by Jack Hyles
There are many reasons why we go two by two. It is scriptural. Jesus sent the apostles out two by two. One can encourage the other. There is something about strength in unity. If you don’t believe it, eat at a restaurant by yourself tonight and try to witness to the waitress. Then tomorrow night go with Dr. Rice and me and see how much easier it is.
Another reason of primary importance. Jim Lyons and I were visiting in a home the other day (I’m the pastor and he is my assistant). The fellow took a liking to Jim. I don’t know why but he wouldn’t talk to me. He looked at Jim all the time. I moved around a little closer but still he looked at Jim. I said, “Yes, that’s right”; still he wouldn’t look at me. I wanted to say, “Hey, I’m the pastor; he’s second in command.” He still looked at Jim. That fellow wouldn’t know me if he saw me on the street.
Now, Jim had to talk to him. What am I supposed to do? The one who seemingly has the best inroad should carry the conversation and the partner should keep the road clear for the conversation. That is basically why two ought to go together.
I believe in being spiritual. It is wonderful to praise God, but you have to start where they are instead of where you are. I was out visiting one day with a wonderful Christian fellow. We knocked on the door. He said, “How do you do. My name is Jones (I’ll call him that). Praise the Lord! This is Brother Hyles. Bless His holy name! We are here to tell you about Jesus. Glory to God! Are you saved? Hallelujah!” The man we went to see slammed the door in our faces. You must make them realize if they get what you have, it won’t be so bad. So one makes the inroad while the other keeps the road clear. What do we mean by keeping the road clear? We mean when the baby starts crying, you should change his diaper; when the beans start boiling, you put some water in them or turn the fire off; when the doorbell rings, you answer it; when the children start screaming for water, you get them a drink. If you are not doing the talking, you be quiet until your partner is finished. The one doing the talking should do all the talking. Every now and then somebody says, “Well, that means then one runs out of something to say, the other can say something.” Don’t you go if you are going to run out of something to say. If you can’t present the entire Gospel to a lost soul, you are not ready to go yet. The fellow not doing the talking should keep the way clear. I have played every kind of game there is to play. I have done everything. I have changed many a diaper while out visiting. I have looked in every drawer in the bedroom hunting diapers so I could change a baby. That’s right. I go to a house where there is a baby; the baby starts to cry while my partner is talking to the lost one. “Now, Mrs. Jones, never mind; I have had four little children at my house. I have had babies at my house for ten years and I’ve changed hundreds of diapers. Let me take care of that.” She says, “Oh! Brother Hyles…” “Now, Mrs. Jones, you sit right there and I’ll take care of it.” And I do. I have played soccer. I have played dolls. So many kids have been on my back at one time playing “piggy back” and “ride the horsie” that if my partner hadn’t gotten the soul saved soon, I would have dropped over!
One day I went soul winning with Bob Keyes, who was then my assistant pastor, but who is now pastor of the church Dr. Rice founded in Dallas. Bob was an excellent soul winner and still is. We were out soul winning. I was doing the talking and the lady had a little baby who was acting ugly. About the time the lady was ready to get down to pray, the little boy said, “I want my bottle.” Mama stuck the bottle in his mouth. “I don’t want my bottle.” She took it out. “I wanna bottle.” She stuck it in. “I don’t want my bottle.” Then I prayed, “Lord, do something about this little rascal or he is going to mess up the whole thing.” Do you know, he stopped and looked spellbound, as if he were in a trance. I said to myself, “Well, glory to God!” For about fifteen minutes that little baby didn’t move. He didn’t move his eyes; he just looked. The lady got converted and became one of the greatest Christians in our church. When we left I said to Bob Keyes, “Bob, praise the Lord!”
He said, “Amen! Why?”
“Did you see what God did to that baby?”
He said, “What?”
I said, “All of a sudden, at the crucial time, that baby froze.” Bob said, “Well, I’m sure the Lord had something to do with it, but I may have helped a little because I had a ballpoint pen behind the coffee table going up and down, up and down, up and down. Preacher, I did that fifteen minutes and I’m worn out!”
Now, don’t you think Bob had a part in that soul? Sure he did. Some of you spiritual giants need to know how to change diapers and handle ballpoint pens! You would get more people converted.
One time I was out with a fellow who got to praying for this lady, “Lord, save her! Lord, save her!” while I was trying to witness to her. He was talking louder than I was. Pretty soon he got on his knees and prayed, “Lord, save her!” Then he got on the floor and started beating the floor and saying, “Lord, save her!” I had to say, “Now, friend, I’m sorry but she can’t hear what I’m trying to say. Would you mind going into the other room?” He did and we got her converted. If we are going to beat on the floor, let’s do it at midnight, alone. If we are going to agonize, let’s cry all night alone but not make a public demonstration or show. Do things that are necessary to do. One night Bob Keyes was witnessing to a fellow and the doorbell rang. I said, “Dear friend, you stay right here. I’ll answer the door.” I went to the door. The fellow at the door said, “How do you do. Are you the man of the house?”
I said, “I’m a man of the house.” (I was a man and I was of the house!)
He said, “I have an appointment with you to show you a vacuum cleaner.”
Obviously he had called and had an appointment. I said, “I will be delighted to look at it. Come and we’ll look at it on the front porch.”
I didn’t want the fellow to leave and I didn’t want him to stay, so I saw all of the vacuum cleaner and its parts. We tested the thing out. Finally Bob Keyes said, “Hey, Jack! Come on. I’ve got him saved now.” I said, “Mr. vacuum cleaner man, my name is Hyles. I’m pastor of Miller Road Baptist Church and we just got this man converted. By the way, have you ever become a Christian?” We turned on him and tried to get him converted. Now, if I hadn’t kept that vacuum cleaner salesman occupied, this fellow would never have gotten converted. Keep your eyes open if you are the second party. Keep the way clear. Pave the roads in order for the person doing the witnessing to do the job. That’s the reason basically for going two by two. By the way, Dr. Rice told this morning how you can pray without ceasing. I imagine a fellow can pray and change the baby at the same time, don’t you? We can pray and water the beans or play ball with the kids at the same time.
by Jack Hyles from the book Let’s Go Soulwinning