This blog will be a sampling of the articles I write for the Centennial monthly newsletter along with anything else I need to get off my mind. Sometimes there will be attempts at humor, and for that I apologize now. Other times, the subjects will be more theological in nature. I do not pretend to be an expert in any field, but I have an opinion on just about everything, and can usually make a pretty good defense if challenged. Enjoy my ramblings and feel free to share them with anyone else who may be blessed by them.
This is the third article in a series related to our new strategy and vision as an association.
Priority Three is to guide churches to reduce lostness in their communities. If we are to believe the surveys, we can expect that about 70% of our neighbors do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As representative of Jesus we have the privilege and imperative to proclaim the simple, clear message that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. However, many of us never engage the lost with the Gospel. We want that to change.
The CBA Strategy Team set the following goals related to this priority:
· Goal 1: Raise awareness of the lost population by providing Mission Insight Reports for every church by April 2018. Through our partnership with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, we have access to valuable demographic information. Although this information is available directly to churches at any time, we are going a step further and delivering it to you at Elevate. If your church would like to get your hands on this data before then, just let us know.
· Goal 2: Hold Roundtables for pastors that focus on evangelism and outreach. Roundtables are one of the greatest tools we have as pastors and ministers to sharpen our own skills and learn from one another. If you are not part of one of our existing roundtables or would like to start a new one, contact us. The topics vary, but we will be intentional in 2018 and beyond to include the topics of evangelism and outreach.
· Goal 3: Provide training opportunities in evangelism and outreach for pastors and churches. In addition to our State Evangelism Conference which is held each January, we will seek to provide other opportunities for pastors and churches to be trained in this area. Elevate will offer workshops specifically related to reaching the next generation, being relevant in your community, and developing a missions strategy. Our Evangelism Ministry Director, Stephen Morgan, is also available to come to your church to speak on the topic of how to effectively engage people in a Gospel Conversation.
· Goal 4: Guide churches to set evangelism goals by October 2018. We do just want to talk about reaching the lost. We want to find out if we are actually doing it. Churches have measured the number of decisions and baptisms for years, and these are both effective tools. However, we are also looking for churches to set other tangible goals related to evangelism. One goal I would like to see is the number of Gospel Conversations completed. Imagine if every member of your church committed to talking to just one person about Jesus each week. To paraphrase one of my seminary professors, I believe we would catch more fish if we went fishing more often.
We have opportunities all around us to proclaim Jesus and win the lost. Let us remember why we exist and reclaim the urgency of the Gospel. The world around us cannot afford for us to be silent.