Austin pastor: Everyone can go and tell ‘blessed message’

NASHVILLE, Tenn.?Austin’s Michael Lewis called on Southern Baptists gathered for the SBC annual meeting to mobilize in faith to share a “blessed message” with a dying culture.

Lewis, pastor of Great Hills Baptist Church, preached during one of several “Everyone Can!” challenge sermons that led up to the launch of the “Everyone Can!” evangelism campaign to baptize 1 million new believers in the next year.

Before his sermon, Lewis’ wife, Lilliana, a fluent Spanish speaker, prayed in Spanish and then English.

Lewis preached from 2 Kings 7 the story of the four lepers who found food after a famine and were then burdened to share the good news of God’s deliverance to the rest of the city.

Amid their misery, the men asked themselves, “Shall we sit here until we die?”

“That’s a wise question in light of their city’s soon destruction,” Lewis noted. “In the next hour as I preach this message, 7,000 people will die. That’s 87 every minute. ? That’s an important question for us tonight as Southern Baptists: ‘Shall we sit here until we die?'”

Lewis explained annual baptisms grew from 100,000 among Southern Baptists in 1900 to around 400,000 in 1962. Since then, baptisms have plateaued.

In 1900 it took 21 people to bring one person to saving faith; today it takes 43 believers to reach one new convert.

“The goal is to witness to, win and baptize a million people in the next year. The response is, ‘Everyone can, and I’m it. You’re it.'”

“In my home city of Austin, people are lot more eager to hear than we are to share,” Lewis said. “Billy Graham has said that God is a lot more interested in apathy in the church than the iniquity of the world.”

Lewis told of a Muslim man who had become a Christian because someone in his church used a gospel tract to witness to him.

“It’s amazing what God can do when you share,” Lewis said, adding that 89 percent of Gallup Poll respondents said they are “intensely interested in spiritual matters.”

Lewis said the gate where the lepers were gathered was a place of decision where they put their faith in God.

TEXAN Correspondent
Jerry Pierce
Most Read

What does a special-needs family experience when they visit your church?

Editor’s note: The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention has designated July 14 as Disability Ministry Sunday. We walked up to the registration area for the children’s classes one Sunday at the church we were visiting in …

Stay informed on the news that matters most.

Stay connected to quality news affecting the lives of southern baptists in Texas and worldwide. Get Texan news delivered straight to your home and digital device.