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Speaker for ministers’ wives sees homes as witnessing tools

GREENSBORO, N.C. (BP)–Georg Andersen is a unique practitioner of the art of American interior design. Even though his portfolio includes projects in some of the world’s most expensive homes and hotels, and despite the fact that his work has been featured in Architectural Digest and Interior Design magazines, Andersen is a humble man who consistently and publicly gives all the credit to God.

From his home in Conway, Ark., where he and his wife of 45 years, Annabelle, live and work, Andersen said he is “excited” and “grateful” for the opportunity to be the keynote speaker at the Ministers’ Wives’ Luncheon during the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Greensboro, N.C., June 13.

“I plan to talk about home and the value of a home as a tool for witness,” Andersen said. He pointed out that a home cannot preach or talk, and so in that sense he calls Christian homes “silent witnesses.”

He acknowledges that many Christians might have never thought about how their homes can be tool for ministry, but he said it’s easy to see if one stops to think about the role a home plays in our lives.

“The fact is, the place where someone meets Christ for the first time is often in a home,” he said. “It is a place to teach your children and your children’s children…. We must be willing to use our home in every season of life.”

Andersen has been a speaker at numerous conferences and has appeared on all major television networks, including CBS, NBC, ABC, as well as on the “700 Club” and Fox Family. He knows that many married couples who live in a small apartment or mobile home might think that they cannot use their home for ministry until they have a large, four-bedroom home with enough money to decorate it. Not so, Andersen said, and he draws on his own experience to drive home his point.

He said the first “home” he and Annabelle moved into 45 years ago was “a one-bedroom apartment” on Long Island, N.Y.

“From the beginning, I prayed every day that God would expand the walls,” Andersen said. But he did not mean that in a literal sense.

“At the time, I was a youth worker at the First Baptist Church of Merrick. It wasn’t unusual for us to have 40-50 kids in house for Bible studies and fellowship,” he said.

At the Ministers’ Wives’ Luncheon, Andersen said he plans to draw on the principles he outlined in his book “Silent Witness: The Language of Your Home,” published by Tyndale House in 1999.

When asked for a summary of his luncheon address, he said there are three steps to integrating faith with interior design.

“First, you get on your knees and praise God and thank Him for His blessings. Second, you take an inventory: you will soon find out that what you thought was little turns out to be much,” he said.

Then with a laugh, he added, “And, for the third step, you have to come to North Carolina to hear the rest.”

The 2006 Ministers’ Wives’ Luncheon with Georg Andersen will be held at noon on June 13 in the Guilford Ballroom of the Sheraton Four-Seasons Hotel in Greensboro. Registration can be online at www.swbts.edu/conferences or by toll-free call to 1-877-GO SWBTS (467-9287). A limited number of seats are available, so early registration is encouraged. The cost is $10 per person.
Reported by Brent Thompson & Matthew Miller.

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