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Three upcoming opportunities for a special focus on evangelism

Editor’s note: Tim Dowdy is vice president of evangelism at the North American Mission Board.

“Everyone needs Jesus.” As Southern Baptists, we believe that with everything in our being! We are committed to sharing the Gospel everywhere with everyone until the whole world hears. Today we are told that there are an estimated 281 million lost people just in North America.

While that number represents the majority of the people in North America, you and I know that we are the ones called to proclaim salvation to the world around us even if the number seems overwhelming.

And we know that even 281 million people aren’t beyond the reach of God’s love and grace. God’s plan is simple. … His people are to go and proclaim (tell) of His great salvation! We read this in the Great Commission shared by the resurrected Christ and recorded at the end of the Gospel of Matthew.

Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age”(Matthew 28:18–20, CSB).

Making disciples is the heartbeat of our mission. That is why this Spring there are significant dates on the Southern Baptist calendar to help remind us, and rally us, to be personally engaged in evangelism.

Personal Evangelism Commitment Day is March 24, and it is a great opportunity for pastors throughout North America to encourage church members to pray for the salvation of lost loved ones and friends by name. Also, it is a great time to provide church-wide training for personal evangelism in worship services or small groups.

Resources and tools for helping church members proclaim the Gospel can be found at nambevangelism.com/resources. 3 Circles, Best News, the Gospel Story and Eternal Life tracts, marked New Testaments, as well as the “Life on Mission” app are a few of the tools available, and we invite you to use these.

The very next Sunday, March 31, is Easter Sunday! Easter is still the day that more lost people attend church than any other Sunday. As a pastor, I always designed the services like a crusade. I encourage every pastor to prepare each aspect of their ministry on Easter (from the parking lot to the entrance doors and from the worship services to the preschool and senior adult ministries) in an even more focused way to clearly display the love of Christ so that every guest sees and hears the Gospel clearly communicated.

We also need to make sure we give those who attend an opportunity to respond in repentance and faith. Whatever methods you use to extend an invitation, I believe it is vital to offer to those who hear the Gospel an opportunity to respond.

We follow up these two dates with Baptism Sunday on April 7. Obviously, this provides you with an opportunity to encourage those who are saved on Easter Sunday to make their public profession of faith through baptism the very next Sunday. Also, it provides you with another opportunity to encourage those who have previously come to saving faith to testify publicly about their new life in Christ through believer’s baptism.

If you have baptisms on this day, and even on other days throughout the year, and you decide to post them on social media please use the hashtag #fillthetank so that we can all celebrate together. It is so encouraging to our Christian family to see the stories of salvation from around North America.

Finally, as a pastor, if you need help with equipping and encouraging your church in evangelism, we would love to help. The Evangelism Team at the North American Mission Board is ready to serve you and your church family. Recently, we have developed a resource simply called the “NAMB Evangelism Kit” to assist you in creating a culture of evangelism in your church family.

You can get a free kit by requesting one at nambevangelism.com. Also, if you have questions or we can help you with specific needs in evangelism, please email us at [email protected]. It is our honor to serve you and our SBC family of churches.

    About the Author

  • Tim Dowdy