Blog spotlights 'evergreen' evangelism principles
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- Southern Baptist pastors looking to equip their churches in evangelism have a new tool to employ. The North American Mission Board has launched a blog to bring attention to "evergreen" principles that are working in some of the most evangelistic Southern Baptist churches in North America.
Joel Southerland, NAMB's executive director for evangelism, says the blog doesn't focus on "best practices," because those may not be applicable in different geographic regions and different church sizes. By focusing on the principles behind the best practices, Southerland believes the blog will be universally applicable for Southern Baptist churches.
"Evergreen principles should be true regardless of time, technology, culture or context," Southerland said. "We don't want to create tools that just apply to churches in the South."
While evangelism tools can be helpful for churches, Southerland said, congregations must be ready when the tool no longer works.
"Many Southern Baptist churches are using these tools -- and they're great -- but they all have a shelf life," Southerland said. "And when the tool is over, too many churches don't know what to do next. I've seen it in my ministry as a pastor. I've seen it in other people's ministries, too. As long as the tool works, it's great. But the moment the tool stops working we're back to square one and we've missed the larger principles that are in play."
One such blog post by Georgia pastor J.R. Lee, urges pastors to establish an "evangelism culture." Lee writes that many pastors focus much of their efforts on vision, which he admits is critically important.
"Here's the thing: Culture might be more important," Lee writes. "Culture will eat your vision for lunch every single day."
He then writes about some of the activities his church has done in an effort to build an evangelistic culture.
The blog also includes two video posts, each about 15 minutes long, where Southerland interviews in a conversational manner pastors Rocky Purvis, Steven Kyle and Tim Dowdy. One focuses on the principles behind an on mission worship gathering. The other focuses on helping your congregation live on mission.
"Instilling in your people and reminding them to be a missionary doesn't mean to sign up with the North American Mission Board or the IMB (International Mission Board) and go somewhere," Dowdy said in the video about missional living. "You're on mission every day. Every day that God gives you on this planet, as a believer, you're on mission. If we can talk about it enough so that when our people are waking up in the morning, what they're thinking about is not 'this is an average day' or 'this is a pressure-packed day' or 'I've got a lot of traveling to do,' but they think 'this is the day I'm on mission with God.'"
Each video includes a guide to help viewers find key points in the interview that address specific topics.
To view the blog, visit www.namb.net/yourchurchonmission. On the page you can also find information about subscribing to it through an RSS feed.