Today’s post is the last in our series entitled “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Evangelists” by Ministry Council member Rob Wolgemuth. Read the introduction here, Habit #1 here, Habit #2 here, Habit #3 here, Habit #4 here, Habit #5 here, and Habit #6 here.
Habit #7: Practice good works.
Neither Whitefield or Moody viewed preaching as their only area of Christian calling. Whitefield felt a strong calling to start an orphanage in the colony of Georgia, and then put significant time and effort into raising funds to operate it. He also brought (as part of his entourage) a couple of orphans with him from England.
Additionally, Whitefield had a strong ministry to slaves in the southern colonies. At his funeral it was said that he did more to convert the 18th century slave in the American south than any man ever before him (I learned this in Dr. John Piper’s sermon on Whitefield, “I will not be a velvet-mouthed preacher.” Dallimore records that a spiritually convicted Whitefield also visited, read and prayed “constantly” with prisoners in England and made efforts to improve their horrid living conditions as well (pg. 84). He also visited the sick at least once a day and read to the poor at least once a week.
Moody ministered in the roughest, most depressed (or as Torrey termed it, “evil”) parts of inner city Chicago, before he received the call to be an evangelist—including, starting an inner city Sunday School class which went from zero to many attendees in a short period of time. Most of the attendees were from such depressed financial conditions they didn’t even have shoes on their feet. Many of those he ministered to during this period were minorities and some were of “Arab” decent (The life and work of D.L. Moody by the Rev. J. W. Chapman, Chapter 6).
Both men cared deeply of the “least of these.” They cared with a pastor’s heart for those who had been neglected and even shunned by others.