Mike Barko recounts his week of Gospel-sharing experiences. He highlights Wednesday's session in front of the courthouse, Thursday's efforts at J.M.U., and Friday's collaborative efforts with Paul Collins on route 33. Mike underscores the concept of repentance as a change of mind and emphasizes how sharing the Gospel often involves not just convincing people to make a decision, but truly transforming their perspectives. He narrates compelling interactions with individuals like Sam and Jarrett, where the Holy Spirit works to change their thinking and understanding. Mike includes video testimonies from Jarrett that beautifully illustrate the transformative power of the Gospel. The post concludes with gratitude for support and a reminder of God's faithful work.


Mike Barko

4/22/20235 min read

On Wednesday, Karen and I shared the Gospel in front of the courthouse. On Thursday, we shared at J.M.U. On Friday, Paul Collins shared at J.M.U., and then came out and helped me finish holding the cross on route 33. So many honks, waves and smiles! Thank you Paul and Karen!


Things were pretty slow on Wednesday. Then, right before we left, eleven young ladies showed up. They were all residents in a halfway house in Harrisonburg. If memory serves me correctly, this was the largest group I have shared with downtown.

All listened attentively and answered questions along the way. All understood the Gospel (in the limited time we have and also with such a large group) and agreed to pray with me, placing all of their faith in Christ alone.



We tell people to repent. Repent in the Greek is METANOIA. META...change NOIA...mind

Thus, to truly repent is to...CHANGE YOUR MIND.

This is what I have noticed in all my years of sharing the Gospel. Sometimes we focus on 'getting people to make a decision'.

This can create pressure not only for the person we are sharing with but also for the evangelist.

Not only does it put pressure on both parties, but I don't believe that it accurately portrays the word REPENT.

It is not simply that the person 'changes their mind' and makes a decision to follow Jesus. In other words, they were going in one direction, saw the light, and decided to go in the other direction. (Yes, this can happen, but it is much more than this.)

No, I really believe thatGod actually gives the person a new mind. The Spirit of God changes the way a person is thinking and they begin to think differently. As a result of this, they begin walking in a new direction.

Now, obviously, this can happen suddenly (Paul on the Damascus Road), or, over a process of time. It can be both...God is still renewing our minds. But the point isGod actually gives us a new mind. We begin to think differently and accordingly we act differently.

I witness this as I share the Gospel with people. There are certain truths that I want people to see. Once they see one truth, we move on to the next. Methodically, systematically, we are changing the way they look at things.

We want their minds to change.

Most people think that their goodness will save them. Thus, they don't need to rely upon a Savior.

Sam initially thought that he was a good person. We go through all of the ten commandments to show them that they are not good.

'No one is good, but God alone.' (Luke 18:19)

Most people at this point admit to not being good and understand that they would be guilty. We then show them the penalty.

The penalty for sin is 'spiritual' death. (Rom. 6:23)

To find out if the truth is really sinking in, in other words...Is their mind being changed?...

We ask them...

'So now how sure are you that you would go to Heaven?'

At this point, Sam told me...

'I am still 90% sure that I would go to Heaven.'

Obviously, the truth is not sinking in. His mind is not being changed. We want people to be honest and not just give us the right answer.

So I asked him why?

'Most of my days are good.'

If I get a speeding ticket, and tell the judge that most of my days (364 to be exact) were good, would he let me go?

When he saw the insufficiency of this argument, he came back with a different one...

'I'll do better'

So, if you tell the judge that, what is he going to say?

'Pay the fine'.

When Sam saw the inadequacy of these two answers, he came back with...

'I'll change' (Sam knows there needs to be a 'change' but how?)

'I'll Change' does not pay the fine.

What pays the fine? God does in the person of His Son...God the Son.

Sam needed his mind changed to the point where he could rely upon God the Son to save him instead of himself...Give up on Sam...and fall upon Jesus! This took awhile, but we got to the point where it seemed that Sam really understood the Gospel.

Sam wanted to trust in Christ alone and prayed with me...

'He changed my way of thinking. Now I have faith and trust in God and not myself....100%...(My heart is filled with love)...He came into my heart.'

His prayer to God at the end...

'Thank you for everything...I've changed...even if it's just a short period of time...I surrender so this can continue.'

He thanked me several times. I really sensed a change in Sam. God knows.



Like Sam, it took some time for Jarrett. Again, we are working with the Holy Spirit as He changes the mind of the person with whom we are sharing. Sometimes the longer it takes, the better.

Jarrett is in the ROTC program. Like most people, he initially said that he was a 'good person'.

There was a distinct point during our presentation that it seemed like the light came on for him. At this point, he saw that it had been all about 'I' and not 'Christ'. I think he might even have mentioned that...

'I can't believe how selfish I am.' (Me too too.)

Here was a distinct 'change of mind.' I cannot do this. I can ask certain questions to lead them to this point, but the Holy Spirit must give them this 'Aha' moment.

Like Sam, Jarrett came to understand that Jesus is God. I have them read John 1:1,14 out loud several times until, prayerfully, the light goes on. Sometimes when they see it, they get really excited. Again, this is another 'change of mind'.

People need to think differently...

1) I am not good and cannot save myself.
2) Jesus is God in the flesh who paid my penalty in full with His death and resurrection.
3) I am going to rely upon Him alone to save me.

Jarrett wanted to trust in Christ alone and prayed with me. I then asked him if God did anything for him...

Jarrett: 'Absolutely. I think He put you here outside of the dining hall to reach out to me how important it is as a soldier serving for my country and also as a sacrifice for my be willing like God to put my life on the line for my country and ultimately to be willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for Him. He made me 100% sure that I am going to Heaven and why I am doing this (being a soldier). He put it into perspective to not get too deep. The last couple of years I have dealt with a lot of anger...I didn't have a why?..(why am I being a soldier)...I'm selfish...I was my Savior. My realization today...God is my ultimate Savior. I can put my trust in God for these things. I can be content about what I'm doing. I know at the end of the day, if I have to pay the ultimate sacrifice, I will have eternal life with God.'

HERE IS A FIVE MINUTE VIDEO TESTIMONY OF JARRETT....(I think you will really enjoy this...He lost his train of thought so we did two)...


(I think you will really enjoy this...He lost his train of thought so we did two)

God is faithful. He is the Savior. Let's continue to rely upon Him to do all things that we are not able to do.

Thank you for your continued support!

Soli Deo Gloria!