NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–North American Mission Board President Robert E. (Bob) Reccord announced plans June 21 for the launching of a national evangelistic media campaign this fall and unveiled a new Internet broadcast media platform designed to help churches of all sizes share the Gospel throughout the world.
Reccord described the two initiatives during his report at the Southern Baptist Convention June 21-22 annual meeting in Nashville’s Gaylord Entertainment Center.
A 15-minute video presentation based on an adaption of the 1941 Christian classic, “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis, followed NAMB’s report to the convention. In the video, “apprentice demon” Wormwood was depicted e-mailing his imaginary Uncle Screwtape, a “senior demon,” after surfing the Web to discover what God is doing through Southern Baptist missionaries and churches in North America.
The media campaign, “See Who Cares,” includes eight 30-second television commercials which deal with life issues including crisis pregnancy, attempted suicide, drug addiction, addiction to pornography, divorce, financial crises, loneliness and time pressures. Each commercial poses the question: “Does anyone care?”
The television commercials as well as other materials designed for broadband websites, radio, print media and billboards direct respondents to visit the website www.SeeWhoCares.com and to websites of participating churches, associations and state conventions that purchase media exposure in their region.
At SeeWhoCares.com, Reccord said, viewers will see a video featuring the same actor or actress in the commercial who will explain, “There is Someone who cares and His name is Jesus Christ.” Website visitors are invited to register on the site to receive additional e-mail correspondence and other follow-up resources.
Reccord said the commercials are available for free and can be customized for local SBC churches, Baptist associations and state conventions.
NAMB plans to launch the media campaign in the fall by placing print ads in major newspapers throughout the country. More information about the media effort is available online at www.namb.net/whocares.
Citing statistics which show that 92 percent of businesses and 54 percent of homes with Internet access use broadband technology, Reccord introduced “316 Networks,” NAMB’s new Web-based resource which utilizes the latest broadband technology available for broadcasting on the Internet.
Reccord said the network’s goal is to one day be “the largest online portal for Christian media content,” noting that it will offer churches and ministries of all sizes customized and cost-effective options for hosting interactive websites with features such as digital audio, live video streaming, and audience-polling capabilities.
To further impact the culture for Christ, Reccord also announced creation of a national affinity network for lawyers. Planning is currently underway for two retreats for law school students at Cornell, Harvard, Duke, University of Virginia and several more of the top law schools in America.
“It’s not enough just to change the laws,” Reccord said. “You’ve got to change the lawyers.”
This fall, NAMB is partnering with the Baptist state conventions in Oklahoma and Alabama to host collegiate conferences called Elevate for students at the University of Oklahoma and Auburn University.
Reccord said the goal is to help college students “find not just a career but a calling” and “to understand that … God is sending them not to make a living but to make an impact and that [the workplace] is their mission field.”
Also in his report, Reccord noted that the largest number of church starts ever reported by Southern Baptists came in 2004 with 1,781, 59 percent of which were either ethnic or African American congregations.
Reccord also highlighted other accomplishments in 2004:
— NAMB along with state convention and associational partners equipped more than 1 million Southern Baptists in evangelism.
— More than 116,000 Southern Baptists were mobilized by NAMB for North American mission endeavors.
— More than 15,000 Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers responded to disasters and helped prepare more 3.5 million hot meals.
— 5,126 NAMB missionaries and 2,395 SBC-endorsed chaplains served throughout North America.
“God desires to do something more, something big, something above and beyond all that can we ask or think,” Reccord concluded. “We at the North American Mission Board are convinced that God desires to use us — and you — as together we send missionaries, share Christ, start churches, mobilize volunteers and impact the culture of North America.”