Two desperate pioneer hunters were attempting to kill as much game as possible - preferably deer - to feed their starving families. One cold early morning, moving as quietly as possible, they approached a clearing about 75 yards away. To their amazement, they spotted nearly two-dozen deer. Each man carried a gun - one had a Winchester repeating rifle and the other a Browning 12-gauge shotgun. Since they knew from experience that they would likely have only one shot before the deer would bolt and scatter, the question instantly arose in their minds - "Which gun should we use?"
The man with the Browning shotgun whispered, "Let's use my shotgun. That way we can easily hit three or four of the deer in the clearing!"
The other men replied, "Yes, we might hit several, but we probably won't bring any down, and they may all end up escaping in the woods. We’d better use my rifle!"
"We may kill one if we use your rifle” replied the first man, “but all the others will surely get away!"
Which gun should they use? To experienced hunters the answer is obvious - THE RIFLE. After all, what good is it to hit several deer in the herd if you do not bring down a single one to eat? Although the rifle may bring down only one, it is far better than none at all. And hopefully there will be another day to hunt the remaining deer.
This story serves to help us to understand the most effective way of winning souls to Jesus Christ. Although most Christians are genuinely eager to wins the lost to the Lord, they frequently resort to the “shotgun” approach. Instead of narrowing their “sights" on one individual at a time, they attempt to win a multitude via vague conversations, harried invitations and generally unorganized efforts. While their intentions are noble, they rarely meet with much success.
On the other hand, those that typically experience the greatest triumphs soul winning primarily concentrate on one soul at a time. They thoughtfully select a relative, friend or associate and immediately begin devoting fervent prayer and sustained effort to bringing this individual to Jesus Christ! They determine their needs or interests, specifically invite them to certain church services or activities, and remain in constant contact. And they specifically mention their “targeted” soul in virtually every prayer! Although the multitude may appear to be "getting away", individual precious souls - one by one - are won to Jesus!
So put up your shotgun and pick up your rifle. Try to select one person in particular and devote your time, energy, and prayers to him or her. Don't quit trying until they either submit to Jesus or move “out of range”. Through your determined, persistent efforts you will likely bring numerous souls to Jesus and Heaven!
"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses ONE of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the ONE which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found IT, he lays IT on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found MY SHEEP which was lost!' I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over ONE SINNER who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:4-7)
Jesus, always Jesus!