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Teen’s red dot opens door to share Jesus

LEESBURG, Fla. (BP)–Twelve-year-old Katie Knapp didn’t wait to return home to put to practice what she learned at Super Summer 2000 at Florida’s Lake Yale Baptist Assembly. Instead, she turned an accident into a soul-winning opportunity.

Knapp, of Palm Springs Baptist Church, Lake Worth, sprained her ankle during the summer camp and was taken to the hospital.

A few days earlier, she had been given a red dot sticker as a witnessing tool at camp. When her doctor asked about the purpose of the red dot on her watch, Knapp replied, “It is a reminder that 2,000 years ago, Jesus died on the cross from me, and 2,000 years ago, Jesus died on the cross for you.”

Knapp said the man did not make a decision for Christ at the time, but appreciated her sharing with him.

“It was awesome to witness to someone I had never seen before and probably will never see again here on earth,” Knapp said. “But I pray I will see him again in heaven one day.”

She said it was the confidence she gained at Super Summer that gave her the boldness to witness to the doctor.

“This week I have learned that I cannot pass people by; I must share with everyone the good news of Jesus dying on the cross for us,” she said.

Super Summer director David Burton, director of the Florida Baptist Convention’s personal evangelism department, shared his red dot evangelistic method with the campers and camp leaders.

“Right from the start, I could see that God was going to do something great,” Burton said. Eight leaders accepted Christ prior to Super Summer at a leader training meeting held the June 17-18 weekend before the campers arrived.

Every year of the team leader weekend training, at least one adult has come forward to accept Jesus as Savior, Burton recounted.

A basic presentation of the gospel is given during the training, he said, to make sure the leaders have an assurance of their salvation.

“Many of them are church members but never committed their lives to Christ,” Burton said. “They were hoping they were saved but knew deep down that something was missing.”

To Burton, this underscores the importance of giving a gospel presentation at every opportunity, even if the group is assumed to be Christian, in order to help people determine if the source of their commitment to Christ comes from a repentant heart and personal relationship with him.

The training weekend set the scene for what was to come in the week ahead, Burton said, as the excitement of the leaders rubbed off on the youth during the June 19-23 camp. Susan Fletcher, 16, from First Baptist Church in Waldo, was one of 39 campers who made a profession of faith at Super Summer.

“Up until this week, I have given God part of me, but now I made the decision to give him my whole life,” she said.

Students were reminded of the little things that can make a big impact for God’s kingdom. Burton encouraged the campers to hand out tracts, wear Christian T-shirts, put Christian stickers on school books and read their Bibles at school.

“Take out the Book that changed your life,” he challenged them.

More than 300 campers were grouped into seven teams, and each team was broken down into “families.” With about 10 campers in each family, the youth were able to have a more personal experience of sharing together. During these times, they shared struggles they were dealing with at home, school and church.

Campers were chosen from 75 churches across Florida to attend Super Summer. Each church sends students who have demonstrated a dedication to share what they learn at Super Summer with their youth groups in their home churches.

“We want them to become strong disciples of Christ in every area of their life,” Burton said. “With everything we do here at Super Summer, the focus always came back to soul-winning.”

Youth learned how to have quiet time with God, how to pray and how to lead others to a relationship with Jesus. Time was set aside each day for campers to study the Bible and spend time in prayer.

“The main focus this week is to get the kids motivated and equipped to win their lost campus and community for Christ and to take saved people to the next level of Christian growth,” Burton said.

Randy McComas from First Baptist Church of Waldo said he learned how to be a real soul-winner.

“I came here with a mind-set that I would be like a sponge and soak up everything I can,” said McComas, 18. “So far, I have gained so much confidence in sharing my faith with others.”

Austin Rammell, campus evangelism coordinator for the Florida Baptist Convention, encouraged the youth to be involved in a local church-based evangelistic strategy called “Fish the Planet.” Its purpose is to “unite students on campus around one God, one goal and one strategy,” Rammell said.

“The key of Fish the Planet is to challenge youth to be Great Commission Christians,” he said. “It is to lead students to not only win friends and families to Christ, but to disciple them to do the same.”

Rammell goes to middle and high schools throughout Florida, encouraging students to be involved in this soul-winning strategy.

Evangelist Tony Nolan’s messages brought tears to many campers’ eyes as he shared how he neglected to tell a friend about Jesus. Nolan’s friend died before he had another chance to witness to him.

“Don’t let their blood be on your hands,” he said, encouraging the students to “not let people pass you by without sharing Jesus’ love with them.”

Nolan challenged them to have an “authentic passion to be supernatural soul-winning machines.”

Throughout the week, 49 students and adults made professions of faith, 151 rededicated their lives to the Lord and 39 felt God’s call into full-time Christian ministry.
Henwood served as a summer intern with the Florida Baptist Convention.

    About the Author

  • Shelley Henwood