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God is using FAITH method to transform lives, Welch says


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–A man in San Diego, Calif., was walking out the door when a team of visitors from a local church happened to come calling.
“He had a suitcase in his hand,” said Bobby Welch, pastor of First Baptist Church of Daytona Beach, Fla. “The man had packed his bags and was leaving that wife and that son and wasn’t coming back.”
The church members presented the gospel to the man and his wife, who each made professions of faith. A week later their son trusted Christ and now the family is actively involved with the church.
That’s just one example of how the Sunday school-based FAITH evangelism strategy is having an impact on people’s lives across the country, said Welch, who led in developing FAITH in his church, speaking Sept 28 at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
“We are not winning this world,” Welch told the seminarians. “We are not winning this country. Something has got to happen, and it has to happen in your generation.”
Welch said God has started working in people’s lives and Christians need to be willing to respond by witnessing to lost people around them.
“Fresh fire is falling off the altar of God,” Welch said. “Souls are searching now like never before. Do not buy into the lie that people are not interested and will not be open to the gospel today. They are, they will and they’re hungering for it.”
Welch said more than 4,000 pastors and churches had been trained in the first 10 months of FAITH multiplier clinics across the country. More than 60,000 church members have been involved in training since FAITH became an initiative of LifeWay Christian Resources and the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Welch told of a young pastor who approached him during the Southern Baptist Convention’s June meeting in Atlanta. About 40 people attended this man’s church, which years before ran 800-900 in attendance. The pastor said he and his church members had lost hope and were debating about disbanding.
Then, some of the church members attended a FAITH clinic. After 13 weeks of training, the church had 90 people in Sunday school and had baptized 13 people in the first nine weeks.
“Something is going on out there,” Welch said. Church members are “being stirred and moved to do something with their life to win and disciple their world in their lifetime.”
But laypeople are looking for leadership, Welch said, and pastors need to provide it.
“They want to go make a difference in their world,” Welch said. “If you will provide that visionary leadership and a vehicle that will work to get them out there and be effective, I guarantee you’ll have more people than you can lead follow you.”

    About the Author

  • Tim Ellsworth
    Tim Ellsworth is associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.Read All by Tim Ellsworth ›