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COSBE head: Young evangelists needed

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–The Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists will hold its annual retreat June 19-21 with an eye toward involving more young evangelists in not only the organization but in SBC life.

The average age of COSBE members has grown over the years, partly because churches are not using evangelists as much, and thus young men may not see the work of an evangelist as a possible calling, COSBE president and evangelist Ron Herrod told Baptist Press.

This year’s COSBE meeting will be held at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., featuring such speakers as Joyce Rogers, Ergun Caner, Ed Stezer, Sammy Tippit and Southern Baptist Convention President Johnny Hunt.

Hunt will speak at COSBE’s annual Sunday morning worship service, which is open to the public in the Kentucky Exposition Center, site of the SBC’s June 23-24 annual meeting.

COSBE is in its 51st year.

“Our future in vocational evangelism depends on the involvement of younger men,” Herrod said. “We know there are young men who have been called to evangelism but are not aware of how to get started and where to be trained. This is why we are encouraging them to join COSBE and to attend this year’s retreat.”

With the theme “Mounting Up As Eagles,” the COSBE meeting will begin at 2 p.m. Friday, June 19, with an address by Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research. Breakout sessions for evangelists and their wives will begin at 3 p.m., focusing on the themes “Getting Started,” “International Evangelism,” “Revival Preparation,” “Engaging the Culture” and “Defending the Faith.” Rogers, widow of longtime Bellevue Baptist Church pastor Arian Rogers, will be the speaker for a Friday banquet at 6 p.m.

The evangelists will begin Saturday with a breakfast session featuring Ken Weathersby, the North American Mission Board’s senior strategist for evangelization, and will take part in Crossover Louisville during the day. Caner, president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Va., will be the featured speaker for the Saturday night banquet at 6.

The Sunday morning worship, from 9 a.m. to noon in Room South C201-203 at the exposition center, will feature Hunt, Tippit, Herrod and Caner.

Chagy the Clown will provide entertainment during the COSBE meeting.

Herrod said too many churches “have for the most part neglected” the “gift of the evangelist as set forth in Ephesians 4:11.”

“As a result we are suffering and continue to decline in baptisms,” he said. “When the church begins to use the evangelist appropriately again, we will see more men responding to the call of God to full time evangelism.”

The organization, he said, will provide young evangelists with a mentor if they wish to have one.
Michael Foust is assistant editor of Baptist Press.

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