Shawn Brann assisted the sports chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys and was the Dean of Students at The King’s University. But he left it all in order to become a missionary in Zürich, Switzerland. He started Ignite Europe. Today we talk about what God is doing in Europe and you will hear about an innovative evangelism method using flowers.
Learn More About Ignite Europe: https://igniteeurope.com/
Buy Shawn Brann’s book Go & Tell:
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast. I’m Daniel King. I’m excited about telling people about Jesus today. I have a very special guest, Sean Bran, and he is the author of Go And Tell. It’s a book about evangelism, and he is a missionary in Zurich, Switzerland. Thank you for being on the Evangelism Podcast,
Shawn Brann (00:20):
My honor to be here. I’m so glad to be part of this podcast.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:24):
So let’s just start out at the beginning of how you ended up in Zurich. Yes. Talk to me about how God got you There.
Shawn Brann (00:32):
Absolutely. So before I moved to Zurich six years ago, I was working at the Kings University at Gateway Church as a dean, the dean of students. And my wife kept telling me over and over that God was calling us to Europe to evangelize. And over and over I kept telling my wife, No way. I didn’t, I didn’t really fill the call to Europe. It wasn’t on my heart. It wasn’t burning on my heart to move to Europe. But over time, the Lord started making it very, very, very clear that this was what he wanted us to do. And so six years ago my wife and I took the step of faith. We gave away our cars, sold everything we own, bought one way tickets to Switzerland, and flew to Switzerland and said, Okay, let’s do this. And that’s where we’ve been for six years.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:14):
And in some ways, Europe has a very rich history of Christianity. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, but in other ways it is really territory that is very unreached and there’s lots of challenges there. Yeah. So what are some of the greatest challenges of ministering in Europe?
Shawn Brann (01:32):
Yeah, so I can for sure speak about Switzerland, and we’ve been all over Europe as well. But what you find is people generally think that the church is something that’s archaic. It’s old, it’s, it’s, it’s not updated. It’s not relevant for today. And so when you start talking about the Bible, it’s almost like telling someone about a Shakespeare play and, and saying, Okay, turn to play number four on the seventh page. And they look at you like, What are you talking about? Like, Shakespeare is long gone and dead. And you see that oftentimes in, in Europe and especially in in Switzerland, you, when you talk about the Bible, people look at you like you’re crazy. And so they just need to know that Jesus is alive. The Bible is for today. And whenever you just share the simple message of the gospel of Jesus, lives are changed. And that’s what we do.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:25):
You told me about an innovative idea that God gave you for reaching your village and telling people about Jesus. Tell me about that.
Shawn Brann (02:33):
Yeah, so when my wife and I first moved to Switzerland, we were there for about two weeks, and I obviously was there to evangelize. And so I went to the main station and the main train station, and I started to evangelize this guy and he thought I was crazy. And he scooted over like 10 foot from me. And so I go back, obviously the conversation was over. I go back to my wife and I said, Babe, pack your bags. We’re moving back to Texas. And I just kind of licked my wounds for a couple weeks. Like, Oh, what am I doing in Switzerland? What am I doing in Europe? Well, two weeks later, I decided, I’m gonna try this again. So I go on this, on the streets, actually, I go to the train station that was selling the tickets in the ticket box area, and I start telling this person about Jesus.
Shawn Brann (03:17):
And again, it just wasn’t connecting as hard as I was trying, nothing was happening. And again, I’m driving home just feeling defeated. But having this passion to share the gospel, not only to people in Zurich, but really to my village, my little town of 600 homes. And I got home and I was just, I just was so discouraged. I said, Jesus what can I do? And in my prayer time, one of the things the Lord told me that night, he said, Sean, I want you to be a voice, not an echo. You’re copying people. And you know, when you go to like the Louv in Paris, you, you go to see them on Lisa, and it is worth $300. But when you go outside, they have all these copies of the Mona Lisa that are $1. And the Lord was just saying, You know, I I, I don’t want you to be a cheap copy.
Shawn Brann (04:05):
I want you to do what I’ve called you to do. And I said, Well, Jesus, what do you want me to do? And so the next morning I woke up and the Lord reminded me that when we first moved to Switzerland, someone gave us a bag of vegetables, and they put them on our front porch, didn’t ring the doorbell, didn’t knock, just left them there. And I asked my neighbors, Why did they do that? And my neighbor said, Well, that’s a sign of affection that, that they care for you. This is how they showed that they’re glad you’re in the neighborhood. And and then all of a sudden the Lord told me, I said, Sean, I want you to give everyone in your town a flower. I thought a flower, Are you kidding? I’m from Texas, you know, like, I, like, I’m going to Switzerland.
