoiced that I was as able to capitalized on a well publicized movie Hacksaw Ridge and thus openly promote the testimony of a very godly individual.   I just pray that someday it bears fruit. Photocopies—a great idea!!
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 11/27/17
This is such a simple but powerful tool to use. I will try it also.
Posted by Joshua Gobna on 11/27/17

It is really fascinating. I will try it. What about sharing of pamphlets and/or tracks?

Thank you.

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