SBC Life Articles

Soul-Winning Commitment Day

Soul-Winning Commitment Day

Soul-Winning Commitment Day, also called 'The Big Day,' is a customizable event that churches can use to prepare and mobilize Christ followers to make a commitment to personal evangelism," according to Larry Wynn, vice president for evangelization with the North American Mission Board.

This year's Soul-Winning Commitment Day focuses on praying for one's neighbors. Though the "Big Day" is set on the Convention calendar for the first Sunday in October, "the emphasis is customizable to any church's situation." Wynn said. "The goal is to get all Southern Baptists to focus on praying for their neighbors and then sharing the Gospel message with them in an effort to lead them to Jesus Christ.

"My desire for Soul-Winning Commitment Day," Wynn added, "is that everyone who follows Christ will begin to pray for those around them, followed by boldness and opportunity to share His love with them."

TheBigDay.org provides an assortment of resources to help churches plan and conduct a soul-winning commitment emphasis. "Whether you schedule your personal evangelism emphasis in October or another time in your church year, let me encourage pastors and every believer to make a commitment to personal evangelism," Wynn said. "I can tell you from experience, when a pastor leads his church to make evangelism a focused priority, every ministry of the church is impacted in a positive way. There are a lot of people like Jon Reed (see sidebar "From Darkness to Light") who need us to pray for them and to share the love of Christ with them."

Southern Baptists are Encouraged to:

Pray for someone who doesn't know Christ.
Pray by name for your neighbors and begin relationships with them. Gather with other believers in your neighborhood or at your church to pray together for non-Christian neighbors.

Invest in your non-Christian neighbor.
Spend some time getting to know your non-Christian neighbors. Look for opportunities to serve them in ministry.

Invite the person to a Gospel-centered event.
As you build relationships with your non-Christian neighbors, take advantage of opportunities to invite them to do something with you and your family. Speak naturally about your faith; lead in prayer over your shared meal. Church holiday events, such as Trunk or Treat, Fall-Fest, Thanksgiving services, Christmas pageants, Christmas Eve, or other Christmas-themed events also have natural "invitation" potential.

Share Christ with your neighbor.
God still uses the personal witnessing moment to lead people to faith in Christ. Present the Gospel with your prayed-for neighbor. Or take them someplace where the Gospel will be shared.

Father and Son Meet Jesus

by Darrel Davis


Michael and Alex were strolling through the farm exhibits at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, Kansas, when they came to our John 3:16 Horseshoe booth.

"Would you all like a free John 3:16 horseshoe?" asked the lady sitting at the front table. "Sure," said Michael. "All we ask is that you allow us to share what John 3:16 means to us while you wait," I added.

After we got their names, I escorted them to the sharing area at the back of our booth where we sat down in three metal chairs. Michael was a mid-twenties man with tattoos and piercings. He was wearing a baseball cap which he adjusted quite frequently while I was sharing the Gospel.

Alex, Michael's son, was a talkative, slightly husky 7-year-old with bright eyes. I asked them if they were familiar with John 3:16, which Alex immediately started enthusiastically quoting. Alex told me that he had learned that verse in AWANA class at church. When I asked if they attended church I discovered that Alex did but his father did not.

I showed them my Evangecube and told them that I used it to help people understand what John 3:16 was all about. As I was sharing with them, I noticed that Michael kept looking down at the ground a lot. He readjusted his hat so that it shielded his eyes; he could not look at me eye-to-eye.

I have seen that happen before many times when someone is under conviction of their need for Jesus. So I continued my presentation keeping my focus on Alex while watching Michael out of the corner of my eye.

I got to the point of decision and asked Alex if he had ever trusted Jesus as his Savior. He said yes, but when I questioned him further about what it meant, he wasn't so sure.

I then turned my attention to Michael. I asked, "Michael, have you ever turned away from your sins and put your faith in Jesus Christ to save you?" Michael barely peered up at me from under the brim of his baseball cap and shook his head from side to side. "No."

So I asked, "Is there any reason why you wouldn't want to know your sins are forgiven and that you have eternal life?" "I would like that. Yes," Michael quietly said.

I explained to them what the prayer for salvation was all about and invited them to pray with me. As we prayed, both Alex and Michael prayed with me, asking Jesus to save them. It was an awesome moment to lead a father and son into the Kingdom together.

I asked them if they meant what they prayed and they both said yes. I shared with them what they needed to do to grow as followers of Jesus and got their contact information so that a local church could follow up on their decision. Michael firmly shook my hand and thanked me as he picked up his horseshoe and left.

Michael and Alex were just two of the twenty-one people I got to lead to the Lord during the Kansas State Fair outreach. I was able to get information on some people but others did not feel comfortable giving their contact information. The Holy Spirit will have to follow up on those decisions.

In all, we had decision cards on 106 people and shared the Gospel with hundreds more. I remain thankful the Lord allowed me to be part of such an awesome divine encounter. He that winneth souls is wise (Proverbs 11:30, KJV).

Darrel Davis is a full-time evangelist from Garner, North Carolina, and a member of First Baptist Church, Garner.

From Darkness to Light

by Larry Wynn

Jon couldn't believe what he had gotten himself into. What he thought was simply an inexpensive ski trip was in reality a church retreat for college students. A friend, who had in the past sold him drugs, invited him to go on this trip.

Jon knew this friend was now "religious" and was involved in Hebron Baptist Church, in Dacula, Georgia; but he really never considered that the invitation to go skiing was really about introducing him to Christ.

Jon was a little angry as he sat through worship and was introduced to people who seemed to be too happy. Unknown to Jon scores of college students and their leaders were praying for him. As the weekend proceeded God really began to reveal to him of the emptiness in his life. On Saturday night a small group leader led Jon Reed to trust Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord.

Today, Jon is one of the leading young evangelists in the Southern Baptist Convention. He credits prayer, a commitment to share Christ by the Christ-followers on that retreat, and the love he was shown by them for his life today.

You cannot separate prayer from evangelism. I learned this in my early days as pastor of Hebron Church. In Matthew 9:38, Jesus said, Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.

Larry Wynn is vice president for evangelization with the North American Mission Board and a member of Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula, Georgia.

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