Roger Weist, a Hilliard construction superintendent by trade, serves as a street evangelist, ministering to the needs of people at work and others highlighted to him as he goes about daily living. His mission: to let everyone know they are loved by God; he also aims to challenge them.
“There’s a specific type of ministry for each individual and God has tailored his plan around our personalities and our intellect and even our willingness,” Weist shares. Roger, just a ‘real; guy, not a professional speaker, rarely shares within the four walls of a church. His mission field is here and now in the streets of Central Ohio. Weist focuses on evangelism from what he calls a neo-puritanism combined with apologetics. His influences include David Wilkerson, Paul Washer and Leonard Ravenhill. His pension for science drew him to apologetics, described by Wikipedia as ‘from the Greek, speaking in defense; the discipline of defending a position (often religious) throughout the systematic use of information. C.S. Lewis, author of the Narnia series and many other books, served a a leader in the study of Apologetics with his well-known book, “Mere Christianity.”
While raised in the church, Weist fell into rebellion, drugs and alcohol. “I was actually saved three and a half years ago by a miraculous move of the Holy Spirit. God decided it was time I started serving Him and stop serving the god of myself,” Weist explains. “If the implications of faith were true, then I had to devote everything to it –it’s either all or nothing. It’s either full power or its going backward.
Every day since Weist listens, discovers, studies and follows the leading of the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel at work, and others he encounters on the streets, or at a gas pump. Weist shared a unique story of his return to the Lord, involving his wife Jeanne. Jeanne felt the Lord highlighted Roger as her future spouse. They talked for over a year on the phone. Roger states that Jeanne was a practicing Christian, and it was typical for someone like her to spend time with a rough, occasionally foul-mouthed, non-church going construction worker. "You don't typically go with someone in hopes of converting them," Weist shares. "She never tried to convert me." Right before their wedding, Roger experienced the Lord in an unusual manner. "God just knocked me on the floor when I was getting ready. He told me this was his daughter and if I was going to make this commitment, it was a life long commitment to her and her three sons, and God in no certain terms warned me of what was going to happen if I abused this situation." After this experience, Weist went to church and has been attending regularly ever since. He and his wife Jeanne attend Radiant Life Church in Dublin, and now have six children.
This experience brought Roger back to the Lord, and he's been serving ever since. He wanted to clarify that he did not believe God regularly speaks to women, telling them to marry unchurched men. He rejoices in the fact that his wife choose to do it, but wanted to clarify, he didn't believe this to be a common experience, and didn't want to encourage people to make such a decision willy-nilly unless they truly felt it was the leading of the Holy Spirit. In addition to his evangelism, he also serves in the church helping widows, single mothers with construction projects, plumbing, flooring -- whatever the need that arises. Weist also considers foreign missions a possibility for the future. "I love the prospect of foreign missions, but God has laid it on my heart that this is a mission field in Central Ohio," Weist adds.
Roger speaks Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 7 pm at Marysville Aglow at Running for My Life Ministries, 122 N. Court St., Marysville, OH at his first formal speaking engagement within four walls, and not out on the streets. "I'm going to speak on practical evangelism, and how to use apologetics to do this," he says. This is a non-denominational event open to all.