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Follow-up said crucial to Crossover’s efforts

SALT LAKE CITY (BP)–Follow-up on the more than 1,700 people who professed faith in Christ as a result of Crossover events is the top priority of Jack Smith, soul-winning evangelism associate for the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board. Crossover evangelism activities in the Salt Lake City area and Idaho Falls, Idaho, began the week before the June 9-11 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Salt Lake City. Using teams of specially trained college students for follow-up, Smith’s goal is for every person who accepts Jesus as Lord during the week to receive a personal visit. The college students, organized by Rollin DeLap, student evangelism field consultant for NAMB, go out in groups of two or three to affirm the individual decisions, share a welcome booklet, encourage the individual to attend a church regularly and to promise a visit from a member of a local church. Lara Echerd, a student at the University of Delaware in Newark, visited the home of a 9-year-old girl whose grandmother is a Mormon. “We were able to confirm the child’s faith and to pray for and with her grandmother,” Echerd said. “When we left she (the grandmother) still had questions about the nature of God, but we felt a seed was planted that the local church could follow up with.” Mark Turvaville, pastor of First Baptist Church, Vinson, Okla., cited a need for expediency in the follow-up process. “We visited an address where the house was condemned. The occupants were in their car in the driveway,” he said. “I went through the gospel with the driver and asked if wanted to pray to receive Christ.”
The driver of the car told Turvaville that he would like to but would do it later on his own and promised to call a contact at a local church. “The house is condemned and set to be torn down within the week,” Turvaville said. “This family will be lost to us if they are not contacted soon.”
The people of Salt Lake City are not the only ones benefiting from the Crossover activities. “I learned so much today. It really inspired me to go home and be bolder about presenting Christ,” Rachelle Ritchie, a student at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla., said. “It has also taught me not to just leave the person at the point of salvation, but to disciple them as well.”
Smith said, “Follow-up is as important a part as everything that has gone on during Crossover. These new believers need the contact of other believers.”
He said the churches are ready to take over the discipleship process when the team leaves on Saturday, June 13. All the churches in the area made a commitment to help with follow-up and Smith will turn over the response cards, maps and computer programs.
“The biggest need we have is an ongoing one,” Smith said. “We need mentors, especially former LDS members who are now Baptists, who are willing to maintain contact with these new believers by phone or e-mail.”
Smith asks that anyone willing to mentor new believers contact him at NAMB at (770) 410-6319 or via e-mail at [email protected]. He will then be able to match people in Salt Lake City with mentors from all over North America.

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  • Lynne Jones