Shawn Brann (04:45):
I want to be bunky, you know, not, not a flower evangelist. You know, like, what is this? I’m from Texas. You wish me carry guns. No. So I said, Are you kidding me, Lord? And he said, No, this is what I want you to do. And I’ve learned that God has created us to create, we are creative to create. He’s a creative God. He gives us creative ideas to get his gospel out. And so I said, Okay, Jesus, if this is what you want. And so we bought these really nice flowers around 15 US dollars per flower, The the whole, the whole thing. And in the flower we put a card that said, just as a seed goes in the ground and dies and rose again to this beautiful flower. So Jesus came to the earth, died, went in the ground and rose again for you to have eternal life.
Shawn Brann (05:30):
And then we had a website link on the bottom that says, If you want to know more, go to this website. And we went to our village and we just sat ’em on everyone’s front porch. We had some really cool divine connections where we were able to pray for people to get healed. And that was really neat. But generally speaking, 600 of the flowers really were just sat on the people’s doorsteps right outside their front door. And what happened was amazing, within 24 hours for every 100 flowers, we put out 300 people in the village, went on the website and read the gospel message. And it was amazing. Like my heart, my desire was to share, share the message of Jesus. And it wasn’t the way I ever would’ve expected I ever would’ve done, but it’s what the Lord had us to do. And so we did that for all 600 homes, shared the gospel, Everyone got to read or hear or had a chance to hear the gospel of Jesus. And now there’s a village beside us that’s over 15,000 homes that were, we’re now doing this thing called the Seed Project to those homes.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:36):
And so you’ve heard of Holy Spirit power. Well, this is flower power with the Holy Spirit. Yes. And, and so people re they look at the, the website and you’re able to track that.
Shawn Brann (06:47):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:48):
Having a, a tremendous impact. That that’s amazing. Now, you wrote this book, it’s called Go And Tell, and it’s very innovative how you wrote it, because you, you went through the, the last 2000 years of church history and every century you pulled out a story in order to emphasize a little lesson Yes. On evangelism. Yes. Okay. So tell me some of your favorite stories,
Shawn Brann (07:16):
Facebook. Well, what started was, I was reading the, the gospels and Mark, Jesus said, Go into all the world and preach the gospel. And the Greek word for go is Pru. And Pru obviously means to go, but it, it’s also transfer. And it’s, and it’s a word that would be used whenever, like a runner’s transferring a baton, a runner’s baton to another runner. And so generally speaking, when Jesus was talking to these disciples and he looked at them and he said, Go into all the world, It wasn’t just, Hey, go, go, go. It was Jesus saying, I’m giving you a baton, like I’m now all authority and heaven and earth is being given to you. I am with you always to the end of end of the age. So God, Jesus was given us this baton to run with, and that baton has been, message has been passed down through all the centuries to where we are today.
Shawn Brann (08:07):
And so yeah. So I go through every Century 21 centuries, and I highlight a story and, and a need for evangelism, and then countering an excuse. So for example, you know, we say the Great Commission the, the early believers, they received the baton. And I talk about the Holy Spirit. It’s called the Great Commission. But if you really look at us, the Great Commission, it’s us doing ministry together with the Holy Spirit. And we can’t evangelize without the Holy Spirit working with us, doing it with us together. And so to be an effective gospel bringer, effective runner of the gospel baton, an effective deliverer, we must be men and women full of the Holy Spirit and fire. And you know, you look at the life of Peter, he, he couldn’t evangelize to, to three people around a fire when Jesus was being crucified.
Shawn Brann (09:01):
And yet, we read a few pages later, and he’s standing in front of crowds preaching the gospel. Well, what was the difference? It was the Holy Spirit living in him, equipping him, filling him, filling him up. And people say, Well, I don’t feel comfortable sharing the gospel. And as you and I both know, you know the Holy Spirit is a comforter. And so the, the second chapter here in the, in the first century, I believers, the very first thing they did was they were filled with the Holy Spirit and he comforts you and he goes with you. And so I go through all these different stories. Creativity is one. When the first bubonic plague hit the world the in, in, I think it was five, the five hundreds, the, generally speaking, the pastors and the leaders, they, they were afraid and closed the church doors.
