interview with LYN BULLARD
PB: Lyn, if you had to be a fruit, what fruit would you be?
LB: a pear, because its closest to the shape that I am nowPB: hahaha and Lyn do you think pineapples should go on Pizza?
LB: No, definitely not! Because Pineapple is a desert.
PB: Interesting! I like that! Haha. Lyn, thank you very much for taking the time to share with us a little bit about your journey with evangelism. You have a very unique story! How do you think God has got you where you are today?
LB: Well because, right from the word go, from the time I first became a Christian, which was at the age of 18, God seems to have always called me to punch above my weight. And do things more than what I think that I can do. So, for instance for in the area of faith, academics, establishing ministries outside of the box. There’s never been a guaranteed result that God has given me. There’s never been a “well if you do this, then this and this will happen”, it’s always been more just go and do what I tell you. Every time I’ve said yes, despite how impossible it looks, He’s come through.
PB: God has certainly placed His people on your heart, Lyn. What has your journey been with the idea of evangelism?
LB: Largely because for most of my ministry, which has been 45 years now, He’s challenged me to do unconventional things. To reach people who might not ordinarily be reached by the church. For instance, he called me to establish Brisbane City’s Athlete's Church which has reached athletes that would never go to church even if they wanted to because they might compete over the weekend. I’d go into schools and do sports demonstrations because I was into athletics and other sports as well; and then I handed out Christian based bibles. Another time he called me to establish a church in the schoolyards, out at Forbes. The very first day that we started that ministry we had 128 people at the first meeting. And these are people from a low socioeconomic area in Forbes. People who would have largely been rejected by society in general. But they came to this.Other things that I have done that have attracted people outside the church but has seen them enter faith is; again out at Forbes I ran two classes a week called 'Stretch in the Friendship' which was all to do with fitness and health. I'd take people to fitness classes and then give them a recipe for the week for their health. Then we’d also go through the word of the day which was a little bible study at the end of each course of fitness. Other things that I have done in the earlier years of my ministry was 8 years of itinerate evangelism. Over the course of two, 4-year stints, I covered 32 different parishes within the Anglican church, preaching the gospel, but also teaching churches to share the gospel effectively in their own environment and in their own community. And I lived out of a campervan for all that time. Another time God wanted me to establish a café church, in Forbes. I Went to the proprietor who isn’t a Christian, but as soon as I asked her if we could establish a church within her café on a Friday night, she said yes straight away. She said that she thought that this was from God and that she couldn’t say no to it. Then, in fact, she created a menu that would be suitable for people that came in on a Friday night for that café church. So that is what I would call the abundant life of my ministry because nothing has ever been conventional.
PB: That’s awesome.
LB: God has taken me into places where I would never have known what the outcome would be but it’s always been a step by step process. If I kept saying yes to each step, then I’d keep seeing the ministry unfold.
PB: Lyn can you tell us a little bit about the unique church you’ve created with God to allow people to hear about Jesus over the last few years?
LB: Church on the Clarence is a large boat that holds 50 people. God called me to establish this ministry 4 years ago. I was praying about how we could do church differently in the lower Clarence area that I work in; whereby people would feel more at home coming into an environment that didn’t look too much like church. Not only that but the vessel is open to the wider community to do all sorts of things. We’ve had weddings on there, and various organisations throughout the community that have made use of the vessel for tours. Iluka Public School, the whole school has been on the boat for an excursion and their end of year Christmas party. That took 3 consecutive Tuesdays to accomplish. So, it’s good that the whole community knows that this vessel is for them and it’s not just a church, it can be anything that they want it to be. Every time we take it out, it's a message to those looking on; “there goes the church on the Clarence again”. Also, of course, we’ve used it on numerous occasions for church events, men’s breakfasts and in a couple of weeks’ time, the uniting church wants to use it to take their parish out on a worship tour and lunch. So, it can be used for anything from a sporting organisation to a youth ministry training course. My passion particularly is to reach people with mental health issues and use the boat to minister to them. And so far, it’s been quite effective that even if you didn’t say anything to the people on the boat the healing effect of just being out on the water, sometimes for people who are really troubled has been a medicine to them. People have expressed that. I’m praying now for a successor! I’m looking towards retirement, and we need someone to take it up from where I’ve left it!
PB: How can I as a young person where can I start to learn about evangelism, I don’t have a well-established ministry, but I want to help my friends to come to know Jesus?
LB: I actually became a Christian through the witness of someone who is younger than me. They just simply shared their testimony and made every opportunity to spend time with me. I suppose it sounds a little bit cliché but make a friend; be a friend; bring the friend to Christ. That’s what happened. She’s never done an evangelism course or anything like that. But she knew that I was heavily involved in sports, and she knew that I competed all Saturday and throughout the week. She’d invite me to the football on Sunday, and of course, I’d say yes, and bit by bit over the course of the football season, between scrums and tackles, she’d share a little bit about what the Lord was doing in her life and answers to prayer. Eventually, the Holy Spirit convicted me, and just from spending that time with her I went to a Christian bookshop to buy the book on how to become a Christian, and they gave me a little leaflet with a gospel message and a prayer of commitment at the end. So, all you need to do is have your own story of faith ready to tell. How did you come to the Lord? Share that with them. Know your 5 gospel points and weave them into the friendship.They are:
- God loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives
- However, we have cut our selves off from him with our sins
- Jesus died on the cross to take our sins
- He came alive again
- Opened the door to eternal life for us
We can put this framework together of the gospel and put our story too; it’s amazing what the Holy Spirit does just using that. Sharing our faith is not about having all the right answers its more about asking all the right questions Like have you ever had any background of faith and they might say yes, Muslim or could be anything. Have you ever prayed? Do you think prayer works? Questions like that aren’t intimidating, but you’re wanting to get their response. Often, they will start to ask you questions like when have you ever had a prayer answered? Where we have the opportunity to share, so it’s more asking the right questions so that person feels at ease and gives them permission to share where they are at without judgement.
PB: Lyn thank you so very much for sharing with us! It’s been a real privilege to be a little part of your journey, and we’re so thankful for your time. Thanks, Lyn! ◼︎