Intentional evangelism: It still works to win souls

Evangelism seems to have fallen on hard times. Confrontational witnessing is almost taboo among those who used to espouse it the most. FAITH Sunday School gave a little shot in the arm to the effort, but in the main, Southern Baptists have slipped in their commitment to sharing Jesus with others.

A decade ago when I was a pastor we had a day on the denominational calendar called “Soul-winning Commitment Day.” As it was usually in January, I challenged the church to commit to witness and try to win someone to Jesus in the New Year. There were various methods I used to encourage the congregation to be soul-winners. One of my favorites was to fill the choir on that Sunday with people who had been won to Christ the previous year. As someone would sing the verses “Thank you for Giving to the Lord” (that dates me), the new convert choir would join in on the chorus. Eventually, the congregation would sing the chorus after someone in the choir gave testimony of how they were led to Christ. The whole service was a poignant reminder to everyone that a verbal witness for Jesus is necessary.

About two months ago, it was my privilege to preach a weekend revival at a South Texas church. The pastor had a burden to reach his town and took me with him on home visitation. During that time I had the joy of going through the plan of salvation with a young man who was shipping out to Iraq for military service. Ronnie prayed to receive Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. Some had watered, some had planted and God gave the increase. Intentional, confrontational evangelism still works.

The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention has an evangelism department that can help you prepare to do outreach for Jesus. Current materials and personal assistance are available. Contact Don Cass, SBTC evangelism director, or Brad Bunting, SBTC evangelism associate, about having a church-wide or associational training event.

Jan. 31 through Feb. 2 is the SBTC Empower Evangelism Conference at First Baptist Church, Euless. This is more than a preach-a-thon. The conference is where you can hear from God as He speaks to you about personal soul-winning, church evangelism and holiness. I believe God wants to pour out a fresh anointing of His Spirit upon His churches in Texas. Join with me in prayer and attendance that this might be the time and place for it to start.

Your servant in Christ.

Executive Director Emeritus
Jim Richards
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention
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