SBC Life Articles

Evangelism and Training Options at the Southern Baptist Convention

Messengers to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention next June in Nashville, Tennessee, will have opportunities to attend intensive ministry training sessions and participate in an unprecedented door-to-door evangelistic effort.

The seminars will occur June 23-24 as a part of Fast 50 … 50 Seminars for Growing Leaders, an event hosted by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

LifeWay will also serve as a co-sponsor of Crossover Nashville, June 17-19, along with the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Crossover leaders anticipate more than 12,000 participants, including 10,000 volunteers who will conduct door-to-door evangelism June 18.

"LifeWay is committed to training and equipping and this is a great opportunity to use the excellent facilities and staff that we have to provide a remarkable opportunity for Southern Baptists coming to Nashville next summer," said James T. Draper Jr., president of LifeWay Christian Resources. "FAITH is a great Sunday School plan to strengthen the Bible study program of the local church, but it also has one of the simplest and most effective witnessing tools available today. The Crossover event is what churches all over the SBC do every week when they use FAITH to make evangelistic visits, so it is a natural fit."

Fast 50 will target pastors, church staff, church leaders, denominational leaders, and lay leaders. The event will feature fifty seminars led by specialists from SBC entities and successful ministry practitioners. Seminars will cover such topics as evangelism, discipleship, Sunday School, general church leadership, age-group specific leadership, and mission leadership.

The program will include addresses from Draper and SBC President Bobby Welch and programs for children and youth.

"One of the things that we've been hearing from folks about coming to the Southern Baptist Convention is that they enjoy the music and they enjoy the preaching," said John Gardner, associate to the vice president of corporate affairs at LifeWay. "But this is a time where they would like to sharpen some of their skills and find out what other churches are doing and be able to get some leadership development also.

"We felt like this was a need that we could meet — especially since the convention is going to be right here in Nashville where LifeWay is located. We can capitalize on having some of the best folks right in this area to lead these conferences."

Fast 50 participants will have the opportunity to attend four seminars each day. Online registration is available beginning February 1 at sbc.net. The registration fee is $50 per day per person or $80 for both days. Registration for children's and youth programs is $12 per child with a limit of $24 per day per family.

Crossover Nashville will feature Southern Baptists from across the country conducting door-to-door evangelism in conjunction with 200 Nashville-area churches. The 12,000 Southern Baptists who are expected at Crossover would break the previous attendance record of approximately 2,000.

The increased attendance is expected partly in response to Welch's "Everyone Can Kingdom Challenge for Evangelism" national bus tour, during which he challenged Southern Baptists to participate in Crossover in record numbers.

"I believe the 10,000-plus coming and participating in the door-to-door evangelism and the additional folks that come and participate in other efforts … have the potential to ignite and to show that everyone can do something for the cause of Christ and the obedience of the Great Commission," said Jay Johnston, LifeWay's director of FAITH/evangelism and discipleship. "We just have to be intentional about doing it."

Crossover administrators expect a large number of teenagers to energize the door-to-door evangelism effort, Johnston said.

"We have been getting calls from student ministers saying, 'We want to bring our students to participate in this one-day door-to-door event. Plus, we want to stay over and help churches with backyard Bible clubs the following week, and then attend the Southern Baptist Convention meetings in the evening.' That's a pretty exciting thing," Johnston said.

To register for Crossover Nashville, call 1-877-324-8498 or e-mail [email protected].