AM ’09: Team Impact leaves spiritual mark in Lubbock

LUBBOCK?They came to see the bending of steel bars into pretzel shapes, the breaking of baseball bats into scrap wood and aluminum with raw muscle and torque, and other strength feats involving rows of ice blocks and 400-pound wooden poles, loudspeakers blasting out pulsating music fit for warriors to set the mood.

They also heard that real men?and real women?are not self-sufficient and certainly not able to earn God’s favor; they need the salvation offered to every sinner through faith in the God-man, Jesus Christ.

At the end of life, Neal told the crowd of nearly 2,500 that packed the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center exhibit hall, each person will spend eternity with God in a place called Heaven, or eternity separated from God in a place called Hell that is characterized by darkness, despair and torment.

The Good News: God has made a way for sinners to find salvation by sending his only son, Jesus Christ. As Neal led in a prayer of repentance and salvation, hundreds called out to God for the first time in saving faith, evidenced by 726 people who after the event recorded spiritual decisions?512 of them salvation decisions?in a large banquet hall manned by Southern Baptist volunteers.

Jack Harris, the SBTC senior ministry associate for personal and event evangelism, said God moved through Team Impact at the Lubbock meeting and in area churches where they appeared the weekend prior to the meeting, including First Baptist Church of Littlefield, which witnessed 73 people, many of them students, respond to an invitation.

Team Impact presented their strength demonstrations and non-sectarian lectures on positive behavior in Lubbock-area public schools prior to the Oct. 27 event, to which they offered free tickets, Harris said.

Harris said he received a call that was forwarded from the SBTC office in Grapevine from a parent inquiring about how to get additional tickets to see Team Impact. “I told him to come on,” Harris told the SBTC Executive Board following the annual meeting. “I ran into that same man at the event. When I introduced myself in the counseling area, he said, ‘I called you yesterday. You said to come on. Tonight, I gave my life to Christ. And so did my two daughters.'”

After hearing Harris’ report, board chairman Dale Perry asked Longview pastor Steve Cochran to give thanks for the souls saved at the annual meeting. Praising God for the harvest, Cochran thanked him “that our business is about winning souls. That is Baptist business: winning souls.”

Continuing his prayer, Cochran prayed that God would grant Lubbock-area churches patience as new believers are cultivated from an old way of living to a new way in Christ.

During the Crossover outreach on Oct. 24, volunteers and SBTC staff members distributed thousands of free tickets to the Team Impact event to tailgaters before the Texas Tech-Texas A&M football game on the Tech campus in Lubbock.

Harris said area Southern Baptist churches were following up on each person who registered a decision on Oct. 27. Organizing for the event began in April with Harris and Lubbock-area pastors meeting monthly to pray and plan.

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