|April 20, 2017|
Meet Michael Coughlin
Michael and his dear bride, Erin, live in Pickerington, Ohio where they are members of Berean Baptist Church. They have 4 children in the home, 1 outside the home and 3 in Heaven. Erin is a stay at home wife and mother, while Michael works as a ‘computer guy’ at a manufacturing company. Two of Michael’s older children regularly accompany him on evangelistic outreaches, along with 4 or 5 teenagers from his local church. Praise the Lord for the faithfulness displayed by our next generation of Christians!
Born and raised in the Cleveland area, Michael learned about Christianity from the Catholic Church where his family attended. By college age, Michael rejected the religion of his youth when he came to a realization – if God was really angry with him because of his sin, how could saying a few ‘Hail Mary’ prayers, or doing some other human act of penance appease that god, especially when Michael knew in his heart he wasn’t truly sorry for his sins? Michael rightly determined a god like that cannot exist – but threw out the idea of Jesus Christ entirely at that time, too.
Untethered by any form of Christian religion, Michael dove head-first into all that our world offers to fools who love to feed their flesh. His exercise of sin was even repulsive to many people who are not Christian. In sharing a testimony, we never want to draw too much attention to sin, except to point to the perfection and righteousness of the Savior, Jesus Christ. But Michael desires that people know that he really did commit almost every heinous act, and the ones he didn’t commit, he fantasized about. This is so that people who are caught in those sins can know that Jesus can save anyone, and so that Christians who have problems with sin know there is a brother who may understand.
Michael was arrested in 2001 (effectively for drunkenness), and beaten by police to the point where he required 9 staples in his scalp to close the wound. Even this did not lead him to repentance and faith in Christ. Only the Spirit of God can truly change a person, even when personal reform like quitting drinking is found to be successful!
Finally, in 2006, God humbled Michael to the point that he believed Jesus Christ died for his sin and rose again on the third day conquering death. With a poor Bible translation, a weak gospel presentation and a ton of pride, God was still able to cause him to be born-again and start a transformation in his life. Always the type to have to tell everyone what was on his mind, Michael immediately began to tell people about Jesus without fear. Truly motivated by love for others and belief in Christ, he found out shortly afterward that not everyone was happy to hear the gospel. God’s Word comforted him when he realized that Jesus predicted the very reactions he was seeing. It wasn’t very long after being saved that Michael had lost every friend he ever had except a couple guys who also professed Christ.
Michael learned how to do evangelism at church where The Way of the Master was being taught. He participated in a group called Project Ezra, where each week he was encouraged to read Scripture in the open air. Acts 26 was the first chapter he read publicly, in Columbus, Ohio. Upon his dear bride’s encouragement, Michael flew to California to be trained at Living Waters as part of Ambassador’s Academy 13. This is where Michael first street-preached. Here is a link to Michael’s very first open air sermon http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=111012199550
When Michael came down from preaching the first time, he said “I think I found what I want to do with my life.” A combination of God’s gifting, Michael’s natural personality, and a love for God and for souls compels him to preach and to enjoy himself while doing so. Many men have come alongside Michael over the years and given him encouragement, as well as correction to make him a more biblical, compassionate preacher and evangelist. One of Michael’s greatest joys has been seeing a young man from his church open air preach for the first time in March of 2017.
With four children at home, a wife and a full time job, making time to open air preach and evangelize is not always easy, but the family prioritizes gospel ministry, so it happens as frequently as possible. Michael chooses events which attract crowds (like sporting events and concerts) in order to spread God’s gospel to as many as possible, but also tries to do personal evangelism wherever he happens to be, even one to one. God did not call every man to minster on the streets, but to minister at least where they are. Michael believes that providentially, God has made him a missionary to wherever he happens to be. That means he has a mission to evangelize his workplace, his co-laborers in coaching sports, his children’s teachers, the cashier at the grocery store, etc.
Some of the most enjoyable times of ministry have been events such as the Super Bowl outreach where Michael has met many wonderful men and women of the faith and grown in his own personal dedication to evangelism and preaching. Michael also teaches Sunday School, preaches in churches when asked, and writes articles for his own blog as well as guest posts for a few others. His blog can be found at michaelcoughlin.net. You can follow him on twitter at @ABereanOne, but only if you enjoy frequent bad jokes. Finally, Michael is desperate that believers would pray for him. He is nothing apart from the work of Christ’s Spirit in his own life or ministry. Pray that God would humble him and make him useful for the work of the ministry of the gospel of God.
Michael Preaching to the masses
Michael park preaching. He who has ears, let him hear!