NEW ORLEANS (BP)–“Why do Christians say God is awesome but not tell anybody about him?” asked Bethany Davis, a Louisiana teen from Grace Memorial Baptist Church in Slidell. “What if Jesus was too ashamed to die for you?”
Davis shared her testimony along with several other individuals who have been involved in the Sunday school evangelism strategy during a FAITH awareness luncheon June 12 in New Orleans.
FAITH originated at First Baptist Church, Daytona Beach, Fla., where Bobby Welch, who also spoke at the luncheon, is senior pastor. LifeWay Christian Resources then partnered with the church to introduce the concept nationwide, beginning in January 1999. FAITH is also being translated into other languages,
including French and Portuguese.
Participants in FAITH agree to attend 16 training sessions and practice what they learn in home visits. Davis has led two of her friends to Christ since she became involved in the program.
Bob Heustess, pastor of Grace Memorial, told the 300 luncheon attendees about a young woman who was saved as the result of a FAITH visit. She and her 11-year-old son both began attending church, and she has now become a FAITH team member.
“This woman was recently married,” Heustess said. “I performed their marriage in a hospital because her husband was facing surgery for a brain tumor. He’s having that surgery right now. It is with her newfound faith that this woman is making it through this ordeal. God is at work in a marvelous way.”
Heustess also addressed the fear that plagues many Christians who are faced with witnessing for the first time.
“You will be nervous, but you know, FAITH isn’t for everyone,” he said. “It’s not for you if you don’t like to see people saved and come to the kingdom of God. FAITH isn’t for you if you don’t want to learn how to disciple others. It’s not for you if you don’t like Sunday school…. It’s not for you if you don’t want to worship God. Because that’s what FAITH is. When you see what God is doing, that is hallelujah time.”
Jim Butler, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in South Haven, Miss., is also an adamant advocate of FAITH. He told of a man in his community named Charles who was going through hard times in his life.
“Everything Charles touched turned to gold, then to dust,” Butler said. “But when a FAITH team went to his home, Charles was radically changed.” Charles’ mother and son were eventually saved, and FAITH teams are still visiting his father.
Jay Johnston, director of LifeWay’s FAITH Sunday school ministry department, told of one of the security guards at the New Orleans Superdome, site of the June 12-13 Southern Baptist Convention meeting, being saved through the FAITH process just days before.
“It is the church’s responsibility now,” Johnston said. “We must plug him into a New Orleans church, then they must disciple him and help him continue to grow.”
“If any of you want to know more about FAITH, please talk to somebody today,” Welch encouraged. “Let’s go together for the sake of souls. For souls!”
Welch closed with a Scripture from Philemon 6: “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”