Shawn Brann (09:48):
But it was the ordinary men and women who took the gospel out in, into the, the into Europe with creative ideas. And so God will give us creative ideas to share the gospel. And we all have giftings and talents that are needed and, and, and creativity that is needed. And, and God has given you these abilities to share the gospel that could be writing a poem and you put it on social media, you know, that that’s maybe the way God wants you to share the gospel. And so yeah. So we just go through, Yeah. 21 Centuries of Church History. It’s a, it’s a fun read. I think you’ll like it.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:25):
So the book is Go and Tell by Sean Bran. And I really like your metaphor of passing the baton down. Yeah. My pastor Billy Joe Doherty, he once had a vision where he saw that a race track, he saw that we were in a race and Jesus took the baton, passed it to the first generation of disciples. Wow. Peter, James, and John. And then they passed it on to the next generation, you know, Irans and Telian, and yes, those great men have gotten in. So from century to century it’s been passed down to, to Martin Luther and now coming down to us and the, the baton has been passed to us. Yes. And we’re running. And then he saw in his vision that we are close to the finish line, and that we’re actually in the last lap of this marathon that the church has been running for Yes.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:19):
For 2000 years now. And he saw that Jesus is coming soon and we need to make every single second count for God. And, and then the vision zoomed out. And he saw that surrounding the racetrack is a stadium. Yes. With all the saints who have died in gone to heaven. And he said that all of these saints, all these great men and women of God know Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Peter, James and John, and all these great heroes of the faith like you write in your book about Saint Patrick, and you know, these great evangelists that have gone out into the world. And he said they, they weren’t sitting in their seats. They were standing up on their feet and they were clapping and applauding and say, Go run faster. Jesus is coming soon. This is the greatest hour of evangelists. And and if you think about it, we have so many opportunities here today to evangelize that people in centuries past never had there’s actually more people alive today than have ever been alive all throughout history.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (12:25):
And there’s actually more Christians in the church alive today Wow. Than if you add up over the last 2000 years. And so, so the, the church triumphant is actually smaller than the church militant here on Earth. Wow. And so that means that the greatest harvest of souls in history will happen in just the next few years. And we have the privilege of of being a part of that. And heaven is on its feet. Heaven is cheering for us and watching and saying, You’re, you’re, this is the greatest Come on of church history. Come on. You’re gonna see thousands and millions of people come into the kingdom of God. And I, and I think that’s true.
Shawn Brann (13:06):
So good. I I’m like on fire right now because Absolutely. Yes. if you could grab the, the curtains of eternity and just pull it back as, as the writer of Hebrew says, We are surrounded by this great cloud of witnesses and, and the, the Greek word cloud as the word that was used for like the nose bleed, bleacher seats of the, of the stadiums. And they’re standing there going run, run, run. And many of these people you’ll read about in this book, but many of these people, they died as a martyr. They gave their lives, they laid their life down for Jesus like they were killed because they told their neighbor or their friend about Jesus, and they’re in heaven. And they’re saying, Run, run, run. And the baton is now in our hands, the, the, the subtitles, This is your moment to run because this is your moment in history.
Shawn Brann (13:55):
This is it. And all of heaven is saying, Run, run, run, run, run. I went to a professional baseball game and it was the New York Yankees were playing the Texas Rangers. It was the first time the Rangers went to the, the World Series and it was the final game before the World Series. And the, the Rangers had played this great game all the way up to the ninth inning, and they bring in their, their closing pitcher. And I remember we all got on our feet and we were cheering cuz I was a Ranger fan and we was in Texas. I was cheering go Rangers. And this closer, he wound up through it, struck out Alex Rodriguez, the baseball player for the Yankees. And the stadium went crazy. And I was reminded about where we are in the timeline of world history, that we are closers, that we are on the final stretch.
Shawn Brann (14:42):
And they’re all saying, what? And it’s not about, it’s not about us. It it’s not like our generation is greater than any other generation. We just happen to have the privilege to have the baton in our hand, the ball in our hand when the game is coming to an end, the standing ovation. And one day we’re gonna stand before Jesus. And, and with all of our brothers and sisters who went on before us and let it be set of us that we ran, that we grabbed that gospel baton and that we, man, we gave, we gave it our very, very best because these men and women were not martyred for us to just have big churches and big social media channels. They were martyred. They lived their lives for the gospel so that we would push it through the, the finish line with the, with the good news of Jesus. And what an incredible time in world history to be alive. Amen. We, we are, we are, we are blessed. We are a generation. David Livingston installed in the future, this blessed generation who’s gonna reap this in time harvesting, I believe we’re that. I believe we’re that, that that generation. And man, what an honor, and I would just say run. And you’re running so hard, Daniel, we respect you and honor you for what you’re doing.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:59):
Well, if someone wants to know more about your ministry or to, to find the book, what is your website? What’s a good way for
Shawn Brann (16:07):
Someone to Yeah. The website is called igniteeurope.com. Or for the book, go and tell Go and tell.online. And you can buy it if you’re in the US at Walmart, Target Amazon, Barnes and Noble. If you’re in other places, maybe in Europe, you can go to Book Depository, You can go to any bookstore and and buy it. It’s in, in pretty much most bookstores around the world. So. Awesome.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:32):
Yeah. Well thank you so much for being on the Evangelism podcast. I appreciate it.
Shawn Brann (16:36):
My honor. Thank you, Daniel. God bless you all.
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