When Steve and Connie Johnson started to consider Christian missionary work, they looked at the Bible to see how it was done.
The outreach of Jesus Christ, and the Apostles, has taught the couple to go out and proclaim the Gospel in streets, market places, parks, colleges, or where people gather.
"This is what we are supposed to do, Biblically," Steve Johnson said.
The Bettendorf couple are full-time Christian missionaries in the Quad-Cities, and beyond. They sat down one day to discuss their faith for the "Faces of Faith" series.
Q: Tell us about yourselves?
A: Connie, 60, and Steve Johnson, 62, live in Bettendorf and have three adult children, two sons and one daughter. There are seven grandchildren.
Connie also owns Select Travel Services, and Steve Johnson works part-time as a pharmacist.
Q: Were you raised as a Christian missionary?
A: The couple both came from mainstream religions; Connie's family was Catholic, and Steve's was Lutheran.
"Both of us came to realize that religion does not save us, only Jesus does," Steve said. "If we receive him and are saved, we become children of God. God does not want just a part of us, he wants us all."
Q: How do you feel about your approach to faith?
A: The Johnsons said they have been born again, spiritually. "We are compelled to know God and make him known," Steve Johnson said.
"Our message is not our own, but that of God's word in the Bible," Connie Johnson said. "Even though we share the truth in love, there is still much resistance and hatred against God's word.
"There can only be one truth, and Jesus said he was the only way, the only truth and the only life," Steve Johnson said. "Jesus describes those who are saved as the few who enter through the narrow gate. Yes it is narrow, but it is available to all."
Q: How long have you practiced your faith?
A: Connie, 36 years and Steve Johnson, 32 years.
Q: Where do you attend church in the Quad-Cites?
A: First Baptist Church, Bettendorf.
Q: Who started you in practicing your faith?
Connie was raised Catholic, and attended church and Sunday school. But, one day, she saw a TV preacher, in the way of the Rev. Billy Graham, "and I got saved right there in our front room," she said.
Steve Johnson, on the other hand, was going to a church but realized if God was real, he should be the most important thing in his life, and that was not so. Through reading the Bible and listening to a Gospel presentation on television, he was also saved in the living room of the Johnson home.
Q: Looking forward, what about growing in your approach to faith?
A: As street evangelists, the Johnsons are able to proclaim the Gospel. "We don't expect people to come to church, we go to where the people are and share the word of the Bible, like college campuses and coffee shops," Steve Johnson said.
"We have a burning desire to make Him known," he said.
The Johnsons often use a large sketch board to communicate their message. As Connie said, it's inviting, interactive and non-threatening to listeners.
Some of the venues they went to this year included outreach at the Freight House Farmers Market, a church booth at the Fourth of July Festival in Bettendorf, hosting two mission groups, and leading the church in a week-long Vacation Bible School in local parks and housing projects, visiting men's shelters, elderly care facilities and local schools and colleges.
They teach evangelism to groups, proclaim the Gospel and lead teams around the Quad-Cities, and in the United States.