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NBA playoffs prompt 'I believe' campaign
Blake deBernard and Ethan Sperle of Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City survey their work inside the Oklahoma City Thunder's Chesapeake Arena. The two were part of an "I believe" project in which volunteers prayer walked while placing playoff T-shirts on every seat.
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Posted on May 18, 2012 | by Staff

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OKLAHOMA CITY (BP) -- As the Oklahoma City Thunder's NBA playoffs run continues, Oklahoma Baptists are teaming up to reach people for Christ in connection with the games and activities.

Churches from the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, specifically its Union Baptist Association and Capital Baptist Association, are looking for ways to serve the community and share the Gospel. The theme for the Baptists' campaign is "I believe."

"Everyone is talking about the Oklahoma City Thunder and the NBA playoffs," said Tim Gentry, the BGCO's evangelism specialist. "Oklahoma is proud of the progress our local NBA team has made, and during the playoffs people will be cheering them on, saying, 'I believe!' But the phrase 'I believe' has two meanings to Christians."

During the playoffs, the Capital and Union associations, the BGCO, My316.com and Oklahoma City-area churches will be involved in servant evangelism and witnessing outreach efforts.

"Our volunteers will be in Bricktown [Oklahoma City's entertainment district] helping as ambassadors of Christ, sharing their faith with others in words and deeds," Gentry said. "For example, our churches have volunteered to place team T-shirts at the home games on chairs and prayer walk the entire stadium."

In addition, Oklahoma Baptists have printed a high gloss, mini-magazine that contains stories and testimonials from recognized Christian athletes including Thunder players Kevin Durant and Derek Fisher, as well as University of Oklahoma football quarterback Landry Jones.

"People will use the printed literature to share their faith in person," Gentry said. "Christians will be sharing their faith online through social media on Twitter and Facebook."

Gentry said Twitter participants are using the #ibelieve hashtag to join in conversations.

"We want people to talk up the Thunder but share other things you believe in, like your faith in Jesus," Gentry said. "It's a good way to share your testimony with a large audience."
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Written by the staff of the Baptist Messenger, newsjournal of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. More information about the evangelistic campaign is available at ibelieveokc.com.
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