Evangelists highlight revival preparations
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--Evangelists from across the nation gained interactive training during breakout sessions at the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists June 19 in Louisville, Ky., preceding the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Topics for the COSBE sessions included preparing for revival, getting started, engaging the culture, defending the faith and international mission evangelism.
During the preparing for revival session, conference participants learned how to help churches prepare spiritually and administratively for revival meetings.
"One of the things we've missed is teaching and training and mentoring our young men in how to prepare for revival," COSBE President Ron Herrod said.
Jerry Pipes, team leader for spiritual awakening and mass evangelism at NAMB, used Acts 1-2 to describe what he calls the ABCs of revival meetings: attractive events, bridge-building and a clear communication of Jesus' claims.
He cautioned evangelists not to mistake follow-up as being solely the church's job.
"In the Great Commission, God called us to make disciples, not to make decisions," Pipes said. "Follow-up and discipleship and baptism and what happens when we leave is 100 percent our responsibility. We build that into the preparation process, or I can promise you that it does not happen."
Herrod expressed concern about helping prepare young men who are called to vocational evangelism.
"A lot of guys feel called, but they don't know how to get started," Herrod said.
During the breakout session to help evangelists get started, Keith Fordham shared practical tips to help new evangelists have a successful ministry. Topics included advertising, making financial choices, involving one's family and maintaining spiritual fervency. Fordham wrote the book "Born in the Heart of God" as a beginner's guide to a vocational evangelism ministry.
COSBE has several programs to help train young evangelists through Southern Baptist seminaries and mentorships.
"We have begun a mentoring program so that if a man is called, we can assign him to one of our older evangelists with many years of experience to teach him methods of effective evangelism," Herrod said.
Herrod said COSBE is working to make young men who are interested in becoming evangelists aware of the resources and mentorships available through the organization.
COSBE re-elected Herrod as president; Phil Glisson, vice president; Bob Smith, music director; Braxton Hunter, recording secretary; Eric Ramsey, parliamentarian; and Neal Hughes, North American Mission Board liaison.
More than 700 people attended the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists Sunday worship service June 21 featuring Herrod; Johnny Hunt, president of the Southern Baptist Convention; Ergun Caner, president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Va.; and international evangelist Sammy Tippit
Also, 28 students made professions of faith and many more participated in an emotional prayer time with their adult companions after hearing the testimony of evangelist Ken Freeman at the ONE Student Rally at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
Keith Collier writes for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.