Engage teams spark revival in Texas churches

During the inaugural summer of the SBTC’s Engage student-led revival ministry, some 170 decisions were made as two student teams traveled to nine churches to lead revival services, evangelism training and outreach.

“Since the revival our attendance and spirit have been more positive. Our youth have been more dedicated to church and to the Lord. We needed this revival,” David Brumbelow said.

Brumbelow serves as pastor at Northside Baptist Church in Highlands, a small church with an average Sunday morning attendance of 50 people. Northside Baptist Church has held revival services before, but prior to the Engage team coming the church had not had a youth-led revival.

Long before Brumbelow heard about Engage, he had thought the church needed to bring in a young preacher to lead a youth-led revival. He began to pray and during the first part of the year he received the mail-out describing the student-led revival teams that would be available to serve in churches across Texas in the summer.

“I’m a big believer in local church revivals, and the Lord confirmed in my heart that this is what we needed and had been looking for,” Brumbelow said.

In the weeks leading up to the revival services Brumbelow publicized the event to the community and to the church. A special time of prayer was held for the revival and a mail-out detailing the events was sent to members and visitors.

“This revival is the most important thing in your life ? and for the entire family [not just the] youth,” he told his congregation. Although students were leading the revival, Brumbelow wanted the entire congregation to participate and be involved?especially in the evangelism efforts in the community.

With as many as 60 people in attendance during the evening revival services, two decisions to receive Christ were made, and two more made decisions to be baptized the Sunday following the revival.

Visitors who came to the revival have continued to attend the church, and decisions for Christ continue to occur in the church?many can be linked back to the heart-stir they received at the revival.

“An army is rising to truly reach Texas and beyond ? I have talked to pastors following their revival who continue to tell me of others who have accepted Christ following the revival,” said Matt Hubbard, the SBTC’s Engage coordinator.

In addition to leading evening revival services the Engage team taught the youth how to share the gospel, and then took them into their community to do it.

“We trained [the youth] how to share the gospel, and how to follow up, [then we] took them to the mall, laundromats, door to door, or wherever they saw a need,” Kody Wetzold said. Wetzold, a Criswell College student, served as the youth and children’s leader on an Engage team.

Using the “One-Verse Evangelism” technique from Romans 6:23, Southwestern Seminary student Chris Teer said he watched the youth transition from having never shared their faith to becoming bold witnesses in their communities.

“They realized how easy it is to share their faith ? and through the experience their relationship with Christ has grown deeper,” he said.

Sharing the renewed passion for evangelism and sharing their faith, “Adults are saying, ‘I’ve never done this before, but now I’m going to,” Hubbard said.

Marcos Ramos, pastor of First Baptist of Galena Park, said the church decided to hold the Engage revival when the church would normally hold VBS. Services were translated into Spanish, allowing the entire congregation to attend. The youth continue to share their faith in the community and eight people have expressed their desire to be baptized, he said.

After the great response to the revival, “People are excited about sharing their faith ? we have applied to have an Engage team come again, next year,” Ramos said.

Ramos gladly shares with other area pastors how Engage impacted his church and encourages them to consider hosting a team next year.

Brumbelow said he also is excited about the potential of Engage: “I would recommend the SBTC Engage revival team to any church. We certainly plan on having another Engage revival in the future,” he said.

Rix Tillman, pastor of Exciting Immanuel Baptist Church in El Paso, said the evangelism training the church received connected well with the existing evangelism strategy in the church. “[Engage] is a great idea. I want to applaud the SBTC and [encourage them to] keep it up,” Tillman said.

Engage team preacher and team leader Lance Wendling of Criswell College said this summer not only confirmed in his heart a calling to be an evangelist, it provided the Engage teams with an opportunity to train and equip people to reach their community for Christ. “Engage teams ? through God’s spirit can come ignite the church [to] to be his hands and feet to a lost world,” Wendling said.

“Our goal is to help re-ignite a passion for evangelism in our state ? even after the teams have left, evangelism efforts are continuing at the churches who held the Engage revivals,” Hubbard said. “We would love to have teams come to your church. We are excited to see what God is going to do through the churches [who host an Engage revival].”

In addition to Wendling, Teer and Wetzold, other teams members were Billy Moore of Southwestern Seminary and Garrett McGraw of Cooper High School.

Hubbard said high school students such as McGraw typically will not be eligible to participate, but because of McGraw’s age?he’s 18?and maturity, he was allowed to participate.

Churches interested in holding an Engage revival or students wanting to be a part of next year’s teams may contact Hubbard at mhubbard@sbtexas.com or call him toll free at the SBTC office, 877-953-7282.

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